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PNG: Kevin Pamba first national to gain journalism doctorate

Dr Kevin Pamba ... research on Indigenous landowner communications problems over the PNG LPG Project. Image: Loop PNG

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Item: 10105

By Jemimah Sukbat
MADANG, Papua New Guinea (Loop PNG/Pacific Media Watch): A staff member of Divine Word University, Dr Kevin Pamba, has become first Papua New Guinean journalist to be awarded a doctorate degree.

He was the only PhD among 800 graduates at the latest DWU graduation ceremony.

Dr Pamba is from Ialibu, Southern Highlands, and completed his bachelors' degree in journalism at the University of Papua New Guinea.

“I am lost for words, I didn’t know it was the case until it was announced today,” Dr Pamba said humbly when asked how he felt to be the first Papua New Guinean journalist to earn a PhD.

“I am proud, especially for the profession of journalism.”

Dr Pamba holds a master’s degree in International Communication from Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, as well as his UPNG journalism degree.

After attaining his UPNG degree, he worked as a reporter with The National newspaper before winning a scholarship to study at Macquarie University.

Communications lecturer
In 2000, he was recruited by DWU as a lecturer with the Communications Arts Department. He has been with the university since then.

Currently he is the director of the Community Information Centre, an office within the office of the president (vice-chancellor) of the university.

Dr Pamba also received an award in recognition of his research. His thesis is titled: “Communicating with indigenous landowners in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project: A Papua New Guinean case study”.

The ongoing communication and engagement issues involving landowners in the PNG LNG Project sites in Hela province, an area affected by the Highlands earthquake two weeks ago, were the subject of his research.

He said that among his research findings was that the government is "not present" in Hela, especially the Department of Petroleum and Energy.

In terms of communication with the landowners, getting the message across was barely working, he said.  

It took six years for Dr Pamba to complete his PhD, being a part-time student.

Dr Pamba also acknowledged the support of his family, mentors, supervisory members and Divine Word colleagues.

It was a lonely journey but he had persevered.

Dr Pamba added that doing a PhD in Papua New Guinea was a way forward.

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