Acting Vice Chancellor of the Papua New Guinea University of Technology Dr. Gary Sali, Head of Public Affairs from the U.S. Embassy Damian Wampler, and PNG Tribal Foundation signed an MOU to formally agree and enter a partnership in order to build an Amelia Earhart memorial on the campus of the University.
The idea was formed after U.S. Ambassador Erin McKee visited Morobe Province and saw a need to create a statue to honor the legendary pioneer aviator.
Since then, the three parties have joined in partnership not only to build a statue in her honor, but to launch a scholarship fund for women and girls to enhance their knowledge of Science and Technology.
At the MOU signing ceremony at Matheson library, Acting Vice Dr. Gary Sali said, “The Papua New Guinea University of Technology is proud to provide a way not only to honor this brave woman, but to create a lasting partnership between the United States and Papua New Guinea that began 125 years ago in 1937.”
This year July marks the 85th anniversary of Amelia’s disappearance and 125th anniversary of her birth.
Head of Public Affairs from the U.S. Embassy Damian Wampler said, “one hundred percent of the population needs to be educated. We hope that this memorial, and the scholarship fund, will motivate women and men, girls and boys, students, faculty, and staff in Lae to push the boundaries of science and technology every day.”
CEO of the PNG Tribal Foundation GT Bustin added that “the memorial will serve as a reminder that with determination and courage, women can achieve any height. And the scholarship fund, which will be created by generous donations from American companies and individuals, will award scholarships for PNG women and girls who want to reach even greater heights in scientific fields.”
The Papua New Guinea University of Technology and partners will break ground on the memorial site in July after a design is chosen through open competition. The winning design concept will win K1,500.
A brave young woman from the state of Kansas in the United States, Amelia Earhart made herself America’s most popular aviator by pushing the boundaries of flight.
She became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She set records for distance and high altitude flying, and became an inspiration for women and girls around the world.
She conceived the idea of becoming the first person to fly all the way around the world. She almost made it. But three weeks before her 40th birthday, Earhart disappeared over the Pacific, last seen by the public in Lae on July 2, 1937.