A celebration of the Pacific Leadership Programme and what it has achieved was held at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel on Friday evening.
Deputy Prime Minister and a member of the Advisory Panel of the Programme, Fiame Naomi Mataafa, members of the Chamber of Commerce, National Youth Council, Leadership Samoa and W.I.N.L.A. were present. The High Commissioner of Australia, Sue Langford, was also present.
Fiame said the Pacific Leadership Programme had been a significant programme in terms of development and the partnership of the Australian Government and the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa.
“Essentially we are here to say the words about the programme itself but more importantly where do we go from here,” she said.
“It was an interesting initiative looking at the link between development and leadership and the inclusion of an advisory panel that was essentially made up of Pacific islanders/ Pacific leaders, together with our partners in Australia."
“Interestingly enough, there are only two of us remaining who were there from the beginning and it’s Gordon Shroff from New Zealand."
“He is now retired but he was the head of New Zealand foreign affairs during his time he was a member of this advisory panel.”
“That was a very interesting move to have a panel essentially been made up of the representatives of the region and not necessarily of the countries that were benefited but more bringing together wise heads to advise of this project,” she said.
“The programme when it was established had two main streams one was for leadership activities and the other was for research."
“As time went on the research stream decided not to go ahead with the research stream."
“Although the activities in themselves one could say it was research in action although there have been some clear commission pieces of research done through the activity stream."
“Coming back again to the link between development and leadership, the whole concept around collision of leadership was an area that the project focused on."
“When the collection of like-minded people come together to drive a particular concept or particular item and this was one of the key element of the P.L.P."
“If you look at the partnerships that were developed through the leadership programme and the countries where the program was carried out, you will see that most of our partners essentially are organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, National Youth Council, Leadership Samoa and W.I.N.L.A. which became one of the latter partners of the programme."
“Each country has partners with organizations but it is really important that within each country you have leadership forum by which perhaps all the partners could come together and form an umbrella organization to carry the program forward.”
There was also a panel discussion of “Developmental leadership & locally led collective action: Lessons from P.L.P.” between the partners of the programme.
The celebration ended with a cocktail party.