Civil society groups represent citizens and communities to government, and provide service and advocacy to improve the lives of their stakeholders. In Australia, civil society groups take a prominent role in campaigning in their relationship with government. In PNG, civil society groups have built upon a strong tradition of community membership to provide services, and – where necessary – advocate for political and social change.

Papua New Guinea Civil Society

St Pauls Anglican Church, Samarai Island PNG. (Photo: Jonathan E. Shaw/Flickr)

At the foundation of PNG’s civil society are traditional language and ethnic groups that serve as the society’s social support network. Beyond this, the Christian churches are a dominant feature of civic life with more than 99 percent of Papua New Guineans identifying as Christian. The mainline churches play a central role in community life. Many of these churches also serve as agencies delivering primary services including health and education, especially in areas where government service delivery is weak.

Non-church organisations are also prominent, many supported by their international affiliates and development donors, working in areas such as the environment and anti-corruption efforts.

PNG’s government does not directly regulate NGO and civil society activities, but has at times considered such a move.

Civil Society in Australia

Deaf community marches on Victoria’s Parliament, 2012. Photo: John Englart (Flickr user: Takver)

Civil society groups in Australia deliver a range of service, advocacy and membership functions that parallel the services delivered by the three levels of government. Charitable and not-for-profit groups provide welfare and support services outside of government programs, as well as working as delivery agencies for government.

There is a strong tradition of hands-on community service in Australia with an estimated six million people working as volunteers, although membership of service organisations and clubs has been declining in recent years. Australia’s government has moved to co-ordinate regulation of the charitable and community sector through the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

Links & Resources

Civil Society links – PNG

Adventist Development and Relief Agency

Anglicare PNG

Anglican Health Service

Callan Services for Disabled Persons

Caritas Papua New Guinea

Catholic Bishops Conference of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands:

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea

Melanesian Institute

Mercy Works (Sisters of Mercy Australia and PNG)

Salvation Army Papua New Guinea

United Church in PNG

World Vision PNG

YWCA Papua New Guinea

ActNow

ChildFund Australia, Papua New Guinea

Conservation International

Eco Custodian Advocates

Madang Country Women’s Association

Papua New Guinea Red Cross Society

Save the Children

VSO

Transparency International Papua New Guinea

WWF

 

Civil Society Links – Australia

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS)

Economic contribution of the Australian Charity Sector – 2017 report for ACNC

Civil Society Australia

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Cooper Schouten - Apiculture Development Specialist and PhD Candidate - Lowy Institute

Cooper Schouten

Apiculture Development Specialist and PhD Candidate

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Lismore

Cooper Schouten is an Apicultural Development Professional, with experience working in PNG with development organisations to support projects in beekeeping and honey production. Cooper also coordinates research programs in PNG and Fiji with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. He holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science with Honours from Southern Cross University, where he is a casual academic and second year PhD candidate.


Nicholas Papas - Architect - Lowy Institute

Nicholas Papas

Architect

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Sydney

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Kiri Dicker - Gender and Development Specialist - Lowy Institute

Kiri Dicker

Gender and Development Specialist

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Brisbane

Kiri Dicker is a community development worker and gender specialist who has spent the past 10 years living and working in the Pacific region. Kiri first came to PNG by herself in 2008, where she caught a PMV from Lae all the way to Kerowagi and was taken in a young family, who taught her about the realities of life in the rural highlands. Fast forward 10 years and she led a range of research and development projects in areas including labour mobility, violence against women, disaster management, sexual and reproductive health and women’s political participation. She holds a Masters in Community Development (Southern Cross University) and a Graduate Certificate in Gender Mainstreaming, Policy and Analysis (Flinders University).


Martin Yala Timothy - Secretariat Manager, Global Fund (PNG) - Lowy Institute

Martin Yala Timothy

Secretariat Manager, Global Fund (PNG)

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:
Port Moresby

Martin Timothy is the Secretariat Manager with the Global Fund PNG based in Port Moresby. He supports the daily operations of the Fund office. He has previously worked with the US Embassy in Port Moresby, KPMG, Coffey International and the Consultative Implementation and Monitoring Council. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Community Development at UPNG, and a Masters in Development Practice from the University of Queensland.


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Benjamin Gertz

Public Policy Advisor

ELD Year:
2017

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
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@BenjieBungaru

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