24 February 2017
Seventy-three Papua New Guineans have successfully completed their studies in Australia, returning to PNG with a range of qualifications in business, health, education, governance, agriculture, transport and infrastructure.
The graduates attended a full day intensive workshop and networking event yesterday at the Stanley Hotel and Suites hosted by the Australia Awards. The workshop and event help prepare the graduates for reintegration into their respective workplace and communities upon returning from Australia.
Australian High Commission Counsellor for Education, Suzanne Edgecombe was present to give a welcoming address to the returning awardees and to invited guests. She congratulated the returning cohort on their achievements and encouraged them to build professional networks by maintaining strong professional and personal links with each other.
“Congratulations, I am delighted to be here for this year’s first returning Australia Awards Alumni welcoming event. It’s a pleasure to welcome you back to Papua New Guinea following your studies in Australia, and I hope you have enjoyed the opportunity immensely.” she said.
The Australia Awards assist the public and private sector, as well as civil organisations and non-governmental organisations, to support the skills development of working professionals in PNG’s priority sectors.
Returning awardee, Stephanie Alopea, who graduated with a Masters in Mining and Energy Laws from the University of Western Australia, said:
“It’s time to get to work, my fellow comrades, to build a better PNG. With our degrees, we have the power to affect lives in ways we cannot possibly imagine, make decisions and drive change – not only in the physical and tangible sense, but in the minds and attitude of our people.”
Australia Awards demonstrate the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting the PNG Government’s continued investment in the education and capacity building for Papua New Guineans.