Peuna’s Founders: Chantelle Brittain, Ken Vincin and Sean Vincin
While Peuna PNG Limited is only entering its 7th year of operation, don’t mistaken this dynamic business as new players in the Papua New Guinea market. Peuna’s roots in the country stem way back to 1956.
Established in 2016, Peuna’s founders, Mr Ken Vincin and son Sean Vincin partnered with Ms Chantelle Brittain to set up a business consultancy specialising in providing innovative business, project, and facility management solutions solely for the Papua New Guinea market.
But you could only specialise in PNG if you have lived it, and in 1956, Ken’s father, Mr Don Vincin, accepted a position as a Medical Patrol Officer accompanying the Australian Patrolling Administration Officers, commonly known as the “Kiaps”. Don was instrumental in the management of leprosy in PNG, particularly in the Karimui area of Chimbu Province.
Photo: Don Vincin at work while patrolling the highlands of Papua New Guinea, circa 1958.
Fittingly enough, Ken’s mother, Esma Joan Vincin, was a school teacher. She put her profession to good use in PNG and is renowned for establishing the first “Primary A” school in Minj, Waigi Valley of the present Jiwaka Province.
Ken and his siblings attended primary school in Wabag initially, before moving to Kainantu and then Minj before settling in Mount Hagen in the Western Highlands Province.
Photo: Ken, sister Robyn, and younger brother Geoff, who attended school in the PNG Highlands.
For the next 50 years, the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea became the Vincins’ family home. Ken became a prominent figure in Mount Hagen on all fronts -- business, social and sporting, in particular Rugby League.
Photo: Chamber of Commerce meeting - Ken Vincin with then Western Highlands Governor and former Prime Minister, Hon. Pias Whingti, in 1994
Peuna’s Country Manager, Sean Vincin, was born in Mount Hagen, Western Province. His late mother Sylvia is from the Trobriand Islands in Milne Bay, and moved to Mount Hagen on a placement with Westpac Bank in the early 1970s. Sean was raised in Papua New Guinea and came to call PNG home again after returning from Australia post completion of his secondary and tertiary education and some valued practical experience in the construction, mining and petroleum resource industries.
However, Peuna’s ingrained understanding of PNG extends beyond the Vincin family. The company’s fellow founder and Corporate Manager, Ms Chantelle Brittain, was raised in Bouganville. Her family moved to Arawa in 1969 and made it a home for the best part of 12 years.
Chantelle returned to PNG in 2015 and is now an integral part of Peuna, bringing a wealth of experience in procurement, project and program management, human resource management, adult education and training, and community development.
Photo: Peuna’s co-founder, Chantelle Brittain, in Bouganville around 1978
Today, Peuna PNG has grown into a reputable business with proven ability to deliver business and project solutions in PNG, even during the most difficult and challenging times -- none more so than during the Covid-19 pandemic.
While many businesses scaled down, Peuna kept all resources in country and scaled up in capability to provide international standard quarantine services, as well as being specifically engaged to provide infrastructure and project management services to the Covid-19 vaccination program, along with airport testing prior to international departure.
In a short time, Peuna PNG has developed a reputation as a reliable, go-to partner to provide facility management solutions, agile project responses, and end-to-end project management solutions across diverse industries and contexts or regions.
To provide a taste or snapshot of some of Peuna’s recent achievements, the firm manages the Santos National Football Stadium, achieving accolades from local and international visitors and stakeholders for providing world-class facility and event management services.
It provides commercial and residential property management solutions, including managing a 110-man accommodation facility with commercial kitchen, training facilities and office space. Peuna’s Exploration Support Division offers a leading lightweight and swift-to-construct, soft-sheltered building system that is designed specifically for PNG’s harsh climatic conditions.
But while the nation looks forward to the beginning of some exciting major resource projects, it is the projects that provide meaningful and tangible outcomes to PNG and Papua New Guineans that Peuna enjoys delivering the most.
In 2022, Peuna partnered with Santos Foundation to deliver a work-readiness and life-skills program for a group of 13 young electrical trade trainees who had never experienced life outside of the remote village in the Southern Highlands.
Peuna delivered an eight-week program, accommodating the trainees and providing safety training, on-the-job practical training, as well as coaching the group to be able to look after themselves away from their families.
Under Peuna’s guidance the trainees learned about time management and how to use modern, electrical appliances such as electric stoves, washing machines, and microwaves. Proof of the success of the program is that the trainees have successfully completed a six-month work placement in Australia.
Similar capacity and community projects delivered include training and developing the catering department for the Tari Hospital, and The Hagara School pop-up shelters project, using Peuna’s exploration shelters for community outreach, and continuing to work with several local landowner groups to build their capacity and capability.
In 2023, Peuna will also work with Santos Foundation and local landowner company, KutMor Limited, to build the Pimaga Community Centre, which will be used for training locals in the remote Southern Highlands.
“Inspired by our family forefathers, at Peuna PNG, we don’t do things by halves. We do not ever use the challenge of operating in PNG as an excuse. Rather, we use it as a motivation to deliver to the highest of standards, despite obstacles,” the founder said.