AFP and QPS helping develop future PNG police leaders

This is a joint media release between the AFP, Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and Queensland Police Service

The AFP, Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC) and Queensland Police Service (QPS) today in Cairns launched a groundbreaking training program for RPNGC Police Officer Cadets.

More than 60 RPNGC cadets are scheduled to undertake the training over the next four months with training being delivered in north Queensland and Sydney to enhance their policing and leadership skills.

This is the first time the three policing agencies have worked together to deliver a training program for RPNGC officer cadets in Australia. For many of the cadets, the trip to Australia will be the first time they have travelled outside of PNG.

The training is designed to develop their skills, decision-making abilities and adaptability in a variety of settings.

Between May and August 2024, four contingents of RPNGC cadets will undertake a two-week placement with QPS, where they will have the opportunity to develop their leadership capabilities in an operational policing context. 

The cadets will deploy to QPS stations in Cairns and Townsville where they will shadow senior officers and experience diverse operational environments to enhance their professional development.

The program will also foster a cultural exchange that deepens the relationship between Australian and PNG police officers and lead to improved collaboration in policing transnational crime.

The cadets will also undertake a Policing Leadership Program at the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) in Sydney.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said the AFP was proud to work with RPNGC and QPS to deliver the program.

“These cadets will be the future leaders of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary and it is fantastic to be able to give them the opportunity to come to Australia and experience our diverse operational environment,” Assistant Commissioner Gough said.

“This program will allow the cadets to improve their knowledge, skills and perspectives, which can be applied to help keep their communities safe when they return to PNG.

“Programs like this one further enhance the AFP’s strong relationships across the Pacific and will allow us to continue to work together to combat regional transnational crime.” 

RPNGC Deputy Commissioner Operations Regional Command Philip Mitna said the program was a wonderful opportunity for the cadets. 

“The intent for the program is to enhance cadet trainee officers to lead effectively, uphold public safety, and contribute to a resilient and responsive policing system,” Deputy Commissioner Mitna said.

“We thank the AFP and Queensland Police Service for their time and efforts in ensuring our future leaders are given this great opportunity to further develop their skills.”

Queensland Police Service Acting Deputy Commissioner Christopher Jory said the QPS is looking forward to welcoming the RPNGC cadets to Cairns and Townsville.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to further strengthen our strong relationship with the RPNGC and provide an insight into our policing environment,” Acting Deputy Commissioner Jory said.

“The cadets will leave with a good understanding of our day-to-day operations, as well as our leadership and organisational values.”

The program is part of a three-year training course RPNGC cadets must graduate from to be sworn in as Inspectors. These cadets started their training in Port Moresby in September 2023.

The AFP provides ongoing support to the training and development of the RPNGC through the Papua New Guinea-Australia Policing Partnership (PNG-APP).

The PNG-APP was established in 2008 with an initial deployment of 17 AFP members. There are now 43 AFP members working to mentor and build capability within the RPNGC.