A teacher by profession, Dame Carol Kidu, retired from Papua New Guinea Parliament in 2012 after 15 years in politics. She was the Minister for Community Development for 9 years before finishing her political career as Leader of the Opposition. She focused on legislative and policy reform for social development in PNG with a human rights-based approach to development and a focus on marginalised and vulnerable populations.
In addition to her Ministerial work, she established the Parliamentary Committee on HIV in 2003 and the PNG Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (PNG PPD) in 2008. Since retiring from politics, she has continued international and regional commitments, in addition to consultancies in Papua New Guinea. Dame Kidu has been awarded five Honorary Doctorates and was awarded Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005; the PNG International Woman of Courage Award by the Secretary of State of the United States of America in 2007; Pacific Person of the Year in 2007 and was the recipient of the Regional Rights Resource Team Pacific Human Rights Award for her contribution to promoting the rights of Pacific Islanders in 2008. She was honoured by the French Government with the Cross of Knight in the Order of the Legion d’Honneur in 2009.
Dame Kidu works on a consultancy basis as required with Australian National University facilitating training and mentoring programmes with a focus on women in political leadership. In her personal life she is renovating the family home to become a community library/learning centre and a day and short stay Retreat as an income-generation social enterprise with her extended family.
We are indeed fortunate to have Dame Kidu present as a Guest Lecturer on selected Papua New Guinea itineraries where she shares her extraordinary life experiences with our guests. “Papua New Guinea is so close to Australia yet so little understood. I invite you to take off your Western lens and venture into another world with me as we explore just a sample of the diversity that is PNG – a nation in transition”.