By Alison Darcy, CUFA Project Officer and
Luse Tamani, OCCUL Secretariat Officer
Michael Koisen, a close friend to CUFA and the Oceania Confederation of Credit Union Leagues (OCCUL) was the recipient of the World Council’s top honour, the Distinguished Service Award at the World Credit Union Conference 2014 (WCUC).
World Council president and CEO Brian Branch remarked on this key achievement at WCUC. “Since 1986, World Council has recognized key players in advancing the international credit union movement to where it is today through the Distinguished Service Award. The recipients each year remind us how important it is to extend financial access to people who need it most – not just at home, but around the world.”
Michael, a former President of Papua New Guinea’s Federation of Savings and Loans Societies (FESALOS) has been an integral part of OCCUL’s journey contributing much of his time and expertise even prior to it’s existence. He was elected as the PNG representative to the Pacific Network Advisory Committee at the 2009 Congress which was the body that spearheaded plans and set the groundwork for the formation of the OCCUL Secretariat in early 2010.
“A highly respected and admired credit union trailblazer on the regional and international arena, Michael is greatly valued for his diplomacy, professionalism, insight and integrity. The outreach of his networks and impressive activities go beyond his nation, building a global community which has positively impacted many within the Pacific credit union families and movements” states Luse Tamani, OCCUL Secretariat Officer.
PNG was one of the four Founding members of OCCUL and in his capacity as President and Chairman of FESALOS at that time, Mr Koisen secured a seat on OCCUL’S Advisory Committee and served on it with distinction until its elevation to the status of OCCUL Board during the Pacific Credit Union Technical Congress of 2011 in Port Moresby, PNG. It was there that he was unanimously elected as the inaugural Chair of OCCUL Board. Shortly after his election, Mr Koisen successfully chaired and guided the first ever Annual General Meeting of OCCUL where significant amendments were passed for OCCUL’s Memorandum of Association prior to its formal registration at the Office of the Administrator General in Fiji later that year.
CUFA and OCCUL are immensely grateful for the invaluable contributions made by Mr Koisen and congratulate him as a well-deserved recipient of the World Council’s Distinguished Service Award.
The Distinguished Service Award honors individuals and organisations that have provided outstanding service to credit union development outside their home country. It is the international credit union system’s highest honor.