Papua New Guinea and Australia have inherited the traditions of the Westminster system of government. Each has implemented the functions in its own way. In Australia, a federal system shares power between the national government and the states. In PNG, the national parliament is the source of political power, but devolves some responsibilities to provincial and local level governments.

Politics of Australia

Australia’s Parliament House, Canberra. Photo: AUSPIC

Australia’s political system is a federal one, with powers shared between states and territories and the Commonwealth.

The Parliament of Australia is the country’s supreme law-making body.  It is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Government is formed in the House by the party with the majority of the 150 MPs – each of whom represents a geographic electorate.  The Senate has 76 members with 12 from each state and two from each mainland territory.  The Queen is the head of Australia’s government and is represented by the Governor-General, who appoints Cabinet ministers on the advice of the Prime Minister.  Elections to the national parliament are held at least every three years. Senators are appointed to a six-year term, with half of the membership subject to elections every three years.

States and territories each have their own governments and court systems, and also oversee local governments.

Politics of Papua New Guinea

Parliament House of Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby. Photo: PNG Parliament

From independence in 1975, Papua New Guinea has been governed by a unicameral Parliament, with its 111 MPs representing a mix of ‘open’ electorates and provincial seats.  The Queen is the head of government, with the Governor-General as her representative.  The Governor-General appoints the government based on the grouping that controls the most seats after the general election, which is held every five years.  Ministers are appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister.

While the National Government is the primary source of political power, PNG also devolves some functions and powers to provincial and local level governments. Each Province has its own Provincial Assembly. Special governance measures exist for the Autonomous Region of Bougainville under the terms of the Bougainville Peace Agreement.

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Emerging Leader Participants

Sarah Carter - Manager, Australian Aid and Parliament Project - Save the Children - Lowy Institute

Sarah Carter

Manager, Australian Aid and Parliament Project - Save the Children

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Melbourne


Emmanuel-Carlos Kaetavara - First Secretary, Office of the Vice President, Autonomous Bougainville Government - Lowy Institute

Emmanuel-Carlos Kaetavara

First Secretary, Office of the Vice President, Autonomous Bougainville Government

ELD Year:
2015

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:


Fredah Joses - Assistant Election Manager, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission - Lowy Institute

Fredah Joses

Assistant Election Manager, Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea Electoral Commission

ELD Year:
2015

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:
Lae


Peter Russell - Projct Manager, International Development Assistance, GHD - Lowy Institute

Peter Russell

Projct Manager, International Development Assistance, GHD

ELD Year:
2016

Country:
Australia

Current Location:


Bob Kaigey - Councillor, Murray Island, Torres Strait Island Regional Council - Lowy Institute

Bob Kaigey

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ELD Year:
2016

Country:
Australia

Current Location:


Rohan Fox - Research Officer, Development Policy Centre, ANU - Lowy Institute

Rohan Fox

Research Officer, Development Policy Centre, ANU

ELD Year:
2016

Country:
Australia

Current Location:


Rabbie Namaliu Jr. - Manager, Private Sector, Innovation and Growth, PNG Governance Facility - Lowy Institute

Rabbie Namaliu Jr.

Manager, Private Sector, Innovation and Growth, PNG Governance Facility

ELD Year:
2016

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:


Chris Banga - Project Officer, Economics Policy Program, PNG National Research Institute - Lowy Institute

Chris Banga

Project Officer, Economics Policy Program, PNG National Research Institute

ELD Year:
2016

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:


Trent Scott - Principal Trade and Investment Officer, Trade and Investment Queensland - Lowy Institute

Trent Scott

Principal Trade and Investment Officer, Trade and Investment Queensland

ELD Year:
2017

Country:
Australia

Current Location:


Nicholas Metherall - Policy Officer, Department of the Environment and Energy - Lowy Institute

Nicholas Metherall

Policy Officer, Department of the Environment and Energy

ELD Year:
2017

Country:
Australia

Current Location:


