More than 70 high-potential public servants from across
Papua New Guinea have completed the Future Leaders Program.
The group of emerging leaders were awarded certificates at a
ceremony in Port Moresby on Friday (eds. 29 November).
The ceremony featured remarks by Taies Sansan, Acting Department of Personnel Management Secretary, and Andrew Egan, Australian High Commission Minister Counsellor.
The Future Leaders Program provides vocational training that
is tailor-made for Papua New Guinea’s public sector, offering a pathway for
public servants to make the step up to decision-making positions.
It is centred on the development of core skills for the
public service, including leadership capabilities, strategic thinking and
Though the 2019 courses were run in Port Moresby, more than
two-thirds of course participants were from provincial and district agencies.
It is also underpinned by the principles of gender equity,
social inclusion and values-based leadership. More than 200 public servants
have now completed the program since 2017 and over 50 per cent were women.
The nine-month program included workplace projects – a key
component of the program that encourages each participant to their classroom
learning to the work environment and make positive change within their
The Future Leaders Program is a key component of the Pacific
Leadership and Governance Precinct – a partnership between Papua New Guinea and
Australia that is supporting the development of ethical, capable and inclusive
public sector leaders.
The surgical facemasks permanently affixed to staff on the wards at Daru General Hospital are a constant reminder that they are at the epicentre of the fight against tuberculosis (TB).
With nearly three decades of experience in the health sector, Galeva Sere understands all too well that keeping a hospital running smoothly is a matter of life and death.
In 2017, Galeva took on the position of corporate services director at the hospital. It was her first foray in to management and, having spent 25 years’ on the clinical side of the sector, she knows how important operations are to a functional hospital.
“It’s very challenging work,” Galeva said, “The staff have different responsibilities and different levels of experience – some are still learning.”
“Previously the hospital functioned at the level of a health centre, but things changed because of the TB – there were more patients and a greater demand for doctors.
“We have to make sure the standards at the hospital are kept up and that doctors have all the materials they need.”
Galeva’s areas of responsibility include human resources, accounts and budgeting, maintenance, transport, security and hygiene – all central to keeping the hospital operational, and ensuring the safety of patients and staff.
Her appointment was part of a process of revitalisation, led by Chief Executive Officer Orpah Tugo, which has seen the facility upgraded to a level five hospital.
The number of staff tripled under the new structure and Galeva, with ever increasing responsibilities thrust upon her, was selected to take part in the Future Leaders Program to support her professional growth.
The Future Leaders Program was launched in 2017 as part of the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct and is specifically designed to strengthen the core skills of emerging public sector leaders.
Galeva felt her participation was timely and provided an opportunity to develop her leadership capabilities, strategic thinking and policy development skills.
“The Future Leaders Program gave us light on how to manage our areas and be responsible for our duties,” she said.
“It was very helpful and very challenging. We enhanced our skillsets and were given tools to be more competent and thoughtful in addressing issues.”
The nine-month program is supported by the Papua New Guinea – Australia Partnership and Galeva attended three intensive training blocks in Port Moresby, which were run by the University of Queensland and local training partners.
On each trip to the nation’s capital she undertook coursework and, perhaps as important, shared experiences and collaborated with public sector peers from around the country.
Public servants from the health sector have represented nearly half of all Future Leaders Program (FLP) participants. The majority of Galeva’s FLP peers were from health sector agencies in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, East New Britain, East Sepik, Madang, Manus, Milne Bay, New Ireland, Southern Highlands, West New Britain, Western and Western Highlands.
“There were opportunities to meet others and exchange ideas – this included having lecturers that came from different disciplines, departments and countries – I learned so much in there.”
“I also learned about the importance of networking and partnerships – in terms of sharing ideas, knowledge and skills.
“Working together, we improved our ways of planning strategically, managing projects and dealing with stakeholders.”
As part of the FLP, participants were also tasked to create their own projects to apply back at their workplaces and create positive change within their organisations.
