SIX UNIVERSITY students have been awarded with Archer Leadership Scholarships, funded by the Kokoda Track Foundation, which aims to foster the next generation of Papua New Guinean leaders.

The scholarships support final year tertiary students on a year-long, intensive, experiential leadership development program.

The program provides students with academic tuition support, educational resources, mentoring, community development and work experience placements, support to conduct a community project, and participation in a two-week leadership exchange program in Australia.

The Kokoda Track Foundation said that over 50 applications were received, with the winners meeting selection criteria including academic excellence, promising leadership skills, and commitment to improving their communities and the nation.

The 2015 Archer Leadership Scholarship recipients are Sebangaz Siming (Business and Accounting, University of PNG), Ethel Heagi (Law, UPNG), Matthew Adadikam (Law, UPNG), Wilma Mavea (Biology, UPNG), Sam Kaima (Chemistry, UPNG), and Amy Kuli (International Studies, Divine Word University).

Kokoda Track Foundation chief executive Genevieve Nelson said it became more difficult every year to select the winners.

“When I hear these students passionately speak about leadership and the changes needed in Papua New Guinea, I am extremely hopeful and excited about PNG’s future.”

Scholarship recipient Matthew Adadikam aims to make the most of the experience.

“I want to make a difference and create a better future for my country and this scholarship will assist me to do that. Thank you for giving me this opportunity.”

A total of 30 people have now competed the Archer leadership program, with the group having established an alumni association in Papua New Guinea.