Jayapura, Jubi – Australia Deputy Ambassador Justin Lee visited Papua and Papua Barat provinces to observe several education and economic development projects.
“I visited Manokwari yesterday and today I come to Jayapura, because of close relations between Australia and Indonesia,” he told reporters in Jayapura on Wednesday (6/4/2016).
For education, Lee told reporters he observed a project implemented by UNICEF to help pupils of 1st and 3rd grades to learn the reading and writing.
“It is a very interesting program, because we want to improve education in Indonesia,” he said.
According to him, on Wednesday (6/4/2016), he also would see the capability of rural government in running the village funds in cooperation with the Indonesian Government though Kontak program. In addition, he said, the embassy was also interested to strengthen the economic relation; moreover the Australian Government has open the new office of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta and the Australian Consulate in Makassar.
“Currently we have the Consult there, which is to strengthen the economic relation between Australia and Indonesia for the Eastern region,” he said.
Besides education, said Justin Lee, the embassy was also interested with the economic and tourism activities in Papua. He said there is one million tourists from Australia came to Indonesia and mostly to Bali. But the Indonesian Government wants those tourists to visit another part of Indonesia, such as Papua.
“In Papua, there is a beautiful and famous place, like Raja Ampat. I heard there are eleven thousand of tourists visited there, and made it more well-known, but the facilities and infrastructures have not built and its environment should be protected,” he said.
In the future, the Australian Government expects the tourism site of Raja Ampat could be a destination for Australian citizens, as well as other places in Papua.
“In tourism sector, I think Papua also has the opportunity,” he said. He added the Australian Government also has good relation in the education sector, and up to now it remains to provide the Australia Award Scholarship for undergraduate and master programs in Australian universities.
“Up to now there are about four thousand people who study in Australia and this year we provide scholarship for 200 hundred students from all over of Indonesia. But we also expect the local people here to send the application,” he said.
Meanwile, the Indonesian Minister for Women Empowerment and Child Protection Yohana Yembise said each year the graduates from Papua who studied at the universities in Australia conducted meeting with the Australian Embassy to exchange ideas and provide feedback on development issues in Papua.
“The Ambassador always want to know about the development issues in Papua, moreover, we are coming from many field of study, therefore this collaboration could be optimal through the Australian graduates,” said Yembise who also graduated from the university in Australia. (Alexander Loen/rom)