The law and justice sector presents many professional demands, not least the requirement for clear communication and persuasive advocacy.

It was with these skills in mind that PNG Department of Justice and Attorney General officer Jill Goroba signed up for PNG Australia Alumni Association’s recent Toastmasters Speechcraft workshop in Mt Hagen – with impressive results.

Jill, a Statistical Data Entry and Evaluation Coordinator, was voted ‘most improved female’ by the workshop’s 26 other participants, who came from a diverse cross-section of professions and 10 PNG provinces. Jill joined PNGAAA after having previously studied a Diploma of Government (Management) with the support of the Australian Government-funded Justice Services and Stability for Development (JSS4D) Program.

The workshop’s overall objective was to empower alumni with the skills necessary to be effective communicators and leaders in their respective fields.

As Jill explains, this objective was clearly accomplished.

‘The workshop enabled me to learn tips and insights on how to calm my nerves, write speeches, add colour to my speech with vocal variety, build confidence, and improve my body posture and gestures when presenting,’ Jill says.

‘I am now challenged to be actively involved in the PNGAAA National Capital District chapter and to contribute to PNGAAA’s growth, development and connections.’

The speechcraft workshop was the latest in a successful collaboration between Australia Awards, PNGAAA and Toastmasters International. There have been five such workshops since 2017, training over 150 alumni.

These activities are part of PNGAAA’s wide-ranging professional development program available to its approximately 5,000 members – Papua New Guineans who have studied in Australia or with Australian Government support in PNG.