Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

160324 Address by Australia's Deputy High Commissioner Ms Bronte Moules at the Women in Leadership Report and Website Launch (PNG National Women's Day)

                         Women in Leadership Report and Website Launch

                 Remarks by Deputy High Commissioner Ms Bronte Moules

                                  State Function Room, National Parliament

                                                   Thursday, 24 March 2016


  • Minister for Public Service, Sir Puka Temu
  • Chief Secretary, Isaac Lupari
  • DPM Secretary, John Kali
  • DLIR Secretary, Mary Morola
  • IRC Commissioner General, Betty Palaso
  • PNGIPA Director, Angori Wewerang
  • Ladies and gentlemen

It’s a privilege to be celebrating National Women’s Day with you.

And to be supporting this important initiative which recognises the critical role of female leaders in PNG’s public service.

Women have of course long been making a significant contribution to good management and leadership in the PNG public sector. 

And the impact and recognition of women in these senior roles is increasing.

But as is the case worldwide, more needs to be done to support our emerging female leaders in their ambitions and professional advancement.

The Australian Government is putting a lot of effort into empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality.

Improving gender equality is a personal priority for our Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop.

These commitments are being backed up with actions to achieve change.

Our development policy sets a target that at least 80 per cent of Australia’s aid projects and activity effectively address gender equality issues in their implementation.

Across the Indo-Pacific region we’re working in partnerships to make this a reality.

This includes our important partnering with the PNG Government to improve gender equality.

This was highlighted earlier this month at the Australia-PNG Ministerial Forum in Canberra, where Ministers from both countries acknowledged the importance of increasing opportunities for women to take up leadership positions.

Our support for the Women in Leadership initiative is a great example of this partnership in practice.

The Initiative is an important part of our broader efforts to tackle gender inequality.

It has established an excellent network for driving change in the Papua New Guinea public service.

And of course the Women in Leadership forum report, being launched today, is an important step in maintaining the momentum for change.

The development of leaders in any setting requires positive role models. 

And a key strength of the Women in Leadership initiative is its dedication to mentoring the next generation of female leaders. 

Inspiring stories, such as those of Betty Palaso and Phoebe Sangetari, will help young women realise that they too can work to reach senior positions.

To occupy jobs in which they can be part of the important decision-making processes about the nation’s future.

For our part, in Australia our Foreign Minister Julie Bishop recently launched Australia’s new Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Strategy.

A first of its kind, the Strategy will drive progress in three key areas:

  • ending violence against women and girls;
  • economically empowering women;
  • and encouraging women’s participation in leadership and peacebuilding.

The strategy will guide our future engagement in this area and complement the work we are already doing through partnerships here such as the Kumul Game Changers initiative and the Sports for Development Program.

It is a privilege to be here this morning in the company of so many inspiring women who have made their mark on this country, often against the odds.

Your stories will inspire other women to follow in your footsteps and show the nation what women can bring to leadership.

We all know that the full inclusion of capable, energetic and inspiring women is a key aspect of the path to economic and social development.

It’s very encouraging to see the progress being made under this initiative – we hope this inspire more, so that we can look forward to hearing more Women in Leadership success stories over the years to come.

Thank you.