Remarks on the 48th anniversary of PNG Independence celebration at PNGNRI campus

On behalf of the PNGNRI Council and management, I welcome you all to the 48th Independence Day Celebration for Papua New Guinea (PNG) here at PNGNRI. First of all, we give Praise and Thanks to Almighty God for his unwavering love and care for us as a nation and as a people, before Independence, at Independence in 1975 and up to now and into the future. God has blessed us with gifts and talents and the future of our nation depends on what we do with these gifts and talents.

This coming Saturday, 16th September 2023, will mark 48 years since PNG gained its political independence from Australia. As in any National Day, this occasion marks a time of reflection for all Papua New Guineans and friends from overseas, for PNG’s journey of nationhood over the last 48 years. We acknowledge the important role that our founding fathers, led by the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, who led us into political independence. Through their God-given knowledge and wisdom, our founding fathers negotiated for and obtained Independence for our nation, without bloodshed.

Our NRI theme for this Independence Celebration is “Together We Can”, which speaks of Unity, and resonates well with the famous saying that “United We Stand and Divided We Fall”. This particular theme was actually the basis for PNG Independence. PNG is such a diverse country with many languages and cultures. With this diversity, around Independence time, there were issues where certain parts of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea wanted to gain their own Independence. However, our founding fathers banded together and through the Melanesian spirit of consensus-based decisions, managed to bring together everyone (with diverse cultures and languages) and achieved Independence as a United
Papua New Guinea nation.

What happened at the time of Independence, in terms of the need for Unity, is still applicable in the current times for different aspects of our country’s development or progress. First is that the different levels of Government (National, Provincial, and LLGs) must work together to achieve the development aspirations of our country because together these Governments can do a lot! Second, is that PNG is not an island, but we depend on what happens externally in terms of trade, investment, and political alliances, hence, collaboration with our neighboring countries and the global community is vital because together we can achieve much!

Third is that the work of PNGNRI is dependent on our collaboration with other organisations, be it in the public (Government) sector or private sector. Our motto of Inquire, Inform, and Influence, can only be achieved if we collaborate strongly with our key stakeholders because, together we can!

Last but not least, within the Institute, there are different functional areas (Council, management, research programs, sections, and hosted projects). Each of these functional areas plays a distinct role but must work in unison in order for us to achieve the results or outcomes we aspire to achieve within our core mandate of applied socio-economic research. When we work together as Team PNGNRI, we can achieve a lot because together we can! Welcome once again and Happy Independence celebrations today here at PNGNRI and over the long weekend at other venues that you will be attending.
God Bless Papua New Guinea and God Bless Us All!

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