The ACIAR Papua New Guinea (PNG) Alumni has successfully held its first workshop, with networking and relationship building at the heart of the two-day meeting.
The Alumni, made up of scholarship recipients of ACIAR’s John Dillon and John Allwright Fellowships, gathered in Kokopo, East New Britain to strengthen their networks, reflect and share their experiences in the agriculture research sector.
ACIAR PNG Country Manager, Doreen Iga speaking at the workshop, said Australia’s agriculture research activities in PNG aimed at improving livelihoods, reducing malnutrition, climate change adaptiveness and increasing economic opportunities, especially for women and girls.
“The other aspect of ACIAR’s mandate is capacity building activities in partner institutions. Already training, mentoring and action learning is embedded in our research projects. There are also our high-profile programs, such as the John Dillon and John Allwright Fellowships,” Ms Iga said.
“Now, we are looking to engage with our scholarship recipients to establish a vibrant, creative and action-oriented alumni association that is inclusive and empowers its members,” Ms Iga said.
“We want to encourage a strong network of professionals that can take up adoptive research that brings together scientists, extension officers, agriculture managers, planners, economists, policy makers, private sector professionals and farmers, all working toward improving the development outcomes for PNG,” Ms Iga said.
For more than 30 years the John Allwright Fellowship has supported individuals from partner countries including PNG, that are involved in ACIAR-supported research, to obtain postgraduate qualifications at Australian tertiary institutions.
The John Dillon Fellowship Program, since 2002, has supported the career development of outstanding agricultural scientists and economists who are currently working on or have recently completed an ACIAR research project.