Some 10 years ago, Professor John Croucher from MGSM was invited by the Vice-Chancellor of the Divine Word University (DWU) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to establish up an MBA program that would turn out to be the best in the country. This university is the highest ranked in PNG. He conscripted lecturers from around the world to teach on a voluntary basis in the program and addressed their local Chamber of Commerce, as well as conducting surveys to uncover their specific requirements.

John then started the program that has since become very successful and he lectured in it himself for a few years, as well as being appointed to their University Council. For his efforts, the university awarded him an Honorary PhD in 2011 for his services to the people of PNG and to humanity in general. It was only the second time in their history they had done that.

In 2018 John joined forces with his fellow researcher and co-author, Ms Stephnie Hon, with whom he has published several research papers in international journals. She is a qualified CA, is fluent in six languages and a current MBA student at MGSM. Stephnie is also a senior researcher at Macquarie Business School where she and John have just finished co-authoring a textbook, written especially for students in PNG. It will be launched in PNG later this year and John and Stephnie have both been invited by DWU to attend the occasion.

Stephnie volunteered, pro-bono, to lecture in the MBA program at DWU in Port Moresby and did so in September/October last year. Her subject, for which she had complete charge, including designing the syllabus, lecturing, setting and grading the exam papers, involved quantitative methods. The material included mathematics and statistics that was similar to IDA, although with different topics to those at MGSM. Stephnie had not been to PNG before, but was aware of the dangers she faced and met them head on.

The Vice-Chancellor and President of DWU, Professor Cecilia Nembou, said she is very lucky to have her and has already invited Stephnie back this year. She has accepted this invitation. Stephnie did an outstanding job over there and proved to be extremely popular with the local students.

Stephnie and John’s story is a great one, especially in community outreach, and the local newspaper is doing a feature article on them. Stephnie and John are also presenting a seminar together at Macquarie University as part of Gender Equality Week and have both been invited to jointly present a seminar at James Cook University in Cairns in March this year.

It is heartening to see the terrific work being done by academics and students of our alma mater.

Alan Macdonald