The first visiting Australian students have arrived in PNG to participate in activities under the new PNG–Australia Partnership Secondary Schools Initiative.
Over coming weeks, 150 students from 24 secondary schools across Papua New Guinea and Australia will be honing their leadership, teamwork and cross-cultural skills in PNG under the new initiative.
The initiative is providing exchange learning experiences in Papua New Guinea and Australia through school project collaboration and mentoring for students, teachers and school leaders. Additionally, students will learn about local cultures and work on joint projects during visits to East Sepik, East New Britain and Central Province.
‘A core focus of the PNGAus Partnership Secondary Schools initiative is investing in our people-to-people links and strengthening of the education and leadership capabilities of people so that our friendship today continues into the next generation and beyond,’ said Australian High Commissioner to PNG, Bruce Davis, during a welcome reception for the students.
‘I am delighted that participants will have the opportunity to travel to different parts of PNG, to learn more about this great nation.
‘This is a fantastic opportunity to share educational experiences and ideas and chart how we can work together to make the PNG-Australia partnership even stronger.’
The new initiative was launched last month in Port Moresby by Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Honourable Marise Payne, and PNG’s Minister for Education, the Honourable Joseph Yopyyopy MP. It will target students in years 9 and 11.
It will directly reach over 2,400 students from 24 secondary schools in PNG and Australia to strengthen capabilities in areas such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics, English language, youth leadership and girls’ education.
In collaboration with the National Department of Education, the initiative is working with 12 of PNG’s highest performing schools. Each PNG school has been partnered with an Australian school from New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland or Victoria.