It is that time of the year in Divine Word University in Papua New Guinea when faculties and departments are busy hosting symposiums and various project presentations.

The symposiums and project presentations are mostly for assessment purposes for students while staff present their research work for their development as academics.

Last Friday 4 October was the turn of two academic departments, Information Systems and Mathematics & Computing Sciences to present their students’ project work.

In the weeks before that, the University hosted the 4th National Environmental Health Symposium spearheaded by the Department of Environmental Health, the Liklik Diwai Tourism Expo by the Tourism and Hospitality Management Department, Faculty of Arts of Arts and Social Sciences "Maror" Symposium and Business Ethics Symposium of the Business Studies Department.

Today, Friday 11 October is the turn of the Faculty of Education to host a symposium. The Faculty is hosting its 3rd annual Research Symposium in the Madang campus in both the SVD Memorial Auditorium and Sir Peter Barter Auditorium.

The symposium is a platform for students and staff in the Faculty of Education to present their research work. The presentations highlight the various issues and developments in the field of education in Papua New Guinea as observed by the students and staff researchers in the faculty.

The presentations have been grouped into four themes. The themes are, (1) Challenges in teaching and learning, (2) Teacher training and staff development, (3) Management of curriculum implementation and (4) Management of school resources.

DWU Vice president for Academic Affairs and Acting Vice President for Research Professor Pamela Norman gave the opening remarks while the guest speaker was Mr Baran Sori, Chair of the PNG Teaching Services Commission.

DWU Deputy President Professor Father Philip Gibbs SVD gave the keynote address. A panel discussion follows after lunch today.

DWU welcomes new Deputy President

                                                                                                                         Professor Fr Philip Gibbs SVD and Professor Pamela Norman cutting the cake to mark
                                                                                                              the occassion and looking on is DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou. Photo by Dr Kevin Pamba.


Divine Word University has a new Deputy President.

He is Professor Father Philip Gibbs SVD, a long-serving Catholic priest and researcher originally from New Zealand who has served in Papua New Guinea for many years.

Prof Gibbs served DWU as the Vice President for Research and Higher degrees until his appointment to the second highest post in the Madang-headquartered University.  Prof Gibbs officially took office on Monday 2nd September 2019 and will serve for three years.

Professor Gibbs takes over from Professor Pamela Norman who served in the office for the last three and half years. Professor Norman, who has been with DWU since 2004, continues in her substantive role as the Vice President for Academic Affairs responsible for all academic programs and she is also the Professor of Education in the University.

A formal handover take-over ceremony between Prof Gibbs and Prof Norman took place in a “traditional” DWU morning tea in front of three members of the University Council and DWU staff at the staff mess in the Madang campus last Wednesday 28 August 2019.

Three members of the University Council were the DWU President Professor Cecilia Nembou, Sir Peter Barter and Fr Josef Maciolek SVD who is the Provincial Superior or head of the PNG Province of Societi Verbi Divini (SVD), which is Latin for Society of the Divine Word.

The University Council chairperson Archbishop Douglas Young SVD announced the appointment of Prof Gibbs’ appointment during the last Council Meeting in July to be effective on 1st September 2019.

Professor Gibbs will be based in the main campus in Madang while the President Prof Nembou is based at the Port Moresby campus of DWU.

Professor Nembou offered her utmost appreciation to Prof Norman for her outstanding service as the Deputy President for three and half years and welcomed Prof Gibbs to the role.

Prof Nembou said her outgoing deputy is one of the most professional and astute academic leaders and administrators she has worked with and would miss her.

“She is an amazing person.”

“We all know the kind of work she does.”

“How many people 10 years, 20 years younger than her can do the kind of work she does?” Prof Nembou asked.

“She does three jobs (and) she does them all very well,” said Prof Nembou.

“This morning I want to acknowledge the support she has given me as (my) Deputy President,” Prof Nembou said.

“And on behalf of the Council, I would like to welcome Fr Philip Gibbs as the Deputy President for the next three years.

“You all know Fr Philip Gibbs.

“He has been the Vice President for Research and Higher Degrees. “He is a former member of the University Council. “He is a member of the Society of the Divine Word Missionaries PNG Province and he came to the University as a member of staff starting as head of the Department of Governance and Leadership.

“We gave him the responsibilities as Vice President of Research and Higher Degrees and last July (2019) he was appointed as Deputy President.

“So I ask all of you (staff), all of us, to work together with Fr Philip,” said Prof Nembou.

The President in welcoming her new deputy also said Prof Gibbs brings with him a wealth of experience as a researcher involved in various capacities in the country besides his pastoral duties.

Sir Peter also congratulated the two professors for being outstanding professional academics for whom the DWU Council has in high regard.

Prof Norman said she was very proud to serve DWU in her role as Deputy President was also keen to be relieved of the role and concentrate on her substantive position.

