4 decades after high school…

Every graduation reveals stories of unsung heroes; of ordinary Papua New Guineans achieving the extraordinary surface.

Each graduating student has his or her own story of inspiration.

Yesterday, a humble Papua New Guinean achieved his dream, 4 decades after leaving high school.

The sight of this middle-aged man, neatly dressed in the graduation colours and seated away from the rest of the graduands, raised curiosity.

Donald Yehilomo Lunen was among the handful of Professional Studies students graduating from the University of Papua New Guinea.

Recently developing a partial knee disability, 53-year-old Lunen beat all odds to attain his degree in Bachelor of Business and Management from the school of Business and Public Policy.

Leaving high school in 1979, the determined man from Yangoru, East Sepik Province, had a burning desire to attain a degree.

“I am overjoyed because I’ve been trying to attend school and get my degree for a very long time and this opportunity is a blessing to me,” said a delighted Lunen.

He left no room for age discrimination, condition or any excuse to deter him from his dreams.

“Learning doesn’t stop. In order to progress in life and to inspire the younger generation pursue their dreams, chase them and achieve them,” he proudly shared.

An executive manager for occupational safety and health for the Department of Labour and Industrial Relations, Lunen is determined to use his skills and qualification to achieve his maximum potential.

With plans to reform occupational health and safety in workplaces, Lunen says his degree will play a crucial role in this project.

Carolyn Ure