Foreign Minister The Hon Julie Bishop MP addresses the Burnet Institute event at Parliament House, Canberra.
Australian Foreign Minister The Hon Julie Bishop MP and Federal Opposition Leader The Hon Bill Shorten MP were among guests at Parliament House in Canberra for Burnet Institute’s celebration of achievements in health in Papua New Guinea (PNG) since Independence.
Ms Bishop used the occasion to launch the Australian Government’s new Health For Development Strategy while Mr Shorten said Australia has a moral obligation to do more to assist PNG.
Mr Shorten singled out Burnet’s Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies program as the kind of ‘difference-making’ initiative that can help to bridge inequality.
“If more Australians hear that a woman in childbirth in PNG is 80-times more likely to die than an Australian woman, and that 5,000 babies in PNG will die in the first month of life, the moral obligation to do more will become crystal clear,” Mr Shorten said.
IMAGE: Papua New Guinea High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Charles Lepani
Burnet Director and CEO, Professor Brendan Crabb AC said it was an honour to host Ms Bishop and Mr Shorten and other distinguished guests.
“It’s wonderful to have the Foreign Minister and Opposition leader help us recognise 40 years since the independence of PNG and for them to speak so positively about that nation, its achievements and of the close and enduring partnership with Australia,” Professor Crabb said.
IMAGE: Deputy Secretary for Health PNG, Dr Paison Dakulala and Professor Brendan Crabb AC
Other speakers at the event included Papua New Guinea High Commissioner, His Excellency Mr Charles Lepani, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AM, and Deputy Secretary for Health PNG, Dr Paison Dakulala.