Seventy-three Papua New Guineans have successfully completed their studies in Australia. Australia Awards Alumni bring a range of qualifications in business, health, education, governance, agriculture, transport and infrastructure to the PNG workforce.

Reintegration workshop and networking event

Australia Awards hosted an intensive workshop and networking event at the Stanley Hotel and Suites for the graduates. The workshop helps them prepare for reintegration into their workplaces and communities in PNG.

Australian High Commission Counsellor for Education, Suzanne Edgecombe was present to give a welcoming address. 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.

Time to ‘build a better PNG’

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.

One returnee, Stephanie Alopea, graduated the University of Western Australia with a Masters in Mining and Energy Laws. She 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 and their continued investment in the education and capacity building of Papua New Guineans.