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This month, three ADRI staff members and one Honorary Fellow will find themselves in the unusual surrounds of Papua New Guinea's National Research Institute, discussing the lessons PNG's history has for its contemporary leaders.
Dr Jonathan Ritchie – no stranger to PNG – will be joined for the first time by Dr Sophia Loy-Wilson, an ADRI Research Fellow, and Michelle Verso, ADRI's project manager in the exercise to conduct a consultative forum with Papua New Guineans from business, government, the universities, and the media on the project 'Life Stories and Leadership'. Speakers including Dame Carol Kidu, Peter Aitsi, and ADRI Adjunct Professor Thomas Webster will join the discussion which, in true PNG style, will be a shared and consensus-driven affair. Importantly, the forum will foster communication between ADRI and its partner organisations in PNG, including the National Research Institute which is hosting the event, the University of PNG, and the Pacific Adventist University. The forum will help to develop the 'Life Stories and Leadership' project further
A recent arrival at ADRI, Honorary Fellow and Walkley-winning journalist Jo Chandler, will also participate in the forum as part of a more extensive research visit to Papua New Guinea, about which she has written extensively.
For Sophia and Michelle, the visit will allow a closer acquaintance with the country and its people, helping to build their knowledge already gained from their involvement in ADRI's annual PNG symposia series.
'Working at ADRI exposed me to Dr Jonathan Ritchie's work on Leadership in PNG which I think is really important. Having the chance to work with PNG's young people as part of Jon's Leadership forum at UPNG will give me the chance to hear their visions for PNG's future. I am so excited about the opportunity to be part of this conversation. As an historian of Australia and Asia I am also keen to understand the ways in which history plays a role in the way young people in Asian developing nations think about their future, and the future of their community. Although I have done work on Chinese migration to PNG I have never physically been there. This will be my first visit and I am so excited.'
Michelle is equally excited,
'I’m thrilled to be going to Port Moresby next week to talk with people about what leadership means in Papua New Guinea. Its my first time visiting PNG and I am really looking forward to it, especially building on the connections we’ve made with many great Papua New Guineans through the PNG in Transition conference at ADRI.'
The forum will take place on Thursday, 22 November at the PNG National Research Institute. It has been made possible through the Centre for Sustainable and Responsible Organisations' Research Seeding Grants program.
Watch this space for diary entries from Sophia and Michelle about their first impressions of Papua New Guinea!
If you'd like to be involved in further discussions on PNG leadership then register for our 'Leadership for the next generation' conference in 2013.