Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

140620 - SPEECH - Austrade PNG Tetiary Road Show

19 June 2014

2014 Austrade PNG Tertiary Education Roadshow
Remarks by  Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, HE Ms Deborah Stokes
Crowne Plaza, Papua New Guinea

It is a pleasure to be here with you today at the annual Austrade PNG Tertiary Education Roadshow.

This roadshow is also being held in Lae, Madang and Goroka.

This afternoon is a great opportunity for more than 270 high calibre shortlisted Australia Awards scholarship applicants to get an understanding of the courses provided by the Australian tertiary institutions represented here today.

I am pleased to see a strong turn out by Australia’s tertiary sector. Thank you for coming to PNG.
During the scholarship application process, I had the opportunity to speak with a group of women who had attended a Saturday morning information session dedicated for women.

These women were eager to apply for a scholarship to enable them to acquire new skills and broaden their knowledge.

I am pleased to say that through our partnership with the PNG Government and increased awareness through roadshows in NCD and the provinces; we have had an increase in the number of female applicants for this round.

As a close friend and partner of Papua New Guinea, Australia is committed to helping create the conditions that allow women and girls to have these opportunities. Opportunities, which are at least equal to those for men and boys.

Australia will ensure that 50 per cent of Australia Awards are awarded to women - so we are very pleased to see the high level of interest for scholarships by women during the application process.

The Australian Award Scholarship is more than just an opportunity to obtain a higher education qualification.

Each successful applicant is encouraged to return home and be a member of the Australia Awards Alumni and leader in their community.

The success of the Alumni continues to grow each year with many bright young emerging Papua New Guineans holding key positions in both the private and public sector.

I encourage you all today to take the opportunity to talk face to face with these tertiary institutions and find out what they have to offer so you can make an informed choice.

Australia is committed to assisting PNG develop a skilled and capable workforce that will enable PNG to continue to grow and prosper.

PNG needs people like you to make this happen.
The richest resource in Papua New Guinea is not LNG – it is its human resources. And education is key to unlocking this talent.

And everyone in this room has a role to play.