Friday 13 January 2023

(l-r) Minister for Higher Education, Don Polye, Chancellor of the University of Papua New Guinea, Mr Robert Igara and Australian Prime Minister, Hon. Anthony Albanese at the Medical Faculty on Thursday, 12 January 2023.

Minister for Higher Education, Don Polye has expressed his gratitude to the Australian Prime Minister, Hon. Anthony Albanese for visiting the Medical Faculty and School of Medicines and Health Sciences at Taurama Campus, on Thursday 12 January 2023.

The Australian government has funded projects at the Medical Faculty through its Incentive Funds.

“It is not an ordinary visit. You have come here to visit our Medical Faculty and it is an honor. You have supported us in PNG by increasing funding in many areas, including Health and Education”.

Minister Polye added, “This is an illustration of the greatness of the Australian Prime Minister to show love and care for your neighbours, and the generosity of the Australian people to continue supporting the people of PNG”.

Minister Polye, highlighted in his meeting with Prime Minister Albanese   that the government focuses on excellence in the area of education, especially at the university level and in technical education.

He also highlighted the significance of partnering in digital and online learning, another key area of learning, adding, “The world is moving into the digital space and PNG must keep up with the changes.”

Minister Polye also proposed through the Australian Prime Minister, a partnership with his Australian counterpart – Minister for Higher Education, to achieve the key areas of education development in PNG.

Mr Polye commended the students for responding intelligently to the Australian Prime Minister’s line of  questions during  his visit to   the new laboratory at the Medical Faculty,

Meanwhile, the Australian Prime Minister reiterated that investment in infrastructural buildings is important, but what it comes down to is, people.

“You do need the right infrastructure in place so that people can thrive. And the right facilities.

“What I’ve seen today is fantastic facilities. But what I’ve also not just seen but engaged with, is young PNG citizens, particularly women which is fantastic.

“Engaging in science because they want something better for their fellow citizens. Having that sense of discovery and innovation is so important.

“Taking traditional medicines and using science to back that up is such a sensible way in which to go forward.

 “So, congratulations to you”.

On the proposed engagement and partnership with the Australian Higher Education Minster Jason Clare, Prime Minster Albanese said there is an enormous prospect that will be pursued further.

 “The interaction is very important. Papua New Guineans being able to study in Australia. But also, Australians visiting here as well.

“Australians can learn things from these labs. That’s important to recognize that traditional knowledge with Science”. (Referencing the Taurama Medical Faculty Labs).

PM Albanese emphasized that “One of the things we have learned from the pandemic is that the health of a citizen in either PNG, Australia, Singapore or London are all linked.

“That is why we can’t have nation-based solutions. That is why we need to share knowledge and share signs and engage in ways just like this”.

Prime Minister Albanese congratulated the students, stating, “So many young Papua New Guineans that will be future Doctors, making an enormous difference.

“We can do better together. And it’s in our common interest”.

Commenting on donor funding, Prime Minister Albanese added that it was in his best interest to lift living standards to assist the people.

“It is in our interests for that to happen as well. We have that commonality called humility. It’s something that drives me and Prime Minister Marape. “It’s why I spend time in politics and dedicate my life to it. It’s an honourable profession”.

While referring to the training of PNG doctors, Mr. Albanese said, “There is no more honorable profession than people that go into the health sector. People like nurses and doctors dedicate their lives to serving people and making sure they are healthy”.

The Australian Prime Minister and his delegation were met at the Medical Faculty by Minister for Higher Education, Hon. Don Polye, Chancellor of the University of PNG, Mr. Robert Igara, and Dean of the Medical Faculty Professor Naskapi Tefuarani.