The main speaker, former Papua New Guinea Governor-General Sir Paulias Matane, had arrived in Madang on Monday to be greeted at the airport by the university community and a welcome dance by Tolai students.
The symposium began at 8.30am in the Memorial Auditorium with a prayer led by DWU Chaplain Fr Giorgio and welcome remarks by DWU President Fr Jan Czuba. Sir Paulias had arrived at 7:55. “Even though he is old, he is always on time,” Fr Harry remarked.
Sir Paulias opened the function with a talk on Christian human rights. His speech was very clear on the rights of Christian and the proper use of God-given wisdom.
He stated that PNG must honour the fact that it is a Christian country and people must stop living in un-Christian ways.
“If we used the rights in a proper manner, according to the Christian principles, we will see the real value of the rights of the person and these problems will be minimised,” he said.
“The church as well as government must seriously consider the rights of the people of the nation.”
There were five more speakers who spoke about different aspects of human rights including such topics as Constitutional rights, the right to Information and the rights of people with disabilities.
After his speech, Sir Paulias was escorted back to the airport for his flight back to Rabaul.
The afternoon session featured a panel discussion followed by questions. Many questions were asked and many more unasked because of time. In general, participants felt it was a beneficial symposium that helped them understand more about human rights.
Professor Pam Norman, the Academic Vice President of DWU commented that the symposium was well organised and the timing was perfect.
The students and the staff of the Arts Faculty praised Sir Paulias for his simple but profound message - and also for his excellent time management.