Members of the PNG NRI Council
The NRI Management Team - Director Dr Osborne Sanida, Deputy Director Research, Associate Professor Eugene Ezebilo, Deputy Director Corporate Services, Dr Esther Lavu
The Guest of Honour - Mrs Jennifer Parina and her family
Staff of the Institute

Good afternoon. This day marks a historic and momentous occasion for the PNG National Research Institute (PNG NRI). And it is an honour for me to address the gathering and to join you all for the unveiling of the naming of the Support Services Building.

In 2016, the PNG NRI Council made the bold move to name a building after the Institute’s long serving Council Chairman, the late Sir Henry Chow. The Sir Henry Chow Building when it is built, will serve as one of the iconic buildings within the PNG Knowledge Hub Precinct. The building has been delayed due to funding constraints.

Because of the precedent that was set, the PNG NRI Council, on the 4th of August 2017, endorsed a Policy on “Naming of Buildings and Assets”. The policy provides the Institute with the opportunity to publicly recognise and pay tribute to exceptional contributions, whether philanthropic or in the form of meritorious service, which honour PNG NRI’s heritage and legacy, and support the advancement of the Institute.

PNG NRI has the authority to name or rename buildings and physical assets to honour significant contributions and significant benefactions to the Institute. The PNG NRI Council has the authority to approve proposals for honorific or philanthropic naming.

Based on the policy, the Council on 4th August 2017, decided to name the newly refurbished Research Building after its long serving Director, Dr Thomas Webster. We were pleased to open the building in February 2018 and the researchers are now using the new facilities.

On 29th March 2018, the PNG NRI management made a submission to the Council to have the Support Services Building named after Mrs Jennifer Parina in recognition of Jennifer’s long term service and loyalty to PNG NRI’s cause. The Council approved the name. The Jennifer Parina Building houses two divisions that support research: the Knowledge Management Division is on the ground floor, and the Corporate Services Division is on the first floor. On the second floor, is the Office of the Director and the PNG NRI Council Boardroom. Jennifer has set the benchmark for the non-research staff or support staff. Therefore, it is fitting that the building is named after her.

Now let me pause here, and take you back to 19th February 1980. This was the date that a young woman by the name of Jennifer Parina walked into the Institute to serve as a Personal Assistant to the Director. Forty (40) years later, she now leaves the Institute and her current role as the Editorial Unit Leader. She is the unsung hero. Often times when you read the final research reports, you will not find the name Jennifer Parina. But it is people like her who are always behind the scenes, making sure that the reports are edited and formatted to a professional level. The role of an editor, is not easy. It involves painstaking work, sitting hours infront of a manuscript, and trying to correct the errors so that when the final product is delivered – it is perfect. It is hard to imagine or count the number of manuscripts that came past Jennifer over the years and the hours she spent going through each one of them.

It is such stories that will be told whenever someone asks why the building has a certain name. It is her legacy and we applaud Jennifer for her unwavering support to the Institute.

Thank you!


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