Speeches | 20 January 2015

2014 Australia-Papua New Guinea Emerging Leaders Dialogue: Outcomes report

In this Report, the Lowy Institute’s Melanesia team summarises the outcomes of the second annual Australia-Papua New Guinea Emerging Leaders Dialogue. This Dialogue set a new standard for frank and broad-ranging discussion between young leaders from diverse fields in both countries. Food security, access to services and justice, the growing importance of social enterprises, and the prospects for Bougainville were key focus areas for the discussion. Connections made through the Dialogue are enabling exciting new collaborative work.

In this Report, the Lowy Institute’s Melanesia team summarises the outcomes of the second annual Australia-Papua New Guinea Emerging Leaders Dialogue. This Dialogue set a new standard for frank and broad-ranging discussion between young leaders from diverse fields in both countries. Food security, access to services and justice, the growing importance of social enterprises, and the prospects for Bougainville were key focus areas for the discussion. Connections made through the Dialogue are enabling exciting new collaborative work.

Key Findings

  • The agriculture sector struggles to attract young talent and government attention in both Australia and PNG. This has flow-on effects for national food security and health in PNG and limits diversity and innovation in Australia.
  • The growing popularity of entrepreneurship as a tool to create positive social change creates opportunities for greater collaboration between young Australians and Papua New Guineans. This could be enabled by better utilising the social media tools already available in both countries.
  • The consequences of Bougainville’s upcoming referendum are not well understood among the younger generation of Papua New Guineans. Given the significance for our region of a vote for independence in Bougainville, greater discussion and education about Bougainville’s future is warranted.