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PNG authors readying for role at Brisbane writers festival


PREPARATIONS are nearing completion for an inaugural study tour of Australia by three leading Papua New Guinean writers.

The McKinnon-Paga Hill Fellowships will enable Francis Nii, Daniel Kumbon and Martyn Namorong to participate in the Brisbane Writers Festival, where Daniel and Martyn will lead a panel discussion on PNG literature today, entitled ‘PNG: A State of Writing’, and Francis will present a seminar on the development of the Simbu Writers Association.

You can download Francis's presentation here.

The fellowships are sponsored by the Paga Hill Development Company and Prof Ken McKinnon, onetime PNG director of education, university vice-chancellor and chairman of the Australian Press Council.

In the first half of September, the three writers will visit Noosa, Brisbane and Sydney.

In Noosa, which is where I live, they will spend two days meeting with local writers and preparing for their participation in the Brisbane Writers festival, a project ex-kiap and author Bob Cleland has been working on with festival director Julie Beveridge for more than a year.

The 54th Brisbane Writers Festival will feature scores of writers and media personalities, among them Alexei Sayle, Suki Kim, Tom Kenelly, Richard Fidler, Stan Grant, Sarah Ferguson, Barry Jones and Kate Forsyth.

The PNG session, scheduled for Saturday 10 September at 4 pm, is being marketed as “PNG authors ruminating on the state of their nation, from a political and social perspective, and daring to imagine their people’s future”.

From Brisbane, Daniel and Martyn will fly to Sydney with Bougainville 24 editor Ben Jackson for meetings with the Australian Society of Authors, the NSW Writers Centre and Prof McKinnon.

While in Australia, the three PNG writers will also have the opportunity to meet with many Australians with an interest in PNG.

If you wish to catch up with them in Brisbane or Sydney, drop me an email here and let me know.



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Bernard Corden

"Men of power claim they have no time to read; yet men who do not read are unfit for power" - Michael Foot

Emmanuel Peni

They are our best representatives. They will only add value to our work upon their return. Thank you for organising this.

Bernard Corden

"The proper study of mankind is books" - Aldous Huxley

Jimmy Awagl

Francis, Martyn & Daniel - all the best in our tour and in your presentations.

Martinez Wasuak

A very exciting news for Papua New Guinea writers. Well Done trio!

Vagi Samuel

This is amazing! All the best Martyn, Daniel and Francis.

Francis Nii

Oh yes, it will be exciting, Robin.

Thanks to the sponsors and Keith and Bob Cleland who worked so hard behind the scene to make it an exciting and memorable experience.

Daniel Kumbon

I thank the new McKinnon-Paga Hill Development Company fellowship scheme for giving us the opportunity to visit Australia.

For a former director of education in colonial PNG and a fairly new company to recognise the importance of literary development in PNG is awesome.

Thank you.

`Robin Lillicrapp

Well done, Daniel, Francis, and Martyn. How exciting it will be.

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