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Thursday, 16 August 2012

Opening of Annual Certified Practicing Accountants National Conference



Dr. Albert SchramVice Chancellor
Papua New Guinea University of Technology UNITECH

At the CPA Papua New Guinea Lae Annual Conference 2012
(Thursday, August 9th – 10th, 2012)


Good morning, distinguished guests, speakers, ladies and gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to officiate and address the Certified Practicing Accountants Papua New Guinea (CPA PNG) Annual Conference 2012, here in my home town Lae, because I am convinced accounting professionals has much to contribute in society.

As Peter Drucker famously said: managing is doing things right, but leading is doing the right things.

Leadership is always about change, since change can not be managed but must be led. But a leader can not limit her or his actions to communicating a sense of direction just talking about the "vision thing". Leaders need to understand management as well.

A leader should make evidence-based decisions, under time pressure and information constraints. It is here in this crucial area of leadership, where the accounting profession makes a unique contribution by providing the organized information, that allows us to weigh costs and benefits of any decision more objectively. The better and broader the information base, the better decision will be taken.

But it does not stop there. Accountants contribute to solving the so-called "wicked problems" in society, which are problems that are difficult to solve because of their interdependencies with other problems. For decision-making about these problems – how to respond to climate change, health care, population growth – accounting professionals provide the facts, and convert them into valid and reliable information thus providing indispensable guidance for leaders.

UNITECH runs the oldest program in accounting in the country, and trains a large part of the accountants in PNG. As a stakeholder in your progress over the years we stand proud to be associated with the accounting profession in the country.

Therefore, I am delighed to stand here before you to acknowledge your positive contributions to the economic development of this splendid country, and its wonderful people.

At this point, I would like to present two challenges for the conference participants. First what kind of leadership is required to promote innovation and entrepreneurship that the country needs to address its developmental issues?

The theme of your conference, "Innovation, Change & Entrepreneurship" presents us with a challenge. We know that technological innovation and entrepreneurship is the surest way of creating jobs in any economy and develop a country. But how to foster this when there are so many obstacles to both, and there is no strong record to build on? Are we trapped like Baron von Munchausen forced to save ourselves from drowning in the swamp by pulling our own hair? Or can you lead the change, that is required to achieve a higher level of innovation and entrepreneurship?

The second challenge is how to accelerate our learning and obtain the necessary knowledge for the leadership challenge mentioned above? Knowledge – information combined with understanding - is power. Can you obtain the necessary knowledge, and use the ensuing power to make a difference? Knowledge, after all, is the proverbial lever, long enough to move the world.

While going through your program, you have high profile speakers who have put their hands up to empower you further and nourish your intellectual capacity; and I urge you all to maximize your interactivity during this meeting by face to face conversation, but also by taking notes and using modern internet based communication tools.

While I stand here to commend CPA PNG for having grown into a vibrant professional body with branches in most major centers, I encourage you all to develop yourselves professionally in all respects during this conference and as active members of CPA PNG.

I thank you all and enjoy your two days of interactive learning at this conference…



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