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Reform group issues 10-point program

The grassroots group seeking to reform the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia has issued a ten-point program to guide its activities leading up to and beyond the April 2009 Association election. The statement, authorised by convenor Phil Ainsworth, has been sent to hundreds of PNGAA members and other people known to have a close affiliation with PNG.

The statement says the PNGAA Reform Group will field a full panel of 17 candidates at the next Association election due in April and has invited existing committee members who agree with its objectives to join the group.

The policy issued today calls upon PNGAA Reform Group candidates:

(1) To instill a spirit of reform in the Association in support of the proposed objectives, especially that of promoting and encouraging a close relationship between the people of Australia and the people of Papua New Guinea.

(2) To commit to the continuing growth and expansion of the Association.

(3) To perform the duties of a member of the committee in a collaborative and harmonious way.

(4) To embrace the interests of all members including people who need support and who want to avail themselves of fellowship and social networking as well as people who want to realise other goals through their membership.

(5) To encourage Papua New Guinean residents of Australia to join and become an important part of the Association.

(6) To adopt and faithfully implement new objectives proposed for the Association.

(7) To make the national committee a body representative of the broad membership of the PNGAA irrespective of factors of geography, vocation and demography.

(8) To encourage any current Committee member who feels comfortable in joining this Reform Group to do so.

(9) To ensure that the 2009 election for PNGAA committee members is conducted by a postal ballot of all eligible PNGAA members.

(10) To ensure the Reform Group’s panel of candidates seeking election to the national committee of the PNGAA at the April 2009 election agree to give effect to these objectives.

The columns of PNG ATTITUDE are available for readers to comment on this issue. If you wish to get in touch with Phil Ainsworth personally, you can send him an email here.


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Diane Bohlen

PNGAA is becoming more interesting every day.

Rod Hard

The "reform group" seems the only sensible approach to take. I have no doubt that the majority of the "old guard" have given much of their working life to PNG - and it was their personal contributions and creativity in an era of minimal communication and effective Government involvement that developed the "Territory" towards Independence in '75.

I look forward to the articles in "Una Voce", as a record of adventure that we will never see again,and can understand their discomfort at what they see as a "hijacking" of their Association in taking a more pro-active approach towards PNG / Australian relations.

Surely the PNGAA can be structured so as to provide involvement for all who wish to be members....if you don't like what you see, switch to another channel !!! After 14 years in PNG, I have not been back for over 30 years, preferring to remember it as it was when I left.

My contribution to the many projects that Keith Jackson had in mind may have been limited due to personal preference....but Keith has always been a forward thinking guy and he has attempted to take some of the marketing concepts / strategies which he has used to great success in the business world and revitalise an association. The PNGAA was a ready made just required a 'remix'.

I am sure that sanity will prevail and there will be a place for those who wish to extend the association....and the many who gave decades of their life to a primitive land long before any of us ever got involved.

Bob Davis

They've got my vote - bring on the election!

Don Hook

Good on you Phil! I support the Reform Group and wish you well.

John Pasquarelli

The use of 'broad church' has set all my alarm bells ringing for all the wrong reasons! Stupid Howard coined this and all the other political arseholes have latched on to it! It's PC polliespeak pure and simple.

I'll be watching VERY closely especially to see if efforts are made to get funding from you know who .

Joe Crainean

Sounds great and should encourage much support I believe.

Philip Fitzpatrick

The reform group sounds great and I'll support it as much as I can. My only concern is that people like Fred Kaad don't get damaged in the process.

I still go to PNG every so often to work and have many friends there. The lack of infrastructure etc is very sad. For instance we tried to help the hospital at Awaba on the Aramia River in the Western Province get a supply of drugs last year without much success. The last order in 2006 was still not delivered.

The other thing I'd like the PNGAA to do is start publishing sensible historical accounts, memoirs, photographic records etc.

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