A group of Papua New Guinea nationals have been recognised as the first graduates of a cross-partnership fisheries research project led by the University of Tasmania, at a celebration event in Port Moresby.
17 fisheries scientists were presented with a Graduate Certificate in Research on Monday, 20 February through the project Building Research and Project Management Skills in Fisheries Staff in Papua New Guinea.
With the fisheries industry central to the livelihood of Papua New Guinea’s food supply and communities, the course aims to build positive outcomes for the country’s long-term fisheries management by equipping scientists with new research and communication skills they can transfer to projects in their profession.
Professor Janelle Allison, Principal of the University College and Project Leader travelled to Papua New Guinea for the event, which was also attended by University representatives Professor Brigid Heywood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Dr Joy Rathjen (Project Lecturer), Dr Christine Angel (Student Tutor and Liaison Officer), and Ms Sandra Knowles (Project Manager).
“The celebration event in Papua New Guinea was an important opportunity to congratulate the graduates on their achievement, while recognising the diligence and commitment they applied to complete this course,” Professor Allison said.
“Already these graduates have begun reinvigorating the Papua New Guinea fisheries industry by applying new skills into their respective workplaces to drive improved research and project management capacity.
“Specifically, they have acquired knowledge and skills in leadership, communication, critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration, and we are proud to see them forging futures as fisheries scientists who now have a skillset to help steer this industry towards positive long-term outcomes.”
Since the project was established in 2014, University staff predominantly based at the Cradle Coast campus have travelled to Papua New Guinea to facilitate four-day intensive learning and assessment activities as the students worked through four post-graduate units.
In December last year the first cohort graduated in absentia, at a formal ceremony hosted by the University of Tasmania’s Cradle Coast campus.
Benthly Sabub, one of the graduates to stand tall at this month’s celebration event thanked the University’s staff for their support, and highlighted the importance of the qualification.
“The certification in this training will be a stepping stone for me to further my studies in the field of science and also management of fishery resources,” Mr Sabub said.
An eighteenth student was presented with a Certificate of Completion as part of the celebration event.
Building Research and Project Management Skills in Fisheries Staff in Papua New Guinea is funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and delivered by the University of Tasmania in partnership with the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) in Papua New Guinea.
To date, 45 students from Papua New Guinea have enrolled in the course, with the project due for completion at the end of 2017.