By Emma Hand
In August of 2018, I lead a group of seven students from Charles Sturt University (CSU) on a New Colombo Plan short-term Mobility Program tour of Papua New Guinean agriculture. This program is aimed at building relationships between Australian students and education institutions (such as universities), and, students and institutions in the Indo-Pacific countries. The idea behind this is to open a pathway for information flow between the countries and promote collaboration between the institutions; both of which contribute towards development. This program also opens the eyes of the Australian students to a whole world of possibilities in the development space and exposes them to a new culture - something that is a truly valuable life experience (and something that I am very proud to be a part of).
Through the connections developed on the tour we have been able to support another CSU student, Dylan Male, in receiving a New Colombo Plan Scholarship to study in PNG in 2019. As part of this scholarship, Dylan will complete his honours research at one of the institutions we visited and complete an internship at another; he will also be enrolled at the University of Technology in Lae, PNG. Two of the students that took part in the tour will also be completing their honours research overseas, in Texas USA and Samoa. Opportunities have also been opened up for students to conduct their work placements in PNG.
Below is a video capturing our amazing adventure in PNG. A big thanks to all of our hosts and the New Colombo Plan for making this trip possible.