Maxine Anjiga Arua comes from Mambututu Village in the Ioma District of Oro Province. In grade 10 she was a school prefect and dux of her high school.
She attended both high school and university on government scholarships and graduated with a BA degree in 1993.
After working as a teacher for three years, she worked for several NGOs including the Melanesian NGO Centre for Leadership and obtained a Graduate Diploma in Not for Profit Management from Unitec NZ in September 2007.
She was contracted by The Nature Conservancy in 2008 to establish a new organisation in PNG, with the mission of supporting local people to sustainably manage their marine resources.
She was appointed Executive Director of this NGO, the PNG Centre for Locally Managed Areas Inc. In October 2010 Maxine won the Community Responsibility Category in the PNG Westpac Women in Business Award.