DIVINE WORD UNIVERSITY
Mr O’Neill was speaking as the guest of honour at DWU’s 31st graduation ceremony at the Madang campus earlier this month.
He said members of parliament and public servants alone cannot develop the country and needed all citizens, including fresh university graduates to contribute.
“I need, and our government and our nation, need your support and involvement,” the prime minister told the graduating class.
Mr O’Neill urged the university graduates to aspire to be successful in life.
“I want to see a nation of people – and especially young people – who have ambition, a thirst for success, a desire to achieve,” he said.
Mr O’Neill was among a distinguished list of dignitaries that included members of parliament, the Australian deputy high commissioner Margaret Adamson, DWU Council members, visiting academics, bureaucrats, business people and clergy.
Mr O’Neill said the government is growing the economy to enable more university graduates and other citizens to participate.
“What our government is doing to help you, and other young and not so young citizens, is to grow our economy through a confident and expanding private sector,” the prime minister said.
“In part we are doing that by linking training and job creation for our own people to the approvals for of major resource developments,” he added.
The prime minister paid tribute to the contribution of the Christian churches in nation-building and acknowledged the work of the Catholic church, citing DWU as a fine example.
DWU President Fr Jan Czuba said the university has always supported government policy like other universities. He said the testament of DWU’s contribution is the graduation of 1,741 people (50.3 % female and 49.7% male) – the highest number in its short history.
“It is a great contribution that this university is making to the development of human resources in Papua New Guinea,” Fr Czuba said.
He said the graduates were “idealistic and committed people who will drive the economic, cultural and social progress.