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PNG’s emerging leaders learn from international and local NGOs

26 May, 2017

Our Diploma of Leadership and Management awardees have spent an exciting week in Melbourne learning from international non-government organisations (INGOs) and local NGO’s including Plan International Australia (PIA), International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA), Oxfam Australia, and Christian Blind Mission (CBM).

The week provided a valuable opportunity for participants to hear from expert guest speakers on issues including communicating with influence and engaging with media, women’s empowerment, and building and maintaining partnerships.

The week also gave the participants from Papua New Guinea (PNG) a chance to explore Melbourne and its many attractions. Melbourne even turned on some amazing autumn weather with beautiful sunshine and no rain (yet!)

On Saturday night, the awardees were treated to an iconic Australian experience – an AFL match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) between Hawthorn and Collingwood. Most participants wisely choose to support the Collingwood team and enthusiastically joined in the crowd cheering on the victors. The cheering also helped to warm up the group who were having trouble acclimatizing from their normal tropical climate.

Participants were free to explore Melbourne at their own pace on Sunday with some catching an iconic tram to Queen Victoria Markets, others shopping up a storm at DFO South Wharf, and some catching up with family and friends living in Melbourne.

On Monday the group met the leadership team and staff from Plan International Australia and were provided with a brief history on Plan and its current activities in PNG.

Tuesday saw the group visiting the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) and meeting with leadership and staff who assist in the delivery of programs in PNG and the Pacific. The group utilised the ‘floating coconut’ tool as part of an exercise in understanding gender perspectives and role diversities in economies in Melanesia.

The group then travelled to Oxfam Australia and met with their Gender and Diversity Adviser and staff who assist in the delivery of programs in PNG. Our participants then led an interesting discussion on donor-funding, responsibility and ownership which ensued from the updates provided by Oxfam.

On Wednesday, the participants attended a networking function which was also attended by Plan International’s Executive and senior managers, representatives from other INGOs and NGOs, as well as private sector representatives, academics and PNG researchers based in Melbourne.

This coming Saturday will see the participants travelling to Phillip Island, many with the aim of cuddling a koala (hopefully!) and enjoying the small penguin parade at sunset. The group will then travel back to Brisbane on Sunday to finish their final week of studies before returning to PNG.

The Diploma in Leadership and Management is being delivered by TAFE Queensland in partnership with the Australia Awards program.

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