Lauren Hirsh - Senior Legal Officer, Anti-Money Laundering Assistance Team, Attorney-General’s Department - Lowy Institute

Lauren Hirsh

Senior Legal Officer, Anti-Money Laundering Assistance Team, Attorney-General’s Department

ELD Year:
2017

Country:
Australia

Current Location:


Krista Lee-Jones - Independent consultant and researcher, Transparency International Secretariat and UNESCO - Lowy Institute

Krista Lee-Jones

Independent consultant and researcher, Transparency International Secretariat and UNESCO

ELD Year:
2017

Country:
Australia

Current Location:


Yuambari Haihuie - Coordinator - Institutions and Campaigns Programme, Transparency International PNG - Lowy Institute

Yuambari Haihuie

Coordinator - Institutions and Campaigns Programme, Transparency International PNG

ELD Year:
2017

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:


Sharon James-Maiasa - Senior Project Manager & Research Officer, PNG Institute of Medical Research - Lowy Institute

Sharon James-Maiasa

Senior Project Manager & Research Officer, PNG Institute of Medical Research

ELD Year:
2017

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:


Jeffrey Noro - Director for Policy, Papua New Guinea Science and Technology Council and Secretariat - Lowy Institute

Jeffrey Noro

Director for Policy, Papua New Guinea Science and Technology Council and Secretariat

ELD Year:
2017

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:


Brenton Kanowski - Private Secretary to the Foreign Minister of Papua New Guinea - Lowy Institute

Brenton Kanowski

Private Secretary to the Foreign Minister of Papua New Guinea

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Port Moresby

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Linh Do - Country Director Australia and the Pacific, The Climate Reality Project - Lowy Institute

Linh Do

Country Director Australia and the Pacific, The Climate Reality Project

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Melbourne

Linh Do is the Country Director, Australia and the Pacific for The Climate Reality Project, an organisation founded by former US Vice President Al Gore to bring everyday citizens together to deal with climate change and to promote sustainable development. Linh is a social change advocate and is responsible for fundraising, facilitating leadership journeys for Climate Reality ambassadors and developing partnerships for the organisation. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Studies from the University of Melbourne and has undertaken executive education programs in leadership at Harvard University.


Sam Davies - Security Manager, Australasia - International SOS and Control Risks - Lowy Institute

Sam Davies

Security Manager, Australasia - International SOS and Control Risks

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Sydney

Sam Davies is the Australasia Security Manager for International SOS and Control Risks, and is responsible for overseeing operations for clients in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific including PNG. He works with clients in business, non-government organisations and the Australian government regarding security and contingency planning. Sam has previously worked in the humanitarian sector and he holds a Bachelor of International Relations from the Australian National University in Canberra and has also studied in the US and Jordan.


Bernard Yegiora - Lecturer, International Relations - Divine Word University - Lowy Institute

Bernard Yegiora

Lecturer, International Relations - Divine Word University

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:
Madang

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Daphney Toke - Monitoring and Evaluation, Autonomous Bougainville Government - Lowy Institute

Daphney Toke

Monitoring and Evaluation, Autonomous Bougainville Government

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:
Buka

Daphney Toke is the Monitoring and Evaluation officer with the directorate of Strategic Planning and Policy Coordination with the Autonomous Bougainville Government. In this role she works with colleagues to co-ordinate whole of government action on Departments’ corporate and strategic development plans, and ABG policies. Daphney graduated from Divine Word University with a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences in PNG Studies and International Relations.


Sanja Pepae - Assistant Secretary, Department of National Planning PNG - Lowy Institute

Sanja Pepae

Assistant Secretary, Department of National Planning PNG

ELD Year:
2018

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:
Port Moresby

Sanja Pepae is a postgraduate student at the Australian National University in Canberra. Prior to taking on studies for his Masters in International and Development Economics, he was Assistant Secretary at the Department of National Planning and Monitoring in Port Moresby. He will return to work with the Department in 2019. Sanja graduated with first class honours in his Bachelor of Economics from the University of Papua New Guinea. He was heavily involved in developing governance and institutional structures for PNG’s proposed Sovereign Wealth Fund, and has served as ex-officio board member on a number of PNG government agencies and authorities.


