Australia/Papua New Guinea — Partnership mission enables cultural exchange with PNG locals

East New Britain res­i­dents are engag­ing more than 250 ADF per­son­nel in cul­tur­al exchanges dur­ing the week-long Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship 2010 (PP10) mis­sion.

“The exchanges and com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice activ­i­ties are an exten­sion of the med­ical, den­tal and engi­neer­ing work that ADF, Unit­ed States and Papua New Guinea mil­i­tary and non-gov­ern­ment per­son­nel are engaged in,” said Com­man­der Paul Scott, Com­mand­ing Offi­cer HMAS Tobruk, the mis­sion com­mand platform.

As part of the activ­i­ties, the ADF per­son­nel have played sport­ing match­es and enjoyed a jazz con­cert and some tra­di­tion­al dancing.

“Our sailors and sol­diers are work­ing side-by-side with local res­i­dents and the wider inter­na­tion­al team—a unique expe­ri­ence for many of them. The chance to learn about the local cul­ture assists them to put their work into con­text,” Com­man­der Scott said.

“The pro­fes­sion­al rela­tion­ships that are forged here will assist the ADF to be bet­ter pre­pared in the event of a nat­ur­al dis­as­ter in the region and an under­stand­ing of the cul­ture can enhance our respons­es in a time of need,” he said. 

Mr Peter Hoare, Stu­dent Body Pres­i­dent at the Papua New Guinea Uni­ver­si­ty of Nat­ur­al Resources and Envi­ron­ment, said locals are forg­ing strong friend­ships and are enjoy­ing engag­ing with the Aus­tralian and Unit­ed States personnel.

“The stu­dents were real­ly hap­py to have the Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship team here for a soc­cer match,” Mr Hoare said. 

“The Aus­tralians and Papua New Guineans played very well. The Amer­i­cans, though, need a bit more coach­ing. All of the stu­dents enjoyed the expe­ri­ence,” he said.

The PP10 team are con­duct­ing engi­neer­ing projects in the region and have treat­ed approx­i­mate­ly 2500 patients since the mis­sion began on 3 Sep­tem­ber. This is the last leg of the six-coun­try PP10 endeavour. 

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Australia 

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