The East New Britain Provincial Administration (ENBPA) has been encouraged to promote counselling as a profession following a 10 days Basic Counselling Training facilitated by the PNG Counsellors Association (PNGCA), held in Kokopo recently.
The main Facilitator, Onie Teio said that the PNGCA was formally established in 2016 with the intention of making counseling a profession, further mentioning that they are currently working towards getting recognized by the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (DHERST).
“Counsellors can deal with trauma and family and sexual violence victims. We provide Community Based Training which is short term, as well as National Certified training, and the more advanced Diploma and Degree courses in Counselling, which are TAFE Queensland curriculum, but have been contextualized to PNG,” she said.
Mr. Christian Mangvue from the Catholic Church when responding on behalf of the 21 participants, who were mainly public servants from the Community Development Division, Education, and Health sectors and Non-Government Organizations (NGO), urged the ENBPA to take up the call through a policy.
“May I suggest to the relevant Division of Community Development and the ENB Provincial Administration to come up with a policy paper, that will enable the setup of a Counsellors Association in ENB,” he said.
He further urged his fellow participants to emulate the life of Jesus Christ who is a model of a great counsellor.
ENB Deputy Provincial Administrator for Socio Economic Services (SES) Peter Peniat said that in the past, they look for people with church background, when recruiting counsellors.
“I thank the PNGCA for making East New Britain a pilot province and I believe that this workshop has equipped participants to better serve people who need counselling services,” he said.
He also encouraged the PNGCA to progress training for the participants in the province to the next level.
When acknowledging the facilitators from the PNGCA and the Canada Fund for financing this training program, Acting Provincial Advisor for the Community Development Division, Peter Tutuai assured that the provincial administration will do its part to ensure counselling becomes a profession.
“Thank you PNGCA and Canada Fund for this training, as it is timely, given the issues we are currently experiencing in the province,” he said.
Tutuai also commended the participants for their time and commitment towards this training.