Alexander Rheeney - Journalist - Lowy Institute

Alexander Rheeney

Journalist

ELD Year:
2013

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:

Alexander Rheeney is a Journalist who has worked in a number of high-profile roles in the PNG media. He has been a presenter with Papua New Guinea’s TVWan, is a former Editor of the Post-Courier and former President of the PNG Media Council. He holds a BA from the University of Papua New Guinea and a Masters of Cross-Cultural Communication from the University of Sydney. Previously, Alex has worked with the World Bank, the UK High Commission in Port Moresby, and as a reporter for Radio New Zealand International, Pacific Magazine, Reuters, the Post-Courier and The National.


John van Bockxmeer - Emergency & Primary Care Doctor at WA Country Health Service, Founder Fair Game Australia - Lowy Institute

John van Bockxmeer

Emergency & Primary Care Doctor at WA Country Health Service, Founder Fair Game Australia

ELD Year:
2015

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Port Hedland


Lisa Martin - Journalist - Lowy Institute

Lisa Martin

Journalist

ELD Year:
2015

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Canberra


Alcinda Trawen - Director Policy and Planning, PNG Tourism Promotion Authority - Lowy Institute

Alcinda Trawen

Director Policy and Planning, PNG Tourism Promotion Authority

ELD Year:
2014, 2015

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:


Brendan Rigby - Founder, WhyDev and Consultant, Plan Asia - Lowy Institute

Brendan Rigby

Founder, WhyDev and Consultant, Plan Asia

ELD Year:
2014

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Melbourne


April Long - Programs Manager, National Centre for Indigenous Excellence - Lowy Institute

April Long

Programs Manager, National Centre for Indigenous Excellence

ELD Year:
2014

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Sydney


Greg Colton - Australian Army Major, Masters in Strategic and Defence Studies - Lowy Institute

Greg Colton

Australian Army Major, Masters in Strategic and Defence Studies

ELD Year:
2014

Country:
Australia

Current Location:


Robert Marshall - Statewide Junior Clinical Lead, Department of Health WA - Lowy Institute

Robert Marshall

Statewide Junior Clinical Lead, Department of Health WA

ELD Year:
2013

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Perth


Hamish MacDonald - Broadcast journalist - Lowy Institute

Hamish MacDonald

Broadcast journalist

ELD Year:
2013

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Sydney


Alex Butterworth - Lawyer and advisor - Lowy Institute

Alex Butterworth

Lawyer and advisor

ELD Year:
2013

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Sydney

Alex is Senior Legal Counsel at McDonald's, and previously worked with members of state and federal parliament, state and federal ministers and shadow ministers and as an intern with the former Chairman of the United States Congress House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. As a young person in politics, Alex led several organisations, including the Australian Liberal Students' Federation and the WA branch of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.

@AlexButterworth

Jennifer Adema - Director, PNG Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs - Lowy Institute

Jennifer Adema

Director, PNG Department of Provincial and Local Government Affairs

ELD Year:
2013

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:
Port Moresby


Lisa-Marie Tepu - Lawyer - Lowy Institute

Lisa-Marie Tepu

Lawyer

ELD Year:
2013

Country:
Papua New Guinea

Current Location:
Port Moresby


Benjamin Gertz - Public Policy Advisor - Lowy Institute

Benjamin Gertz

Public Policy Advisor

ELD Year:
2017

Country:
Australia

Current Location:
Melbourne

Benjamin Gertz is a public policy professional with experience working in the public sector and non-government organisations, with a particular knowledge of policy challenges affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and economic issues relating to Regional Australia. He is also currently studying a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Economics and regional Development, from James Cook University, in Townsville.

@BenjieBungaru

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National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea - Lowy Institute

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