I received a letter yesterday from the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Duncan Kerr [seen here visiting a school in PNG], stating that the School of the Pacific concept is to be considered by the Federal government.
Responding to my submission proposing how such an institution could operate to address critical issues and improve relationships in the region, Mr Kerr said that, under the government’s Pacific Partnerships policy, models like ASOPA will be taken into account.
“The Government is committed to implementing long-term partnerships for development and security with Pacific island countries,” Mr Kerr said. “These partnerships will give the Government scope to … consider the role and effectiveness … of previous models like the Australian School of Pacific Administration.”
Mr Kerr, 56, worked in PNG from 1983-85, where he was Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of Papua New Guinea and Legal Counsel Ombudsman, advising on anti-corruption matters and issues related to administrative law.
The School of the Pacific concept has been publicly supported by a number of prominent individuals including PNG Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane, Assoc Prof Martin Hadlow of the University of Queensland, Phil Charley OAM and former PNG health educator, Bill Wilson.