Next week the Lowy Institute will host the 2014 Australia-PNG Emerging Leaders Dialogue. We received many excellent and competitive applications this year. From this group 20 impressive young professionals have been chosen to participate in 1.5 days of discussion on 2-3 December. The 10 people attending from each country come from a broad range of fields. Their variety of experiences and expertise will ensure an interesting Dialogue.

This year three themes have been chosen; Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and International Engagement. The Dialogue will include a session on each theme, when participants will have the opportunity to discuss relevant matters that are significant for both Australia and PNG. The first session on Sustainability will touch on topics such as food security, urban planning and challenges facing remote communities. When discussing Entrepreneurship the emerging leaders will look at creative approaches to these problems and innovations in business that can assist in tackling the big issues both countries face. Finally, when discussing International Engagement the participants will look at topics such as Australia’s and Papua New Guinea’s engagement with the broader Pacific Islands region, China and other Asian countries, and the potential for more cooperation on issues like climate change and gender-based violence. All three themes are interconnected and by bringing together people with such a wide range of specialities we hope that the outcomes of the discussion will offer some vital, new perspective on these priority issues.

Proceedings will conclude with a reception on Wednesday 3 December to mark the event where the co-chairs Jenny Hayward-Jones and Serena Sumanop will present the key findings of the Dialogue. Legendary journalist Sean Dorney, who has been reporting on PNG since before independence, will also speak, sharing some of his extensive experience with the participants and guests. We look forward to a rewarding Australia-PNG Emerging Leaders Dialogue.

Participants from the 2013 Australia-Papua New Guinea Emerging Leaders Dialouge pose with Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop



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Anna Kirk - Project Director, Aus-PNG Network - Lowy Institute

Anna Kirk

Project Director, Aus-PNG Network

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Anna Kirk was Research Fellow and Project Director of the Aus-PNG Network at the Lowy Institute, where her work focused on Australia’s relations with Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. Anna holds a Bachelor of International Studies from the University of Queensland, with majors in Peace and Conflict Studies and Spanish. Anna grew up in Port Vila, Vanuatu. During her undergraduate degree she spent a semester studying Spanish language at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. In 2013, Anna spent six months teaching English in Santiago, Chile.