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Details released on how innovative Simbu-Noosa link will work

Simbu Governor's LetterKEITH JACKSON

WITH Noosa Council giving its blessing to a Simbu-initiated scheme in which people in Noosa Shire will cooperate across a range of projects with people in Simbu Province, more details have been released in a draft project document.

The pioneering scheme was proposed by the Simbu provincial government in the Papua New Guinea highlands following a visit to Noosa by a group of PNG writers and journalists last year.

Responding to a letter from provincial governor Noah Kool, a member of the national parliament of PNG, Noosa mayor Tony Wellington said the Simbu people had a reputation for dynamism, resilience and a positive attitude towards blending the benefits of the modern world with the values of their traditional lives.

“This will be a good shared project with the Noosa end being convened on a voluntary basis by Keith Jackson, who has a long association with PNG,” he said. “The project will encourage young people and community leaders in our respective regions to engage with each other.”

Projek Wantok (Project Friendship) will establish a voluntary committee in both Simbu and Noosa which will include elected members of the respective governments and leaders in schools, business, the arts, the environment, churches and women’s organisations.

The committees will initiate and manage collaborative activities and promote them within the respective regions.

The objectives of the relationship are to:

Encourage contact and productive engagement between individuals, organisations, churches and schools in our respective regions.

Extend the hand of friendship across our cultures and provide the peoples of Simbu and Noosa with a strong connection to a different culture.

Promote the Papua New Guinea - Australia relationship at a citizen level.

Provide support to our counterparts in Simbu where this is feasible.

Indicative projects may include linking Simbu and Noosa rugby league through an information exchange, undertaking a comparative study of the role of government in the community in each region, establishing inter-school links, providing support for existing Simbu welfare programs, Noosa businesses mentoring emergent Kundiawa tourism personnel, mounting a Simbu art exhibition in Noosa and encouraging literary exchanges and conducting a comparative study of women’s equity issues and domestic violence in each region.

For the most part, this project will be managed by email communication and similar virtual means with occasional face-to-face contact between individuals or organisations if deemed desirable and if funding is available.

It is not intended that the project will impose financial obligations on either government. Publicly advertised grants, corporate sponsorships and private donations may be sought where funding is required.

In the first instance, Projek Wantok will be established for a period of one year with a review by both governments to determine whether it is delivering the worthwhile results that would warrant its continuation.

Simbu & Noosa: Comparative Data

Key facts & statistics



Original inhabitants

Kuman Language Group

Kabi Kabi First Nation

First outside contact



Derivation of name

Sipuuu - Kuman for welcome

Nusa – Kabi Kabi for shade, shadows


400 km north-west of Port Moresby

130 km north of Brisbane





6,100 sq km

870 sq km

Highest point

Mount Wilhelm, 4510 metres

Mount Cooroy, 440 metres

Main religion



Main language

Tok Pisin


Main towns

Kundiawa*, Kerowagi, Chuave, Gumine

Noosa, Tewantin*, Cooroy, Pomona


Farming, coffee, arts & crafts

Tourism, construction, retail

Elected leader

Governor-  Noah Kool Yamba MP

Mayor - Tony Wellington

Administrative leader

Administrator - Joe Kunda Naur MBE

CEO - Brett de Chastel

* Centre of government


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Francis Nii

Projek Wantok is really shaping up well and the official reply from Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington to Simbu Governor Hon Noah Kool has been received today and, in the words of Keith Jackson, Projek Wantok is officially launched.

Thank you Mayor Wellington for the positive response.

My friend Phil Fitzpatrick also mentioned to me that the concept can become a model for other shires and provinces to follow.

I must say there is still more groundwork to be done before we can think of any tangible benefit, but the way things are shaping up, I feel that we will get there.

Thank you Keith and everyone. Let us keep the moment going until we realise at least some of the objectives if not all.

Philip Kai Morre

It has been indeed a great initiative with collective ideas from concerned individuals like Keith Jackson and family, Francis Nii, Simbu Governor Hon Noah Kool, Administrator Joe Naur Kunda MBE and the Simbu Writers Association.

Noosa Council and Simbu Province are establishing dialogue and contact for the common good. There is so much to learn from each other, from cultural heritage to modern changes.

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