RECIPIENTS of the Kokoda Track Foundation’s (KTF) Archer Leadership Scholarships have returned to Papua New Guinea after a two week leadership program.

The scholarships are awarded annually to a group of six final year tertiary students, enabling them to take part in a two week leadership development program in Sydney and Canberra.

The scholarships include academic tuition and boarding support, educational resources and professional development, mentoring with key PNG and Australian leaders and funding for a community project of the student’s choice.

During their time in Australia, the group met with key government, business and community leaders as well as networking events, visits to community and non-government organisations and participating in work experience placements.

This year saw four of Australia’s leading law firms participate in the program for the first time, with the Sydney offices of Ashurst Australia, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Gadens and De Brennan Tomlinson Pearce Lawyers each hosting a student for a work experience placement.

KTF chief executive Genevieve Nelson said work experience at these law firms was an invaluable experience.

“To have the support of these organisations will strengthen this program even further,” she said.

“We hope to expose the leaders to a wide range of experiences, people, cultures and activities and then work with them to apply any relevant learnings to their own context in PNG.”

Five of the scholarship winners were students from the University of Papua New Guinea (Mathew Adadikam, Ethel Heagi, Sam Kaima, Sebangaz Siming and Wilma Mavea), while there was one student from Divine Word University (Amy Kuli).