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The words of her children inspired prize-winning poet to write


Doreen BauloniTHE WINNER OF THE FIRST Rivers Peace & Harmony Writing Prize, Doreen Bauloni, is a 38-year old mother four children (aged 11, 9, 6 and one) from Dobu Island in Milne Bay Province.

Doreen lives outside Alotau town and is employed with the Works Supervision Unit, which is attached to Milne Bay Administration, on a three-year contract.

“In 2007, after working for eight years with Milne Bay Estates, I decided to resign and take care of my children because I thought that is where I should spend my time more than work,” Doreen told us.

“While living at home with them, I came to enjoy their everyday plays and phrases.

“Those phrases made me laugh and writing them down inspired me to write.”

Doreen said that initially she had decided to write a story or essay on the subject of peace and harmony in Papua New Guinea, but eventually wrote a poem including what she thought would be considered the key points in a good story.

Prize founder and judge, Val Rivers, said that Doreen’s poem, Contributing to a peaceful Papua New Guinea, which was written in a wry and amusing style, “said it all”.

The poem was also well-received by other professional writers.

“There's an aura of warmth,” said Steve Labuan, “and this aura reminds readers to consciously, yet easily, perform the basic actions of friendship.”

Award-winning poet Michael Dom congratulated Doreen and thanked Val Rivers “for this wonderful initiative.

“We are going from strength to strength in promoting PNG literature,” he said.

Steven Ilave (Snr), himself a distinguished poet, wrote: “This is a deserving first prize. I am pleased to note that in addition to the winning entry, a number of poems made to the final list of five. As a poet, I am particularly proud that we can say it with poetry.”

“The writing talent coming out of PNG continues to amaze me,” observed Crocodile Prize founder Phil Fitzpatrick.


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Steve W Labuan

Thank you Barbara for making me remember also that Doreen's poem reminds me of Australia's Kath Walker (1920-93) and of America's Robert Frost (1874 -1963)especially for their ability to use simple everyday conceptual systems-invoking words & phrases - always enjoyed by almost any and every body:

"Each morning When you wake;think of the dead; pray for them" - Kath Walker

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by
And that has made all the difference"
- Robert Frost 1920, "The road not taken"

Robin Lillicrapp

A worthy accolade to a fine PNG writer.
Do it again, Doreen.

Mrs Barbara Short

Congratulations, Doreen. I loved your poem. It reminded me of the poems of one great Australian Aboriginal poet, Kath Walker,(1920-1993) also known as Oodgeroo Noonuccal. Some of her poems really make you smile, and that is a very important thing in life these days, especially when the going gets tough.

You are a good example of the saying, "if you educate a woman you educate a family". I'm sure that "aura of warmth", or love for one's fellow man, is an important part of your life as a mother.

Kath wrote - All one race
Black tribe, yellow tribe, red, white or brown,
from where the sun jumps up to where it goes down,
Herrs and pukka-sahibs, demoiselles and squaws.
All one family, so why make wars?
They're not interested in brumby runs,
We don't hanker for Midnight Suns;
I'm for humankind, not colour gibes;
I'm international, and never mind tribes.

Black, white or brown race, yellow race or red,
From torrid equator to the ice-fields spread,
Monsieurs and seniors, lubras and fraus,
All one family, so why family rows?
We're not interested in their igloos,
They're not mad about kangaroos;
I'm international, never mind place;
I'm for humanity, all one race.

And Kath lived through two World Wars!

I also loved the photograph that Keith added. I guess you have to know how to love a beatle nut smile in PNG.

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