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Proudly Australian natural gas developer Santos is pleased to announce that Kumul Petroleum graduate geologist Ms Stephanie Manoi has been named as the 2020 recipient of a scholarship to work and study in Adelaide.

Ms Manoi will be the second Papua New Guinean geologist to take part in the scholarship program, which is a joint initiative of Santos and the Australian Government.

Starting next February, Ms Manoi will study a Master of Science (Petroleum Geoscience) at the University of Adelaide, to be followed by three months of operational training and on the job experience at Santos.

Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Gallagher said Santos was very pleased to continue its partnership with the Australian Government and Kumul Petroleum in support of Papua New Guinea’s economic and social development.

“We look forward to welcoming Stephanie to Adelaide to further her career. Santos is passionate about investing in the communities where we operate and one of the best ways to do so is through education,’ Mr Gallagher said.

Ms Manoi is following in the footsteps of inaugural awardee Mr Ivano Ivano.

“Mr Ivano has been a model student and trainee. He’s achieved outstanding academic results and has been a diligent, popular addition to the Santos team in Adelaide. He will shortly start the 12-week Santos vacation program from our Brisbane office before returning to PNG in February.”

The resource sector is making significant contributions to national growth and economic development in Papua New Guinea. Santos is a major investor in the PNG resources sector with a 13.5 per cent interest in the PNG LNG project.

“Santos is a founding partner in PNG LNG, one of the world’s best LNG projects that is poised for growth. Helping train and improve the professional and technical skills of PNG’s local workforce contributes to the economic and social development of Australia’s nearest neighbour and close friend,” Mr Gallagher said.

Australian High Commissioner to PNG, His Excellency Mr Bruce Davis, welcomed the partnership’s continuation and its contribution to developing PNG’s human resources and economy.

“I am delighted that the Australian Government and Santos are continuing this worthy and innovative partnership,’ High Commissioner Davis said.

“I am especially pleased that the 2020 scholarship has been awarded to a woman. Gender equality and women’s economic empowerment are key priorities for Australia’s development activities in PNG and around the world.

Mr Ivano, from the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, said the experience in Adelaide has been invaluable, both professionally and personally.

“The opportunity I’ve had to come over here has been huge for me from a career perspective because the program that’s run at the University of Adelaide’s Australian School of Petroleum is all about the industry,” Mr Ivano said.

“I hope to have a career in structural geology and a lot of the skills I’ve learnt this year I’ll be able to translate to actual benefits for Kumul Petroleum when I go home.”

The former PNG national team basketball player has managed to fit in plenty of social basketball, several cricket matches at the Adelaide Oval and volunteering for the Hutt Street Centre which provides services for the homeless.