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Australian writers’ festival link for Crocodile Prize

Jimmy Drekore & Keith JacksonROB PARER & KEITH JACKSON

JIMMY Drekore returns to Kundiawa today after a flying visit to Brisbane that was highly successful.

After a visa scare, Papua New Guinea’s Digicel Man of Honour, poet and chairman of the Crocodile Prize Organisation made it to the Brisbane Writers Festival where, along with colleagues Bob Cleland and Joycelin Leahy, he had productive discussions with the festival CEO.

The main outcome of the talks was to formalise a link between COG and the BWF, which will manifest itself in practical terms by PNG being special guest nation at the 2017 festival.

At a working lunch on the Brisbane River, the COG chairman also discussed the transition of the main administrative functions of the Crocodile Prize from Australia to PNG.

It is still too early to reveal details, but there were indications of a significant breakthrough in the past week which, when added to the Simbu Writers Association’s own planning, provide optimism that the operations of COG can be effectively migrated to PNG.

Former PNG headmaster, Murray Bladwell, also discussed with Jimmy the shipment to the Highlands of a huge container of books for school age children – a massive project which is currently underway in Brisbane.

Negotiations are also underway to enable the container to be converted into a fully functioning library for a Simbu high school.

Meanwhile, Jimmy returns to Kundiawa this morning to apply the finishing touches to this year’s Crocodile Prize awards event to be held in the township late next week.

The eight award winners will converge on the Simbu capital as the nationwide literary contest, which attracted 850 entries, signs off for 2015.

The event will also see the launch of the Crocodile Prize Anthology 2015 and a number of other novels and collections by PNG writers.


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