PAPUA NEW GUINEA Eastern Highlands province last week received most needed acknowledgement by the Australian Government for championing the nation's development policies.
Australian High Commissioner Ian Kemish and Head of AusAID Stephanie Copus-Camphbell expressed this to Governor Malcolm Kela-Smith, his Provincial Executive Council, Provincial Administrator Munare Uyassi and senior managers.
Mr. Kemish commended the government and administration under Mr Kela-Smith and Mr Uyassi for providing a strong leadership in moving the province forward.
"Eastern Highlands is the province that has provided a strong leadership from both the political and administrative level with good ideas to move forward in term of development and service delivery," he said.
"Long dispela tasol na mi hamamas long kam long Goroka fest taim mi stap long PNG olsem Hai Komisina (Therefore I am happy to come to Goroka in my first tour outside of Port Moresby since being in the country as High Commissioner."
The High Commissioner led a high level delegation including Minister Counsellor for AusAID PNG Ms Copus-Camphbell, Ms. Lousie Baker, Second Secretary Foreign Affairs, and wife Ms. Rokanne Martens were on the familiarisation visit to the province. This was his first visit outside of Port Moresby after staying in the country for three weeks.
Mr. Kemish said Eastern Highlands was doing well by adopting the developments strategies of the government and development partners like AusAID and progressing well ahead to practically implementing them.
"Eastern Highlands is a leading province this is doing very well in implementing government directives and development policies and has a good understanding with us, AusAID, so we choose to come here first," said Ms. Copus-Camphbell.
The Australian heads in PNG praised the province for strong political stability, good governance, proper management of public funds, improved public service performances, effective service delivery and development of new initiatives and ideas.
Governor Kela-Smith thanked the High Commissioner and Head of AusAID for recognising his government and administrations effort in managing and improving the service delivery magnesium in the province.
He also thanked them for the support given by Australian Government through AusAID to partner the developments of the province.
After a lunch hour briefing with the Governor and the Provincial Administration, Mr. Kemish and his delegation went on air with NBC Radio EH, then drove to Bihute Jail Camp and later to PNG Institute of Medical Research to see AusAID funded projects. He also had dinner with the Goroka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The High Commissioner also launched a four-year coffee project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research with the PNG Coffee Industry Corporation.
The delegation later met with NGOs, Care International, Save the Children, Clinton Foundation, Oxfam, Appropriate Technology Projects, Eastern Highlands Family Voice that were funded through the PNG-Australia development partnership to discuss the challenges on HIV-AIDS in the province.
They also visited the Asaro Health Clinic outside of Goroka that is run by the Clinton Foundation and departed for Port Moresby on Thursday morning.