A group of five Lasallian students and one of their teachers from Port Moresby are visiting Australia for the first time to attend a student gathering this week in Sydney.
The PNG Lasallian students are entering their final year at the Jubilee Catholic Secondary School and the Hohola Youth Development Centre and are looking forward to meeting fellow students and teachers from Australia and New Zealand at the Lasallian Student Leadership Seminar.
The seminar is being held at Collaroy on Sydney's scenic northern beaches and will include keynote presentations from distinguished New Zealand De La Salle Brother Sir Pat Lynch and the Chief Executive Officer of the Lasallian Foundation Miranda Chow.
The four day event is aimed at fostering leadership skills for senior secondary students to help them fulfil their roles as Lasallian Youth Leaders and potentially later on as Youth Ministers.
One of the students, Joanne, from Jubilee Secondary School is hoping to study law next year at the University of Papua New Guinea.
"We are so happy to be here and have the opportunity to network with other Lasallians from neighbouring countries", she explains.
"It will be a great way to broaden our leadership skills and implement what we learn here in our schools back in PNG".
Joanne's teacher, Elizabeth, says many of the students have met senior secondary students from Lasallian schools in Australia undertaking immersion programs in PNG.
"But we'd now love to see more student and teacher exchanges to allow more PNG students and teachers to also spend time in Australian schools", Elizabeth said.
A student from Hohola Youth Development Centre, Lemuel, explained how it was common to see students walk up to an hour and a half from remote villages to attend school in Port Moresby.
Lemuel is hoping to study civil engineering and work in the mining industry in PNG, while another Jubilee student, Rodrick is aiming for a tertiary course in medicine.
The students and staff are talented singers with the three students from Hohola joining in a school song during their visit to the Provincial office in Bankstown.
The group also sang a beautiful devotion to Our Lady during their visit to the Provincial Office.
The PNG students are all looking forward to major celebrations in May to mark the 70th anniversary of the De La Salle Brothers' mission work in the country.