Prof Norman said she is proud to have worked with many wonderful people in DWU and elsewhere after arriving in PNG from Australia during the colonial times as a teacher in 1964.

Prof Gibbs said he was pleased to take up the new role and work with the President and everyone to take the University forward.

“I will do my best,” said Prof Gibbs.

Prof Gibbs also said as a graduate of DWU, having graduated with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) several years ago, he was keen to make a contribution as an alumnus besides his other academic, research, administration and pastoral credentials.

Photos in the image gallery below are from Dr Kevin Pamba

                                                                Miriam Sange (left) from DWU explaining the academic requirements of the University to students from Gerehu Secondary School.

                                                                 Photo by Mackenzie Mistera

In the cut-throat world of modern education, professional career and life in general, making the right educational choices is critical.

Students in the lower levels of education ought to make these all-important choices at one time in their lives for further study to set themselves up on the path for enriching future.

The students with the support of their parents and schools have to be sensitized about the further study options that are available so they can make informed decisions.

Career and further education expositions hosted by various stakeholders for schools continue to play an important part in the choices students make for further studies and ultimately the kinds of careers and vocations they take up in life.

The week-long National Capital District/Central Province Schools Career Expo is one such occasion that provides the opportunity to students in secondary and national high schools in the two provinces embarking on further education.

The expo hosted in the Port Moresby National High School from Monday 12 August to Friday 16 August this year provided the avenue for Grade 12 students in the secondary and national high schools in the two provinces to decide and make right choices for further studies.

Among the exhibitors that show-cased their academics programs particularly at the undergraduate full time level was the Divine Word University (DWU), a leading university in PNG known for its innovative approaches to enhancing its academic programs and administration.

The DWU was represented by a team of three from the main campus in Madang which included the Registrar Mrs Cecilia N’Drower, Miriam Sange and Mackenzie Mistera.

The team was assisted by the staff of the DWU Port Moresby campus. This was the second career expo DWU attended this year after the first one at the University of Goroka few months ago.

Some students at the expo said they were privileged because the exposition enabled them to make wise choices and decisions about further student and also informed them about some of the institutions that they were not aware but are there for future study opportunities in PNG and overseas.

Others said they were interested about the programs DWU offers.

Mrs N’Drower said programs offered in DWU require mostly ‘A’ and ‘B’ Grades for grade 12 leavers to be selected.

The Registrar said DWU has programs that cater for students majoring in the Natural Sciences and the Social Sciences in the secondary schools.

She added that scoring of higher Grade Point Average (GPA) does not guarantee a place to a student as selection also involves consideration of important factors such as the subject combinations someone takes in secondary or national high schools that are compatible with the academic programs chosen.

DWU has four faculties, each of which offer different programs through their academic departments. Most undergraduate fulltime academic programs are offered in the main campus in Madang with the DWU campuses in Wewak and Rabaul (Kokopo) offering undergraduate programs in primary teaching and general nursing. Interested Grade 12 students can check out the range of programs offered by DWU on its Website  

Report by Mackenzie Mistera from DWU Marketing.


Photos in the image gallery below are from Mackenzie Mistera

                                                                  President of the DWU Alumni Association Madang Chapter Elayne Albaniel Bahin with Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare

                                                                  during the 2017 inaugural Alumni Corporate Fundraising Dinner.


The Divine Word University’s Alumni Association is hosting a Corporate Dinner in Madang Resort Hotel tonight Saturday, 24 August.

This is the third Alumni Corporate Dinner since its inauguration in Madang at the same venue in 2017. The second Corporate Dinner was held in Port Moresby last year (2018).

Funds raised from the dinner will go to the DWU Endowment Fund to assist the University with future projects, such infrastructure meant to enhance its standards to deliver quality higher education. The dinner will see live-paintings by the renowned contemporary PNG artist, Jeffrey Feeger with Madang music icon Demas Saul providing live music entertainment throughout the evening.

The tickets were going for K500 a person, or K5000 for a table of 10 people.

If you are a DWU Alumni and in Madang around this time or are parent and a relative of an alumni or current student, this is the perfect opportunity for you to come along and mingle with the alumni to support our University for a worthy cause to continue to build our university for the future generations.  Report by Rachel Shisei, Communications Officer, DWU Marketing

Photos in the gallery below are from the inaugural Alumni Corporate Fundraising Dinner in 2017.

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Madang Campus

PO Box 483,
Madang 511
Papua New Guinea


Tel: (+675) 424 1800
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Port Moresby Campus

DWU POM Campus
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Wewak Campus

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Tel: (+675) 456 2327
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Tabubil Campus

c/- DWU POM Campus
PO Box 582
Konedobu, NCD 131


Tel: (+675) 325 5668
       (+675) 7091 5741

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