Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

150925 Remarks by Ms Bronte Moules at PM's XIII Reception

24 September 2015

PMs XIII Reception

Remarks by Ms Bronte Moules
Australia’s Acting High Commissioner
to Papua New Guinea

Australian High Commission
Port Moresby

• The Hon. Justin Tkatchenko, Minister for Sports and National Events
• PNG Government Ministers
• Provincial Governors
• Heads of Government Departments & Statutory Bodies
• Heads of Corporate Bodies
• Representatives of Civil Societies and Development Partners
• Australian PMs XIII

I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to host the PM’s XIII reception here at the High Commission.

Before I begin, I would like to welcome the Australian PMs XIII to PNG and also acknowledge the PNG PMs XIII for playing hard to come this far and represent your country at this level of footy.

This year marks the eleventh year of this annual rugby league event which is one of the driving forces behind uniting our two countries.

As you all know, the love of rugby league is the one thing that draws all Papua New Guineans together.

It is one of the many strong bonds that unite Australia and Papua New Guinea - we speak a common language called rugby league.

This evening I would like to make a mention of people who have tirelessly worked to bring the sport of rugby league this far.

It is wonderful to see sponsors and corporate organisation and government agencies supporting rugby league from the grassroots level up to the elite level in PNG. Your hard work in this space is worth mentioning.

Australia is a proud supporter of the PM’s XIII event. We know the power and popularity of rugby league is a positive vehicle to talk to the community about gender equality and ending violence against women.

We have supported the course through promoting the ‘Strong Men Respect Women’ message.

We strongly encourage the entire community to support it and make a personal commitment to respect women, and not to stay silent when you are witnesses to violence.

Today, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a $41 million-plus domestic violence package to increase and improve services for women.

This is testament to our government’s commitment in curbing violence against women.

Together with the NRL and PNGRFL we are encouraging men to be part of the solution to address gender inequality.

Rugby league players are positive role models for men and boys.

We all recognise the power of league to have a positive influence on children’s development.

The game’s benefits go way beyond sport. League promotes team building, fair play and healthy lifestyles.

League has a proven record in linking people’s love of the game to educational outcomes.

PNG’s national obsession with rugby league provides the foundations for the Australian Government funded League Bilong Laif program to make a real impact on people’s lives.

We look forward to working with NRL and PNGRFL in bringing League Bilong Laif to another level and would love to see it expanded to other parts of PNG.

Through League Bilong Laif we have seen women and girls involving themselves in sports and realising their potential as equal partners in life.

We wish to see these changes in the years to come and we call on our partners – government and corporate organisation to work together in promoting sporting events and simultaneously, promoting social messages for our community in PNG.

With this I wish both teams every success and may the best team win!

Thank you.