Visiting Pacific journalists connect with Australia’s women leaders


A group of 11 journalists from southwest Pacific countries have met Australian politicians and business leaders as part of a professional development program on news media and the role of women in the economy.

In Canberra, the group had discussions with Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Ambassador for Women and Girls Natasha Stott Despoja, as well as business, community and journalism leaders.

The five-week program, which started on Monday 28 April, is being run by the Melbourne-based Asia Pacific Journalism Centre under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia Awards scheme.

Journalists taking part are from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu.

In Albury Wodonga, the journalists will participate in a roundtable discussion on women and agriculture with federal independent MP Cathy McGowan and other rural women.

APJC director John Wallace said the program recognises the role news media can play in building economic literacy and helping Pacific women gain access to economic and leadership opportunities.

“Limited economic and leadership opportunities for women impede long-term development in the Pacific,” he said.

“This program responds to the need for Pacific news media to support the rights and needs of women in their communities.”

Key elements of the program are a women and leadership seminar, business journalism workshops, professional visits and a news media attachment.