Monday 16 January 2023

Family Photo with Australian Prime Minister Hon. Anthony Albanese (centre right), Prime Minister Hon. James Marape (centre left) with Ministers and Officials at the 4th Annual Leaders’ Dialogue, APEC Haus, on Thursday 12 January 2023.

Prime Minister Hon. James Marape has thanked Australian Prime Minister Hon. Anthony Albanese for strengthening the education partnership and noted Australia’s contribution to the tuition fee subsidy in 2021-2022 for early grades.

“I noted Australia’s recent investment to lift the quality of education with a focus on early grades, ensuring more children enroll and stay in school,” PM Marape stated.

Prime Minister Albanese was pleased to announce Australia would provide support for Papua New Guinea’s new ‘Improved Technical, Vocation and Training for Employment Project’.

The Australian contribution would support the upgrade of ten colleges so PNG students can access quality courses, particularly for curriculum priorities identified by PNG.

He also announced funding for a new partnership between the World Bank and Papua New Guinea aimed at improving early grades education. 

Noting the contribution that the 12,000 Papua New Guinean alumni supported by Australia make to Papua New Guinea’s political, development, civil society and private sectors, Prime Minister Albanese announced a new phase of Australia Awards that will deliver scholarships for study in Australia and Papua New Guinea for up to 300 Papua New Guinean students per year.

Meanwhile both Prime Ministers declared their intention to significantly boost Papua New Guinea’s participation in the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme.

Acknowledging Prime Minister Marape’s ambition to deploy 8,000 PALM workers to Australia, the Prime Ministers asked responsible Ministers to identify ways to strengthen Papua New Guinea’s worker mobilization system and to consider at the 2023 Ministerial Forum specific actions for each side to take.

Both also welcomed Papua New Guinea’s inclusion in the Pacific Engagement Visa.

Prime Minister Marape welcomed Australia’s commitment to provide in-country support for Pacific Engagement Visa applicants to connect with employers in Australia.

The Prime Ministers agreed to implement the reciprocal Work and Holiday visa arrangement from 1 July 2023, allowing young adults to have an extended holiday in each other’s country, during which they could work and undertake short-term study.

Both programs would encourage cultural exchange and closer ties between Papua New Guinea and Australia, and strengthen economic links. Prime Minister Albanese was  on an Official Visit to Papua New Guinea from 12 – 13 January 2023.