Australian Minister opens new facilities

The Australian Foreign Affairs Minister today officially ended her three-day visit in Papua New Guinea.

Her final stay saw the opening of three new facilities by Minister Julie Bishop. They include the Sir Sere Pitoi House in IPA and a new student administration building at UPNG.

The opening was officiated through the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct – a partnership between the PNG and Australia government to support the development of ethical and capable public sector leaders in PNG.

The event was attended by different stakeholders including the beneficiaries, students, and respective ministers of states and former politician Sir Michael Somare.

Minister Bishop said these institutions have a rich history in producing some of the greatest minds in the history of Papua New Guinea.

Highlighting one of the country’s most renowned ‘bully beef club’, a term derived from the Playing the Game book authored by Sir Julius Chan, the Australian minister reiterated that long into the night, these bright young men discussed the future of PNG.

She said the precinct has an impact beyond Port Moresby; it is a partnership between a whole group of people coming together to create what is a truly extraordinary precinct.

During the event, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said education is at the top of the list of priority for the PNG Government.

He stated that PNG became a country where dropping out was accepted as a norm.

As a result, more than 1 million Papua New Guineans were not able to be educated. This was the reason why the Government had no choice but to introduce free education in the country.

This institution and the buildings that were opened today will continue to provide opportunities for the next generation.

Highlighting the need for leadership, the PM noted that many leaders through public service have come through these institutes and will continue to go through hence, institutions such as these need to be functional.

Imelda Wavik