Sunday, February 7, 2010
First West Papuan male lawyer graduates in PNG
WHO CAN spend 17 years being a refugee struggling to get a residential status in PNG and at the same time battle with illnesses yet become a lawyer?
Walters Mallo, 39, still looks young and is very brave in achieving his goal despite difficulties faced in life. Walters left Skou village, Jayapura and came to PNG in 1967 with his parents as refugees and stayed in Lombrum refugee camp in Manus. Four years later they were given a residential status and his father was accepted to work in an oil palm block in Kimbe.
He started his education there and completed his secondary education in 1986. He later graduated with a diploma in accounting at the Divine Word Institute in 1989. In 1990 he attended University of Papua New Guinea as an Arts student and later in 1992 he entered the Law school but due to him being seriously ill he left school. He came back to UPNG in 1999 and graduated in 2000, however, he could not make it to the Legal Training Institute (LTI) due to severe illness again, so he left. Finally after 16 years of his wait, he came back to LTI last year (2009) and graduated as lawyer on Wednesday.
He is the first West Papuan male to be a lawyer in PNG and third person from his area to attain a law certificate. Two of her first cousins, both females are also lawyers in PNG. Rosie Suwae is a lawyer with Telikom PNG and Tabitha Suwae is a lawyer with the Ombudsman Commission. He said all three of them have came through the same way and are lawyers.
He thanked this country (PNG) for giving him hope after a very challenging and long journey. He also thanked his wife from East New Britain, his four children and his close family members for giving him support especially in school fees. He appreciated the friends in made in PNG for giving him support like money and food to complete his study.
He is now ready to work with the PNG legal fraternity and he is now challenged and ready to help West Papua achieve freedom.