This year’s PNG Update was the biggest, showcasing 75 papers by scholars and policy experts from Papua New Guinea and Australia to discuss the nation’s future.
The theme of this year’s Update was “Papua New Guinea after the Elections” and included sessions on economic development, health, education and the nation’s emerging ‘leaders of the future’, hosted by the University of Papua New Guinea in partnership with the Australian National University.
Keynote speakers included Treasury Secretary Dairi Vele, the UN’s Country Representative Roy Trivedy, National Research Institute Senior Researcher Fiona Hukula, the Oaktree Foundation’s Lachlan McPhee, and The Voice Inc.’s Executive Director Barbra Thomas.
Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis said the Australian Government is happy to again support the Update.
“The PNG Update is an important public policy forum. Its continued success is a credit to both the University of Papua New Guinea and the Australian National University,” he said.
Mr Davis said the strong link between these two institutions was symbolic of the modern relationship between Papua New Guinea and Australia.
“We want to add value, where we can, in line with the home grown vision for the nation and government policies.”
Mr Davis added that Australia’s support for Papua New Guinea’s research community also included initiatives such the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct and funding for the National Research Institute.
“Research that contributes to public policy decisions is much more than an academic pursuit,” he said.
“It considers the real issues, challenges and opportunities that Papua New Guinea is presented with.”
The Australian National University’s Dr Michael Cookson said the Update, presented in partnership with UPNG’s School of Business and Public Policy, sought to encourage awareness and engagement on the key issues facing Papua New Guinea.
“The PNG Update considers issues like service delivery, governance, electoral process, and challenges around small and medium enterprises,” he said.
“Importantly, it also looks at ways in which public policy can be applied to improve the welfare of communities and national development more broadly.”