The power of collaboration between PNG and Australia

| May 17, 2018

Members of the inaugural Pacific Connect Business Network Dialogue in Papua New Guinea share their stories on Open Forum. This is the first in a new series of blogs from our PNG partners, in the lead-up to the Pacific Connect Forum in Sydney this September.

My name is Jeremy and I am a software developer. I studied Computer Science at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology and I would say that programming was something that I really had an affinity for.

In my first year, as a hobby, I was writing programs to rewrite flash-drive settings and Java based libraries. By my final year I had created a simple social network and was writing web scripts. Web based programming is the subject that I really enjoyed. I loved programming so much that in my final year project I worked on four different projects, one was my own but three were for my friends.

My first job out of university had nothing to do with anything I studied. I worked with Exxon Mobil in a gas processing plant as an operations technician. It was a solid job but I had no interest in it and wanted to do more programming. After three years I mustered enough courage to resign and apply for a job with a company who had a job description I liked, Software Support.

I had been working a few years in Port Moresby when I heard about Pacific Connect. Now to be honest, on the onset, after reading the initial introduction page and flyer, I assumed Pacific Connect was a group that came together and shared ideas or “discussed” concerning issues.

However, after meeting with the Australian and PNG delegates for the first meeting in Port Moresby, I was pleasantly surprised that not only was this group focused on addressing specific issues, they also had “actual” plans to execute and get the ball rolling. This was a breath of fresh air for me as I have seen groups and teams disintegrate because nothing tangible was ever achieved.

Another reason why Pacific Connect really caught my attention is the area that they are focusing on now: digital connectivity and blockchain. Blockchain has always interested me ever since I heard about Bitcoin back in the early 2009. How can “shared” data be so much more secure? It honestly made no sense to me and irked my curiosity then.

One of the main reasons why I think Pacific Connect will go a long way is the people that are involved in taking it forward. During the first meeting, I was in the room with some of the most driven, patriotic and diligent individuals I have ever met. Everyone honestly made me feel like I wasn’t enough. Which is a great thing I guess, to be able to be a better person or better entrepreneur or better friend because of the people around you who inspire you.

For me personally, I would like to better understand the applications of blockchain and what the implications of this would be. That way I would be better equipped to assist and help Pacific Connect intelligibly. In the end I guess that would be my biggest goal, to be part of something that actually makes people’s lives better.