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HE Mr John Ma’o Kali CMG OBE (High Commissioner for Papua New Guinea)

HE Mr John Ma’o Kali CMG OBE

High Commissioner for Papua New Guinea

Mr. Kali was appointed as PNG High Commissioner to Australia in December 2017, having served in the public service for almost four decades. He recently took up his post in Canberra in early February 2019.

Prior to his appointment as High Commissioner, Mr. Kali was the longest serving Departmental Secretary in the PNG Public Service, having served as Secretary for Department of Personnel Management (DPM) for more than a decade. As Secretary for DPM, he was responsible for advising the Government on all public employment matters, particularly in the areas of industrial relations, human resources management, public sector and governance reforms and executive leadership appointments, performance management and development.

Mr. Kali is an expert Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management Practitioner and a no-nonsense public administrator. He has been passionate and outspoken in reforming and modernizing the National Public Service to change the organization culture and improve service delivery at all levels through institutional partnerships with international organizations.

Mr. Kali played a leading role in implementing the findings of the foreign aid review between PNG and Australia, particularly in respect of governance and advisor arrangements in the public sector. He was also responsible for developing the PNG Value based leadership and management capability framework under which the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct has been established. Through the Precinct key institutional partnerships have been established between academic institutions of PNG and Australia (UPNG and ANU) and training institutions of the two countries (Canberra Institute of Technology and Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance) to deliver academic and competency-based courses under the leadership framework. The intention being to develop and produce future leaders with strong ethical values who are performance oriented.

He is a champion in promoting and mainstreaming gender equity and social inclusiveness and has set the pace for gender balance through a positive anti-discrimination agenda which has seen an increase in numbers of female officers in management and executive ranks in the PNG Public Service. His own Department where he worked previously was a model example, where two out of the three Deputy Secretaries were females and almost eighty percent of his middle managements were also females.

He was awarded a OBE in 2008 in recognition of his dedication to public service and recently awarded a CMG in 2016 for his strong leadership in the Public Service. Mr Kali has a Master in Business Administration from the Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and was a revered sportsman in his prime, representing the country in Australian Rules Football and Cricket.

(Image credit: PNG Investment Conference 2022,

HE Mr Robert Sisilo (High Commissioner for Solomon Islands)

HE Mr Robert Sisilo

High Commissioner for Solomon Islands

Mr Sisilo has more than 30 years’ experience in international relations and trade. He has been Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia since January 2020 having previously served as his country’s Ambassador to the United States (concurrently Ambassador to the United Nations and Canada) between July 2017 and 2019. Before that he served as Solomon Islands’ Trade Negotiations Envoy between May 2012 and June 2014 and had a short stint as Secretary of the Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade between July 2011 and February 2012. Earlier, from 2005 until 2008, he served as Permanent Representative of the Pacific Islands Forum to the World Trade Organization in Geneva.

Between 1996 and 2004, Mr. Sisilo was Solomon Islands Ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization. Between 1986 and 1990, he was Chargé D’affaires at the Solomon Islands Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Mr. Sisilo holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Wollongong in Australia, a diploma in international diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in the United States, a certificate in diplomacy from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, and a bachelor’s degree in history and politics from the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.

(Image credit: Solomon Islands Government Portal 2022,