Galeva immediately saw the opportunity to ensure the clinical risks related to infection control at Daru General Hospital were being addressed – a topic particularly pertinent given the very real TB threat faced each day by hospital staff.
“My workplace project is to ensure that critical risks related to infection control are properly addressed and managed at Daru General Hospital,” Galeva said.
“I have to implement risk management – improving the quality of patient care and the well-being of our staff.
“I drafted a TB policy that has been circulated for input and improvement from a variety of stakeholders, including the Department of Health. That’s something that we are happy has taken place.”
The infectious nature of TB and the severe consequences of contraction mean that cleaning and hygiene are vital at Daru General Hospital.
“When it comes to risk it’s not just about clinical staff – it’s about the hygienists too – and that’s my area of responsibility,” she continued.
“It’s all about detail – they need to know how to clean the wards and even wear appropriate attire.”
The way Galeva engages with staff is different now. She’s more patient and encourages them to see the bigger picture.
“They are important and have a role to play in the hospital,” she said. “We have to make sure there is safety in the environment. We are moving faster and being more creative and innovative in our ideas.
“The staff now know what is required of them and can see the positive results. They are taking ownership – it’s their workplace, their hospital and their people.”
Galeva believes the Future Leaders Program enabled her to work more effectively as a manager and be an inspiration as a leader in the fight against TB.
Daru is one of the highest TB burden areas in Papua New Guinea and cases of the extremely-drug resistant TB have also been diagnosed in this area; around 500 new cases are detected each year. TB patients require medication for almost two years.
The Australian government through the Papua New Guinea-Australia partnership has supported improved treatment in Western Province through the establishment of five outreach posts on Daru Island to improve community-based treatment in South Fly and also in Middle Fly.
This improved community-based treatment has seen an increase in the number of people completing their treatment – from around 65 per cent in 2014 to 99 per cent in 2018.
Australia is committed to working with the PNG Government in its response to TB in Western Province and the rest of PNG.
Cathy Sowi’s career has revolved around creating better opportunities for children living with disabilities.
The 42-year old from Kubalia in East Sepik Province is single-minded in her determination to create better opportunities for kids across Papua New Guinea, especially those living with disabilities, a journey she began as a primary school teacher specialised in disability services.
She taught for four years before joining the special education sector to work at resource centres in Wewak, Goroka and Port Moresby, assisting firsthand with the challenges faced by children living with disabilities.
While tutoring special education courses in the Highlands, she took up a Bachelor of Education at the University of Goroka and graduated in 2015, which led to an opportunity to join the National Inclusive Education Unit at the Department of Education in Port Moresby.
Cathy’s role is to improve teacher training and enhance the education of young people with disabilities – ensuring teachers in resource centres receive training they need to fully support children aged 3-12 attain standard basic education. Cathy also works with teachers at all levels of education to improve inclusive education for students.
“I believe it’s the best decision I’ve made because from where I’m sitting now my reach is wider,” Cathy said.
“It’s fun working with children and seeing learning take place. This gives me job satisfaction.”
Cathy now supports resource centres working with children living with disabilities, including four in the National Capital District and 19 in regional areas around the country. The centres ensure teachers are well resourced and trained to deliver basic education to these children.
Her dedication didn’t go unnoticed and in 2018 she was selected to participate in the Future Leaders Program through the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct – a partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia that is supporting the development of ethical, capable leaders.
The Future Leaders Program provides training that is vocational, tailor-made for Papua New Guinea’s public sector and offers a pathway for public servants to make the step up to decision making positions.
Cathy believes the intensive program, which was delivered over a nine-month period, boosted her ongoing work with resource centres to provide more inclusive access to education.
“The Future Leaders Program has been very enriching for me,” she said.
“It has enhanced the way I network and work with stakeholders for more impact.”
A critical component of the Future Leaders Program is a major project that requires participants to apply their learning in the workplace, bringing benefits to both individual and organisation.
