Opinion: Mentoring Papua New Guinea’s next generation of leaders

Dr Genevieve Nelson outlines a program that is encouraging young Papua New Guineans to consider themselves as leaders.

The Kokoda Track Foundation's Dr Genevieve Nelson

The Kokoda Track Foundation’s Dr Genevieve Nelson

The Kokoda Track Foundation launched its Archer Leadership Scholarships in 2011 and recently awarded its third cohort of scholarship recipients. Each recipient is awarded a year-long, intensive, experiential scholarship that fosters their leadership knowledge, development and capacity.

The long-term aim of the program is for Archer graduates to end up in leadership positions in government, business and civil society, and to be committed to seeking positive change in PNG society.

It aims to foster the concepts, connections, and confidence the recipients need to stand up and lead.

Students apply for the scholarship in their final year of tertiary studies.

The application process is extremely competitive and candidates are asked about their academic background, commitment to community, and vision for the nation. Shortlisted candidates then go through a two-stage interview process after which the final six scholarship recipients are announced.

Recipients are matched with a high profile mentor in PNG or Australia who they work with throughout the year.

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The program has been an enormous success to date and many graduates have gone on to gain employment, get into further studies, or take up opportunities to travel throughout PNG and abroad.

They participate in a two-week leadership development exchange program in Australia where they meet with key business, government, and community leaders.

They’re expected to take part in work experience and community development placements in Australia and PNG.

Finally, there’s a three-week work experience placement in their field, which could lead to full-time employment at the end of the scholarship.

The Archer scholars are supported with full payment of their tuition and boarding fees, and an allowance for university textbooks, laptops, and other materials.

The program has been an enormous success to date and many graduates have gone on to gain employment, get into further studies, or take up opportunities to travel throughout PNG and abroad.

Dr Genevieve Nelson is Executive Director of the Kokoda Track Foundation

Get involved

Businesses interested in supporting the program through mentoring or work experience placements could contact the Kokoda Track Foundation at email info@kokodatrackfoundation.org

 

 

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