The partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia has achieved another milestone with the launch of the Papua New Guinea Australia Alumni Association’s East Sepik chapter last week.
East Sepik Provincial Administrator Dr Clement Malau and Papua New Guinea Australia Alumni Association (PNGAAA) Vice President Dr Pamela Kamya joined Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, His Excellency Mr Bruce Davis, at the launch in Wewak on 6 November.
The East Sepik Chapter is the tenth PNGAAA chapter to be established joining existing provincial chapters in Manus, Madang, Eastern Highlands, East New Britain, Enga, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Morobe, Milne Bay and National Capital District.
High-level representatives commended PNGAAA members’ achievements and their contribution to the bilateral relationship.
‘The establishment of the East Sepik chapter is a great example of alumni’s diverse contributions and a celebration of the partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia,’ Dr Kamya said.
High Commissioner Mr Davis encouraged alumni to maintain links in East Sepik and beyond.
‘The Australian government has been providing scholarships to PNG for over 50 years and it is great to see that it continues to provide professional support to Papua New Guineans who have studied in Australia and in PNG, ensuring the sense of belonging continues beyond graduation, wherever alumni are located,’ Mr Davis said.
PNGAAA was established over 10 years ago to provide ongoing support to Papua New Guineans who have studied in Australia, and as a mechanism for alumni to connect with each other and consolidate efforts to address economic and social development issues in PNG.
Over 11,000 Papua New Guineans have studied in Australia and PNGAAA recently opened their associate membership to also include graduates of Australian government scholarships in PNG, in areas including nursing and midwifery.
President for East Sepik Chapter, Michael Isia, presented the Chapter’s inaugural annual plan to the Australian High Commission, highlighting various community and professional activities.
‘The growing Association includes talented professionals from all walks of life,’ Dr Kamya explained.
‘The new East Sepik provincial chapter provides members with the same benefits as the others including access to professional development opportunities, networking events, and grants earmarked to support alumni share their talent and skills with their professional and wider community.’
Port Moresby—22 July 2019
The Papua New Guinea Australia Alumni Association (PNGAAA) hosted its Alumni Conference on Friday, 19 July, providing 22 alumni a platform to showcase creative and innovative ideas on how they are contributing positively to the nation’s development.
Under the overall theme ‘Creative and Innovative Approaches for the Sustainable development of Papua New Guinea’, 22 alumni presented on their efforts as positive change-makers and leaders in priority sectors including agriculture, health and natural resources. Women’s role in leadership and positive change in rural and regional areas were also in focus.
The conference, which also involved representatives from government, private sector, civil society and development partners, saw two types of presentations: lightning presentation, which is a quick overview of a creative or innovative idea or actual initiative contributing to the sustainable development of PNG and full presentation, on a proposal or actual initiative that contributes to the sustainable development of PNG.
High-level attendees attended the conference which included Australian High Commission Minister Council Mr Andrew Egan and other senior representatives from the Private Sector.
PNGAAA President Janet Rangou – who achieved her PhD in education on an Australia Awards scholarship – said the conference aimed to ensure the rich knowledge and experiences of alumni was promoted and shared.
“The Conference served as a platform to share, inspire, collaborate and even garnish creative ideals for growth in smart, practical and creative projects that are relevant, cost effective and contribute to change in PNG. This is the space to welcome initiatives that are thought out by Papua New Guineans, for PNG and made in PNG for the wellbeing of PNG”, added Rangou.
Keynote speaker at the Conference, Managing Director of Australian Indigenous owned company Gidgee Group, Mr Sean Gordon, spoke about innovative initiatives that he’s been leading with Indigenous communities in Australia and the relevance to community and social development in Papua New Guinea.
Mr Gordon said stakeholder engagement is very important in achieving sustainable long-term solutions. “Everything I do is about relationships, I value my relationships with government and corporate bodies,” explained Mr Gordon.
The Conference was followed by an evening reception for alumni and Australian higher education institutions participating in the 2019 Australia Future Unlimited: Papua New Guinea Education Roadshow. The reception contributes to the enduring connections between Papua New Guinea and Australia generated by Australia Awards.
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