Support for 'new ASOPA' from India
25 February 2008
Colin L Yarham
The redevelopment of the ASOPA site in the manner suggested in the February issue of The Mail is enthusiastically supported. As one person indicated, to justify the cost of redevelopment of the site, apart from the think-tank periods, use of the facility could be extended for training courses for overseas and indigenous personnel.
In addition, there is a wide ranging number of NGOs operating out of Australia attempting to undertake overseas work, who really need training of in-house employees in the realities of the work attempted.
The one thing that would be a requirement is the development of the old ASOPA innovative, open, can-do attitude that so pervaded the old institution.
I was formerly a lecturer at ASOPA [1966-69]. Norm Donnison had lectured me in teachers’ college and, like everything else he did, he also was a very enthusiastic and competent rugby league coach. Warmly remembered.
I work with health literacy in developing countries. I’m currently working in cooperation with the Tamil Nadu state government to develop a comprehensive health, life skills and social development syllabus for Grades 1 to 12 called the Schools Total Health Program (STHP). It is reaching some 14 million children and youths.
Two Russian professors declared STHP to be 'the best program in the world' and, at the invitation of the Education Minister, I was sent as World health organisation adviser to the Russian Federation to initiate the program there.
The Union Government in India now wishes to introduce the program to all states and is financing its further development.
UNICEF also wants to introduce the program in Kyrgyzstan and an invitation from the Guidance, Counselling and Youth Development Centre for Africa conducted by the Ministers of Education of 32 African Countries has resulted in a co-operative venture commencing in that continent from the Centre in Malawi.
Dr Yarham is director of Health Education & Promotion International Inc. He is currently based in Chennai, India.
Photo: Colin Yarham handing over the manual that has helped educate more than 14 million Indian Children to Lee Evans. Picture: Samantha Emanuel, North Shore Times
If you support the redevelopment of ASOPA as a national and regional development studies centre [see February’s The Mail under ‘NEWSLETTER – THE MAIL’ in the left hand column], please send a letter of support to Hon Duncan Kerr, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Parliament House, PO Box 6022, Canberra ACT 2600.
Re: 'New ASOPA'. March 8-9 Sydney Morning Herald carried an article referring to a security conference held towards the end of 2007 on 'Strategies for Winning the Long War', which was organised by Ross Babbage of the Kokoda Foundation.
The story mentioned the so called 'Arc of Instability' to Australia's north and reflected on Australia's responsibility to try to rectify this, especially in the light of these states possibly being utilised in some way by transnational criminals, including terrorists. The emphasis to achieve this was not on military solutions, but on improving health, education,governance,culture and development.
Babbage apparently floated the idea of a peace corps to be deployed alongside army and police. What I found interesting in the context of all this, and of comments made in the February 'Mail' to redevelop ASOPA, was a suggestion by Rory Medcalf of the Lowy Foundation of "revisiting the Australian School of Pacific Administration' a highly successful institution that underpinned Australia's stewardship of PNG until 1975".
Posted by: Allyn Hicks | 10 March 2008 at 10:32 AM
Re the 'new ASOPA' proposal. I received a reply to my submission from Patrick Cole in Foreign Affairs Pacific Region Branch. He claims to be considering role and effectivness the 'School of the Pacific' for training purposes.,
Posted by: Bill Wilson | 07 March 2008 at 01:31 AM