Deputy Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Paul Lehmann, presented the prestigious prize to Benishar Kombut, a scientist working in community health, and Posangat Ilius, a public sector human resource expert, at a ceremony at the Grand Papua Hotel in Port Moresby on 18 January.
The Allison Sudradjat Prize is awarded annually to two Australia Awards scholars from PNG and four from Indonesia. It honours the late Australian official for her enduring contributions to education, development, and the Papua New Guinea-Australia Partnership.
“Allison Sudradjat was passionate about the transformative power of education and made a lasting contribution to the PNGAus Partnership while serving in PNG,” Deputy High Commissioner Lehmann said.
“I congratulate Ms Kombut and Mr Ilius on being awarded the Allison Sudradjat Prize for their leadership skills and drive to support PNG’s development.
“I wish them every success as they continue the proud tradition of previous Allison Sudradjat Prize winners by contributing to PNG’s development and the deep links between our two countries.”
Kombut works at the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research and has been selected to study a Master of Biomedical Science at The University of Melbourne.
“To receive a prize that commemorates the legacy of a pioneering woman and close friend of Papua New Guinea is a great honour. I look forward to making the most of this opportunity to contribute to healthy communities and support Papua New Guinea’s development,” Kombut said.
Ilius, an officer of the Department of Personnel Management, has been selected to study a Master of Business Administration in Human Resource Management at the University of South Australia.
“It’s a privilege to be awarded the Allison Sudradjat Prize. I plan to use the prize to develop my leadership skills and support organisational change management in Papua New Guinea’s public sector,” he stated.
The Allison Sudradjat Prize has been awarded to 26 Australia Awards scholars from PNG since 2008. The Prize includes up to AUD25,000 to undertake additional learning and professional development activities related to the recipients’ course of study.
Allison Sudradjat was an exceptional representative of Australia in our region who died tragically in 2007. She was deeply passionate about education as one of the pillars of development.
She made a major contribution at both the Australian missions in Indonesia from the early to mid-1990s and from 2005-2007, and in Papua New Guinea from 1996-2001.
Previous Allison Sudradjat Prize winners from PNG have undertaken projects in diverse fields, including finance policy development, public health, disaster risk reduction and wildlife conservation in Papua New Guinea.
(Deputy Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Paul Lehmann, with Posangat Ilius, a public sector human resource expert and winner of the Allison Sudradjat Prize)