SIX PAPUA New Guinean university students have been awarded Archer Leadership Scholarships in the sixth-year anniversary of the program.

Run by the Kokoda Track Foundation, the scholarships aim to find and foster the next generation of PNG leaders and are funded by the estate of Fred P. Archer, an Australian who spent 54 years in PNG as a copra plantation owner.

The program gives students 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 over a year.

Over 60 applications were received from final year tertiary students across the country, with the six selected on the basis of very strict selection criteria including academic excellence, promising leadership skills, and commitment to improving their communities and the nation.

The 2016 Archer Leadership Scholarship recipients are: Jerome Sesega (Law, UPNG), Petra Seinian (Biology, UPNG), Johnetta Lili (Accouting, UPNG), Kelly Samof (Economics, UPNG), Sylvia Kaski (Business Studies, UDWUPNG), and Jeremy John (Information & Communication Sciences, UPNG).

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

“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,” she said.