PNG Student wins Prime Minister’s Pacific Australia Award

Source: The Macquarie Globe

Alex has almost completed his Master of International Trade and Commerce Law degree at Macquarie and will start his practical work placement as part of the PMPA Award next yearMaster of International Trade and Commerce Law student, Alex Katalon Kerangpuna of Papua New Guinea, is among the inaugural recipients of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Pacific Australia (PMPA) Award.

Funded by the Australian Government aid agency, AusAID, the PMPA Awards offer practical work placements to high-achieving recipients of Australian Development Scholarships and Australian Leadership Awards.

Work placements give awardees experience and insight into the daily management of an Australian business organisation and complement their postgraduate academic experience with on-the-job training. 

Alex was delighted with the acknowledgment of his University performance.

“I received the Award because I did exceptionally well with my academic marks this year. The Award is relevant to my career because I work for the government in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the Department of Foreign Office and Trade, reaching trade agreements with the World Trade Organisation and other nations.”

Targeting leaders and future leaders in the Pacific, the PMPA Award program was launched this year to foster nation building by strengthening institutional capacity and leadership in the Pacific, East Timor and PNG, and creating enduring people-to-people links across the region.

As part of the PMPA Awards, Alex will spend three months working in an Australian organisation related to international trade. He will also attend a Pacific Leadership Workshop and have the opportunity to benefit from individualised leadership development.

“I hope to improve the way we implement policy and contribute to helping PNG benefit fully from international trade agreements. International trade agreements between PNG and Australia and New Zealand will be the key area in which I can help benefit my country. I also want to impart my knowledge to others and share the skills I’ve learned”, Alex said.  

Alex will complete his Masters degree at Macquarie this semester. “I’m grateful for the world-class education I’ve received here – all the knowledge I’ve gained here, I’ve gained from experts. I’m proud of that.”

Following the PMPA Awards, Alex will return to PNG to continue his work as a Trade Officer with the government.

Read more about the Prime Minister’s Pacific Australia Award.