Cathy used this opportunity to assess inclusive education programs implemented by three primary schools in the National Capital District and was able to secure 23 Elementary Standard Based Curriculum (SBC) kits for resource centres around the country. This included making links with colleagues in the Curriculum Development Unit and service providers after presenting at a workshop with inclusive education teachers.
“All our resource centres now have SBC kits. This is already a positive step because our teachers are teaching the same curriculum the Department has developed,” she said.
“We are now assisting with teaching and learning materials, teaching strategies and training our teachers on how they can modify and adapt the contents of the SBC kits to suit the needs of the children with disabilities.
“I’m not hoping for big things to happen overnight. I’m happy because I love what I’m doing – it’s part of my job and I can already see improvements taking place at a small-scale and that’s the way to go.”
With the successful completion of her project Cathy showed how to put course theory in to practice.
She is one of 132 public servants who have completed the Future Leaders Program since it was launched in 2017. Women have represented more than half of this number and two-thirds of participants were from provincial and district levels.
The challenging and engaging course program comprised of skills-based training, peer-to-peer learning, participatory exercises, class discussions and academic course work – all aimed at strengthening core public service skills, including leadership capabilities, strategic thinking and policy development.
Training was only part of the program and, as with all Precinct activities, it encouraged the sharing of experiences, networking and collaboration.
The Future Leaders Program is run as collaboration between Precinct partners: the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance, the University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Business and Public Policy and the University of Queensland, and with guidance from the Department of Personnel Management.
It is also underpinned by key PNG Government policies – the Ethics and Values-Based Executive Leadership and Management Capability Framework, and the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy.
Cathy and several other Future Leaders Program participants from the Department of Education have planned to conduct in-house training for staff on the principles ingrained in these policies, sharing their learning within the organisation.
“Am I honest, accountable, respectful, responsible, and am I using my wisdom? Do I act with integrity?” Cathy said, rhetorically echoing the Leadership Capability Framework.
“Coaching and mentoring are very helpful, and I found the six key leadership values challenging. These lessons have helped me a lot,” said Cathy.
Cathy’s drive, perseverance and leadership will see further improvements to inclusive educational practices in Papua New Guinea.
No matter the challenges that come with her role, Cathy believes she is in the right spot and doesn’t plan to stop moving forward now.
Emerging public service leaders have commenced a nine-month leadership training program that will ready them to step-up as decision-makers.
The first group of Future Leaders Program participants for 2019 began training on 25 February to develop core public service skills – including leadership capabilities, strategic thinking and policy development.
The Future Leaders Program is part of the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct, a partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia to support the development of ethical, capable leaders.
It is led by the Department of Personnel Management and Acting Secretary Taies Sansan said the Future Leaders Program was designed specifically for up and coming public sector leaders in PNG.
“We are empowering emerging leaders from all over Papua New Guinea with the tools they need to make a difference for the country,” Ms Sansan said.
“The Future Leaders Program is underpinned by the principles of ethical leadership, gender equity and social inclusion. Participants are selected because they have demonstrated commitment to these values and shown potential as leaders.
“The course is intense and graduates from previous years are now reaping the rewards by applying their learning back in their organisations.”
Since 2017, the Future Leaders Program has been completed by 132 public servants, with two-thirds from the provincial and district levels.
One of the past participants was Rayleen Wally, an accounts examiner with the East Sepik Provincial Health Authority, who said the course was very timely for her as a young public servant still finding her voice.
“To be good, productive public servants – assets in the public sector – we have to face challenges and overcome difficult situations.”
“This course has taught me how to change behaviors, attitudes and practices – how to work cooperatively, achieve the organization’s goals and contribute to the country as a whole.
“The Future Leaders Program is based on ethical values and principles in the workplace. We need to uphold those values for a better public sector workforce and service delivery to the people.”
All participants in the current course work in the health sector, including public servants from both provincial offices and central agencies in Port Moresby.
