By KEVIN PAMBA
AUSTRALIAN High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Ian Kemish, has challenged outgoing students of Divine Word University (DWU) to help “banish corruption to the past”.
He made the challenge during his keynote address at the second annual “Missioning ceremony” of 277 final year degree students of the university.
The Australian envoy, who grew up in PNG, said corruption was a serious threat to the progress of the country and the young generation had to ensure it was dealt with.
“Your generation has to banish corruption to the past,” Kemish said.
He said the outgoing DWU students were entering the job market at a critical stage and must put to use the strong ethical education and the professional training they had received from a well-regarded Christian university.
Madang Governor Sir Arnold Amet also urged the students to be agents of positive change.
Sir Arnold said their personal credibility and behaviour could make a big difference in the work place and community.
Kemish said corruption had the potential to undermine the economic gains from the resources boom PNG was experiencing.
He said that Australia’s unwavering commitment towards PNG’s development and growth stands and would continue.
He said the Australian support was delivered in various key areas and “education is the flagship” of that assistance.
Kemish said the recent review of the high education sector led by Prof Ross Garnaut and Sir Rabbie Namaliu was important for this sector of education.
One of the key recommendations is for PNG universities to develop linkages with overseas universities.
Kemish said the much-talked about PNG liquefied natural gas (LNG) project and other resource projects places PNG on the path towards an unprecedented economic growth.
He cautioned that there were serious challenges of how these gains would be managed and allowed to be “translated to prosperity for all”.
Kemish commended DWU for making a major difference in higher education as university
and urged the staff and students to continue the good work.