17 May 2016

Proposed Pacific centre to help Australian relationship with islands

8:51 am on 17 May 2016

Efforts to create a centre to foster greater understanding of Pacific Island communities in Australia are being seen as a way to address some of the negative publicity about some regional countries.

The Papua New Guinea Association of Australia has proposed a Community Centre for Pacific Nations to be housed in the former Australian School of Pacific Administration buildings in Sydney.

The buildings are currently mainly unused.

The association's president Andrea Williams said the centre could be an acknowledgement of Australia's role in PNG and the Pacific region and try to grow awareness about it.

"These days we get so much bad publicity about Papua New Guinea that we need to counter it with inspiration and articles and deeds encouraging optimism, so that some of those divisions are redressed a little bit and the future is more cohesive for everybody," said Ms Williams. "And I think this is a way of getting community groups together that might help with that as well."