Public servants should refer to Circular Instruction Number (19/2018)
Applications are now open to public servants in the National and Provincial Governments for the Future Leaders Program, through the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct, which will commence in February 2019.
The Precinct is a partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia that is supporting the development of ethical, capable public sector leaders.
The Future Leaders Program offers leadership training that is tailor-made for the Papua New Guinea public sector and includes:
the opportunity to strengthen core public service skills, including leadership capabilities, strategic thinking and policy development;
a challenging and engaging course program, with a combination of skills-based training, peer-to-peer learning, participatory exercises, class discussions, academic course work and applied workplace projects; and
a fully-funded, nine-month program with 3 x two-week residential learning blocks at the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance in Port Moresby.
For further information and application forms, please contact the Department of Personnel Management (DPM) through:
Mr Vele Ravugamini, Executive Manager – Executive Leadership Development Division –
Phone: 327 6326 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Public servants should refer to Circular Instruction No. 19 of 2018. Completed application forms and relevant documentation must be provided to DPM by close of business on Wednesday 31 October 2018. Late applications will not be accepted.
If there are difficulties submitting your application, you can also send it to email@example.com
Applicants must be permanent public servants occupying positions from Grades 10 – 14 from the Provinces and Grade 15 – 16 at the National level.
Have five years of relevant work experience, including mid–level management experience.
Recommended and supported by their agency heads to attend the program.
Have demonstrated leadership skills.
Possess a minimum of Grade 10 or Equivalent High School Qualification.
Grade 12 or equivalent High School Qualification desirable.
Completed application forms.
Copy of Curriculum Vitae (CV) detailing duties and responsibilities, demonstrating 5 years of relevant work experience including mid-level management experience.
Certified copies of academic certificates and transcript for all previous high school and university studies.
A letter of recommendation from their agency head.
Applications that do not include the required documentation will not be considered.
Emerging public sector leaders participating in the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct’s Future Leaders program believe they can advance employment opportunities for women throughout the country.
The Future Leaders program is supporting public servants to improve their technical and leadership skills, and to become champions of key policies in the Government of Papua New Guinea, such as the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) policy.
Elisha Peono, a GESI officer with the East New Britain Provincial Health Authority, said the Future Leaders Program is helping to develop strong and ethical leaders that can create more opportunities for marginalised groups in Papua New Guinea.
“The Future Leaders Program is a good combination of the theoretical and practical aspects, and taking part will help me realise my potential,” Mr Peono said.
“When we go out in to the workforce we can be leaders in policy creation and decision making. Gender Equity and Social Inclusion is about improving accessibility to employment and participation in the workforce, particularly to improve the number of women in decision making positions.”
The Precinct is a partnership between Papua New Guinea and Australia to develop capable and ethical public sector leaders who will be able to lead and manage the delivery of fair and impartial government services for all citizens of Papua New Guinea.
The Department of Personnel Management is currently reviewing applications for the second cohort of the Future Leaders program, which is scheduled to begin in May of this year.
Sylvia Gemung, a women’s officer with the Morobe Provincial Administration, said the Future Leaders Program will help her take the step up.
“The Papua New Guinea and Australian Governments are looking at empowering women and getting them active in the upper levels of the public sector,” Ms Gemung said.
“I’m challenged and inspired, and I believe in my heart that after completing this training there will be room for me to get up there.
“This program will help me greatly in implementing government policies at a provincial level.”
The Future Leaders Program has been created specifically for the Papua New Guinea public sector and is based on Ethics and Values-Based Executive Leadership and Management Capability Framework and the Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy. Applicants are awarded places on merit through a competitive assessment process.
It is delivered in collaboration with the University of Papua New Guinea, the Papua New Guinea Institute of Public Administration and the University of Queensland, under the guidance of the Department of Personnel Management and the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology.
Participants undertake a combination of skills-based training, peer-to-peer learning, participatory exercises, class discussions, academic course work, and workplace projects.