Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

Address by Australian High Commissioner, Bruce Davis at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Newcrest Mining Limited


 Thursday 31 August 2017, 3pm

 Mt Victoria Room 2, Stanley Hotel


Good afternoon and thank you for joining us.

I am pleased to be signing this Memorandum of Understanding with Newcrest Mining Ltd today.

Australia continues to partner with Papua New Guinea to meet their development goals by forging relationships with businesses who have a shared vision for PNG’s development and economic objectives.

Shared Value

The MOU reflects Australia’s focus on engaging business to help solve development challenges.   The approach recognises that the private sector has the means and increasingly the motivation to contribute to development outcomes as part of their core business.

 It also recognizes that the private sector are key players in addressing and improving the business operating environment – not just for themselves, but for their suppliers, their buyers, their employees and their employees families.  I believe the jargon here is ‘shared value’.

Newcrest is one such company.  They have been operating in Papua New Guinea for many years and have demonstrated their long-term commitment to the country.  Newcrest’s confidence in Papua New Guinea as an investment destination matches the Australian High Commission’s positive long-term outlook for Papua New Guinea.

The MOU we sign today will focus on outcomes in health education and leadership and governance across the Public Sector.


Any partnership in education is an investment in PNG’s future and by its nature long term. It will support skills development for PNG’s workforce, and contribute to the socio-economic development that is so essential to PNG’s future growth and prosperity.

Australia has been assisting Papua New Guinea’s to access education through scholarships for more than 40 years. Over 11,000 Papua New Guineans have received Australia Awards Scholarships and Fellowships since the early 1950s.

In 2017, we piloted Australia Awards-Newcrest scholarships to allow four scholars to train to be midwives. When they graduate at the end of the year, these scholars will help to address the serious shortage of midwives in PNG and contribute to reducing PNG’s infant mortality rates that are presently far too high.

This MOU will extend our successful scholarship collaboration to train additional midwives, and commit to three-year scholarships for five nurses. These women and men will become an important resource in PNG’s health system.

We are proud to have Newcrest join us as a partner to this important program.


The second area of collaboration is around minerals economics and the strong work of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in PNG.  This work will be delivered with strong PNG partners via the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct (or the Precinct as we know it).

The Precinct is a great example of our modern strategic bilateral partnership as we work together to develop ethical and capable leaders that can shape this country’s future and debate and discuss matters of national importance.

This MOU will support the Precinct’s work to promote leadership, transparency and collaboration between, and within, key government departments and the extractives sector.  

Newcrest support will be build-on the Precinct’s earlier work supporting the Papua New Guinean Government’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Secretariat to promote greater collaboration, transparency and dialogue between industry, key government departments and civil society groups. It will include a series of workshops held in the provinces. 

The memorandum will also support another of the Precinct’s core aims to ensure that public servants have the right core competencies through the development and delivery of training in mineral economics.


In conclusion, it gives me great pleasure to see the private sector investing through development programs in PNG.  These programs have long histories of success, such as the Australian Awards and are delivered through PNG institutions for PNG outcomes. 

Not only does this external investment say to me we are doing things right in the PNG-Australia partnership but it means we can be stronger together as aligned partners with diverse yet complementary skills and resources working toward our shared goals of growth and prosperity in PNG.

Thank you once again for joining us.