New Ireland Provincial Planner Mr Austin Reddy has been awarded two international Medals for his recent studies in an Australian Front Line Management program.

Mr Reddy, who lives in Kavieng with his wife Narelle and their five children, undertook the NSW TAFE Diploma of Front Line Management earlier this year, as part of the AusAID program offering training opportunities through PATTAF.

Mr Reddy was flown to Australia in May this year to receive both the TAFE Hunter Institute’s 2005 Business Faculty Medal, and the TAFE NSW State Medal – awarded to the student who achieves the highest average mark in the State for their particular course – at an official Institute ceremony.

An added bonus for Mr Reddy while in Australia was his participation in a three-week professional development program– a program which saw him achieving an Advanced Diploma of Management status.

Mr Reddy said he was very proud of his achievement and that he was delighted that his hard work during the program had paid off.

“It was a significant commitment of time over the eight months of the course”, Mr Reddy said. “The course required a lot of reading and research, but already I can see how what I’ve learned will assist me in my role as Regional Planner”.

Mr Reddy’s study program was coordinated and delivered through the Papua New Guinea Targeted Training Facility (PATTAF). His achievements reflected very positively on Papua New Guinea, the New Ireland Provincial Administration and on Austin himself.

In recognition of his outstanding achievement to date, AusAID agreed that PATTAF should support Austin’s attendance at the New South Wales Awards Ceremony, and also during his professional development program in Australia..

During his time in Australia, Mr Reddy worked with the Maitland City Council, the Local Government Association, and participated in the IPAA (Institute of Public Administration – Australia) National Conference “The Shape of Things to Come – Planning the Future of the Workforce”.

He also undertook a number of work-shadowing assignments and completed his Advanced Diploma of Management.

“My studies to date and those I recently completed will not only assist me personally, but also will allow me to make a difference to both the macro and micro levels of provincial planning in New Ireland”, Mr Reddy said.

“Over the next 12 months I want to get our two District Plans firmly in place, so that a local committee can make sure they are consistent with the MTDS.”

“Once the National Planning Office is satisfied with the two drafts, we can blend them into the overall Provincial Plan.”

Mr Reddy sees the major challenges facing the Province in the near future as needing to address Municipal Services and Waste Management issues.

He is now finding that his economic skills are “overlaying” the planning work he undertakes on behalf of the Province.

“I also want to extend my Information Technology (IT) skills’, Mr Reddy said.

“The IT knowledge I’ve already gained has helped me a lot in my spread-sheeting, budgeting and forecasting work. “And I’m keen to also put into practice my new IT skills, and perhaps do some further studies in that area.”

As a child, Mr Reddy traveled extensively throughout the region with his parents and five brothers and sisters, because of his father’s role with the Co-operative Wholesale Society. When his father passed away in 1979, the family returned to his mother’s birth place, Kavieng.

Mr Reddy said that his wife Narelle had been of tremendous support during his studies, and although she also worked, extended family members assisted in looking after their three daughters and two sons, aged from eight to 15.

A strong Newcastle supporter, in the few spare moments he had in Australia, Mr Reddy caught up with a Newcastle Knights game and met some of his favourite players.

As a youngster, Austin was a PNG Zone Rugby League representative player, and a member of the Junior Kumuls 1982 team that narrowly lost to the Brisbane Schoolboys team by just four points, at Lang Park.

“I used to play at five-eighths and in the Centres, but now I restrict my involvement to working with the local League organization”, he said.

“You eventually get to the stage where you’re better off supporting the game rather than playing on the field, so I’m happy to work with the up- and coming-  players and to enjoy watching my sons and daughters play league, basketball and softball.”

Mr Reddy, who turned 40 a day or so after receiving his Medals, encourages all Papua New Guineans to apply for AusAID scholarships and programs.

“I recommend the programs to everyone: school students, work colleagues and friends”, he said.

“These programs give you a great chance to succeed, and to progress in your chosen field.”

“The opportunities that have been given me through my studies are an encouragement for all young people in my Province.

“I’ve really enjoyed the program and encourage others to extend their skills and opportunities in the same way,” he added