This was the High Commissioner’s second visit after having earlier accompanied Prime Minister James Marape to witness the swearing in of the new Bougainville Government in September.
High Commissioner Philp was pleased to meet with President Ishmael Toroama again, along with New Zealand High Commissioner, Philip Taula, and United Nations Resident Coordinator, Gianluca Rampolla.
The High Commissioner also met with the Attorney General and Minister for Post-Referendum Consultation and Dialogue for the Autonomous Bougainville Government, Ezekiel Masatt, to discuss preparations for post-referendum consultations.
Philp was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with women members of the Bougainville House of Representatives to learn more about their priorities.
The High Commissioner joined the ABG Minister for Education, Theonila Roka Matbob, to announce a major new investment in technical education, during a launch at the Bougainville Technical College in Tinputz.
In cooperation with the Government of Papua New Guinea, the Australian government will increase support for technical vocational education training in Bougainville by upgrading the qualifications of trainers and helping ensure the curriculum is aligned with industry needs to produce higher numbers of graduates.
High Commissioner Philp also met with PNG Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Member for South Bougainville, Timothy Masiu, to open a new portable health clinic at Buin provided by the PNG-Australia Partnership. The portable clinic provides a significant boost to health services in the district.
Australia will shortly provide two portable clinics in Central and North Bougainville to support for healthcare in the region and Bougainville’s response to COVID-19.
(ABG Minister for Education and Member for Ioro, Theonila Roka-Matbob, and Australian High Commissioner, Jon Philp, at the launching of the PNG-Australia Partnership supported TVET initiative in Tinputz)