Australia Awards Fellowship-PNG recipients
Australia Awards Fellowship-PNG recipients who graduated from a tailored Graduate Certificate in Governance and Public Policy
21 July 2015

It’s the end of a long journey for twenty women from Papua New Guinea who will graduate from The University of Queensland today.

The public servants, all recipients of the government-funded Australia Awards Fellowship-PNG, studied a tailored Graduate Certificate in Governance and Public Policy in the School of Political Science and International Studies.

Rachel Colaso from UQ’s International Development Office said the program was customised to meet Papua New Guinea Government training needs.

“The women were nominated by their department heads, due to their potential as future leaders within the PNG Public Service,” she said.

“The course provided an important opportunity for the women who would not otherwise be able to study internationally at a post-graduate level.”

Mrs Colaso said the short program, which included five and a half weeks at UQ, catered for the fact many of the women had young families.

Christine Boude took leave from her job and left three children under five to travel to Brisbane.

“I think I did all my crying the week before I left, but if I had another opportunity like this I would take it again,” she said.

“Many of us had been out of school five, 10 or even 15 years so it was very intense to go straight back into study,” Ms Boude said.

“It was very challenging but showed me what I can do if I set my mind to it and it helped me understand the work we are doing with the provinces and how it impacts the community.”

The UQ School of Political Science and International Studies lecturer Professor Katharine Gelber said the school developed and delivered the Graduate Certificate.

”We were able to bring together the best of the governance and public policy stream within the School and draw on the expertise of our staff to create a program that helps build capacity and governance in the Asia Pacific region in a tangible way,” she said.

The women spent an introductory week in Port Moresby, followed by five and a half weeks of intensive study at UQ with a further four months of remote and face-to-face workplace mentoring in PNG.

As part of the program each woman developed a work plan project to implement within their government departments.

Seven of the cohort will be back at UQ for the graduation ceremony.

The Australia Awards PNG are funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and provide scholarships to support development and people-to-people connections with PNG.

Media: Gillian Ievers, UQ Humanities and Social Sciences, 0406 510668, +61 7 3356 1633.