The Archer Leaders Development Program is finding and fostering a new generation of strong, dedicated and passionate leaders, dedicated to social change and an improved future for their nation and its people. The program has been fostering leadership journeys for the next generation of PNG leaders for the past 8 years.
The Archer Journey
The Archer Leadership Journey comprises on many elements - all aimed at developing the confidence, networks, skills, resources and support systems that our young leaders need to exercise exceptional leadership. Through exposure to new and challenging environments and partnerships with senior mentors, our young leaders enhance their leadership and professional skills. Their year-long experiential leadership journey as ‘Archer Leaders’ results in extraordinary young graduates, with lasting networks and the ability and willingness to create much needed change in PNG.
Final year tertiary students from any institution across PNG are eligible for the program and we take 8 exceptional young leaders on the journey each year. The program includes: mentoring by a senior leader in PNG, Australia or other parts of the world, work experience placements in Australia and PNG, support for tuition fees, an educational and professional development resource allowance, community projects, and a life-changing exchange program to Australia.
Archer Leaders Program is based on the theory of Adaptive Leadership, developed by Ron Heifetz et al. of the Harvard Business School. All leadership development workshops, the mentoring experience, and the leadership exchange program utilize an adaptive leadership framework for guiding the participants’ journeys.
Heifetz and colleagues argue that adaptive leadership is a practice not a theory, defining it as the ‘practice of mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges and thrive’. Adaptive change is uncomfortable; it challenges our most deeply held beliefs and suggests that deeply held values are losing relevance, bringing to the surface legitimate but competing perspectives or commitments.
In order to “practise” adaptive leadership, our leadership program exposes young people to a wide range of adaptive challenges in both Australian and PNG societies. Throughout the Archer Leadership development program, participants are exposed to a broad range of current-day social issues and invited to explore the adaptive challenges posed by those issues with individuals and organisations working at the fore-front of their fields. These issues may include (but are not limited to): refugees and asylum seekers, poverty, multiculturalism and racism, and climate change.
Since 2011, 50 final year tertiary students from 21 of PNG’s 22 Provinces have participated in the Archer Leaders Development Program. A recent evaluation showed a significant impact of the program on: increased confidence, improved public speaking, improved networking opportunities and networks, increased understanding of leadership concepts and enhanced professionalism for the Archer graduates.
The evaluation demonstrated very strong commitment among the alumni to community and the betterment of PNG society; strong engagement by the alumni in formal and informal community development and social impact projects for the improvement of lives and futures of Papua New Guineans; and the majority of alumni engaged in senior management positions, or on career trajectories to be engaged in senior management positions within a range of sectors including Law, Government, Academia, Mining & Engineering, Accounting & Finance, and NGO / Development.
“The program broadened my perspective of the greater world around me. Helping me to relate how PNG's social, economical and political issues can be addressed, if we could also relate to how the "wider world" addressed these issues and think about how we can apply what we can learn from the wider or international community".
Applications for the 2019 Archer Leaders Development Program are NOW OPEN and close on 6 January 2019.