On 1–2 December the Lowy Institute hosted the third annual Australia-Papua New Guinea Emerging Leaders Dialogue. The Dialogue is the flagship event of the Australia-Papua New Guinea Network, an initiative designed to expand people-to-people relations between Australia and Papua New Guinea. This project reflects the significance of the Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship, especially in this, the 40th anniversary of independence year.

Photo: Peter Morris

The Dialogue brought together 20 emerging leaders from business, civil society, and government in both countries to discuss common challenges and form enduring professional connections. Discussion focused on four key issues: redefining employment; sustaining rural communities; engaging Asia; and gender inequality.

The Dialogue participants developed a number of proposals to grow links and expand understanding of Papua New Guinea in Australia. Key recommendations include:

  • Promoting gender equality by sharing the stories of successful women across a range of sectors as well as initiatives that are improving gender parity in PNG and Australia.
  • Leveraging Australia’s network of trade offices throughout Asia to promote Papua New Guinean trade and investment links with Asian markets and help facilitate greater business links between Papua New Guinea and Australia.
  • Encouraging exchange between young people in both countries through the establishment of an Australia-Papua New Guinea Youth Association as well as the creation of a two-way corporate internship program and early career teacher and doctor exchanges.
  • The establishment of an Australia-Papua New Guinea public sector advisory council to monitor public expenditure in order to improve accountability and enhance cooperation between public servants in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
  • Collaboration between governments to develop a long-term Food Security Plan for Papua New Guinea.
  • Improving Australia-Papua New Guinea people-to-people relations by considering new migration pathways between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The Lowy Institute is delighted to welcome GE as the principal sponsor of a new Emerging Leaders Program within the Melanesia Program that includes the 2015 Dialogue and a residential fellowship program with two Papua New Guinean emerging leaders in 2016.  The Lowy Institute would also like to acknowledge the continuing support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the Australia-Papua New Guinea Network. Through initiatives such as these, the Lowy Institute continues to provide a platform for deepening the Australia-Papua New Guinea relationship.

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About the Authors

Jonathan Pryke - Director, Pacific Islands Program, Lowy Institute - Lowy Institute

Jonathan Pryke

Director, Pacific Islands Program, Lowy Institute

Jonathan Pryke is the Director of the Pacific Islands Program at the Lowy Institute. Prior to joining the Institute Jonathan was a Research Officer at the Development Policy Centre at the Australian National University where, on top of his research obligations, he was editor of the Development Policy Blog and a co-convenor of the Australasian Aid Conference. Jonathan is interested in economic development in the Pacific Islands region, Australia’s relationship with Melanesia, the role of aid and the private sector in Pacific Islands development and Pacific labour mobility. Jonathan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Sydney, a Masters of Public Policy (Development Policy), Masters of Diplomacy and Graduate Diploma in International and Development Economics from the Australian National University.


Jenny Hayward-Jones - Former Director Melanesia Program, Lowy Institute - Lowy Institute

Jenny Hayward-Jones

Former Director Melanesia Program, Lowy Institute

Jenny Hayward-Jones is the former Director of The Melanesia Program at the Lowy Institute. Prior to joining the Lowy Institute Jenny was an officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for thirteen years, serving in the Australian missions in Vanuatu and Turkey. She worked as Policy Adviser to the Special Coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands from its inception in July 2003 and in 2004. Jenny holds a BA (Hons) in political science from Macquarie University; her Masters thesis for Monash University focused on governance and political change in Vanuatu. Jenny’s interests focus on Australian policy in the Pacific Islands region, political and social change in Melanesia, and the strategic and economic challenges facing Pacific Islands in the Asian century. She is the author of two Policy Briefs on Fiji and several reports from major conferences on regional issues, on PNG and on Solomon Islands that she has convened in Australia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands.