PNG officer reunited with Australian soldiers

Second Lieutenant Alvirah Bunemiga, of the Papua New Guinea Defence Force (PNGDF), has been reunited with Australian Army soldiers deployed to PNG on Exercise Olgeta Warrior.

CAPTION: Australian Army officer Major Lachlan McAuliffe, with Papua New Guinea Defence Force officer Second Lieutenant Alvirah Bunemiga. Story by Captain Joanne Leca. Photo by Corporal Brandon Grey.

Second Lieutenant Bunemiga was one of two women from the PNGDF who graduated from Royal Military College – Duntroon (RMC-D) in December.

The Contingent Commander for Exercise Olgeta Warrior, Major Lachlan McAuliffe, was one of her instructors.

Second Lieutenant Bunemiga said her time at RMC-D was a challenging experience, but a great opportunity.

“I wanted an opportunity to be exposed to a sophisticated military system, to build my own skills, and bring them back to my country,” Second Lieutenant Bunemiga said.

“Originally it was tough. Being an exchange student with English as my second language, it was difficult to understand how I fit in and how the Australian military system works.

“But the longer I worked with the Australian students and instructors, I soon discovered they are really welcoming and so helpful.

“I received amazing advice that I’ll carry throughout my military career.”

Second Lieutenant Bunemiga is now the finance officer for the PNGDF Force Support Battalion at Murray Barracks in Port Moresby.

Along with other PNGDF members, Second Lieutenant Bunemiga is collaborating with Mentoring Training Team Alpha to run the storemen supply course as part of the exercise.

“Working alongside Australian soldiers again reminds me of what an amazing time I had and how much more we have to learn from each other,” Second Lieutenant Bunemiga said.

“Now I’ve returned, I want to apply what I learnt at RMC-D to my country, inspiring more women to climb the ranks and make a difference.”


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