PNG students (L-R) Sanja, Pius, and Susan.

From PNG to Canberra

31 May 2018

Papua New Guinea public servants are being encouraged to study in Australia to learn best practices to bring back to their workplaces. It’s a campaign aimed to improve the knowledge, performance and service delivery of their departments. Crawford School students Sanja, Pius and Susan are three of those public servants enabled to study at Crawford School by the Australia Awards Scholarship.

Pius (pictured in the middle) works with the Western Highlands Provincial Administration (WHPA) as Manager of Planning and Information.

“My specific focus here in Australia and when I return, is to improve WHPA’s database system,” says Pius.

“At the moment we do not have a centrally coordinated database where each department can find the information they need to make policies. Most policies fail during implementation because of the lack of basic data.

“At Crawford, I have learned a lot about the processes of developing policies, especially evidence-based policies. The course Evidence and Analysis in Public Policy was one of my favourites, because it showed me how evidence-based policies can be the catalyst for faster economic, infrastructural and societal development.”

Pius says he really enjoys the social life of Canberra: “There are lots of interesting places to visit, a wide range of places to eat out and hang out with friends, and it’s fun mingling with students from other countries and getting to know their way of life.”

Sanja (pictured left) comes from Enga Province in the Highlands. He is in his final year of Crawford’s Master of International and Development Economics. Before coming to study, he worked as the Assistant Secretary of Economic Policy at the Department of National Planning and Monitoring, where he provided economic analysis and evidence-based policy options on the country’s development issues.

Sanja will return to his department at the end of his degree and is “looking forward to integrate and use the policy tools and techniques he learned at Crawford.”

Sanja says he believes what he has studied at Crawford will help him to improve the policy-making processes in his department and he will share the new skills he has obtained with his colleagues.

When asked about his favourite aspect of Canberra, he replied “the people are beautiful and friendly. It’s a wonderful city that’s very convenient and it’s easy to get along with the community.”

Susan (pictured right) comes from the Southern Highland Province and works with the Conservation and Environment Protection Authority in Port Moresby.

She says that “studying at the ANU was a dream come true and to graduate with a Masters Degree on Environment Management and Development is a plus in my educational achievement.

“The most important thing to me is how I use my education to contribute towards my country’s development says Susan.
“What really prompted me to take up this program is the direction in which my country is heading, with the rapid increase of extractive industries which pose an increasing threat to natural resources and the environment.
“I believe my studies will enhance my knowledge, understanding and help me to become more analytical and critical when dealing with natural resource management and climate change issues”

If you are looking to enhance your career and bring new knowledge back to your department you can contact for more information.

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