JCU students travel to PNG on New Colombo Plan

21st June 2018

New Colombo Plan | Study Cairns

Four Australian students from James Cook University (JCU) in Cairns have travelled to Papua New Guinea to study as part of the Australian Government’s prestigious New Colombo Plan (NCP).

Aidan Wright, Chelsea O’Brien, Christopher Black and Kathryn Cann, are all Cairns students undertaking JCU’s Human Movement – Sports Science Mobility Project.JCU was one of the first to embrace the NCP partnerships with PNG Universities, the first sports science program to take place in PNG.

The four students and their two lecturers will complete a two-week study- program with High Performance Sport Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea first hosted NCP students in 2015 and since then a total of 45 students have studied in the country through NCP mobility, internship and scholar programs.

The Cairns NCP group was formally welcomed to PNG by the Australian Deputy Head of Mission in Port Moresby at a reception at the Australian High Commission.

‘We are delighted to welcome the students from James Cook University to PNG to further their study and work experience, while deepening their understanding of Australia’s closest neighbour,’ Australia’s Deputy Head of Mission to Papua New Guinea, Caitlin Wilson, said.

‘This is a unique opportunity for the students to learn about the Asia-Pacific, to build cultural understanding and to establish friendships that can last a lifetime,’ she said.

‘NCP gives young Australians a unique overseas opportunity to meet local people and exchange experiences, this has been the most valued experience of NCP students to PNG.’

NCP is a signature initiative of the Australian Government, which aims to increase knowledge and understanding of the Indo-Pacific in Australia, by supporting Australian undergraduates to study and undertake internships in the region.

The group will work closely with PNG’s national athletes and staff of High Performance Sport Papua New Guinea. Director of HP Sport PNG Mr Aaron Alsop recognises the contribution the program will make towards both Australia and Papua New Guinea.

‘We are excited to be hosting the JCU NCP delegation in Port Moresby. This program enhances the existing relationships we have worked to develop and enhance since our HP Sport PNG project began 4 years ago. We appreciate the support given to facilitate what we hope to be the first of many similar initiatives.’

‘Our staff at HP Sport PNG embrace continual learning and this provides a sustainable option to support their professional development. We also believe that providing the opportunity for Australian students to be immersed in a HP environment, working side by side with PNG elite athletes is an experience often hard to come by in Australia.’

‘It’s a win-win partnership for both Australia and Papua New Guinea which we hope will lay the platform for more discussion on implementing sport education in PNG.’

This project hopes to encourage other university partnerships with HP Sport PNG under the NCP program in other allied health. The project will bring expertise to support the development and experience for the JCU students and local High-Performance staff, enhance the training environment for PNG elite athletes and build knowledge in local staff including coaches and other sport volunteers.

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