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PNG writers to share views & struggles at writers festival

Rashmii BellSTAFF REPORTER | Sunshine Coast Daily

FOR the first time in publishing history, female writers from Papua New Guinea have had their voices heard about their daily struggles in life with the compilation of the women's anthology, My Walk to Equality.

This evocative anthology will have its Sunshine Coast launch at a panel presentation at the second annual Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival on Saturday 12 August in Coolum Civic Centre.

The evocative anthology is a collection of more than 40 essays, short stories and poems which capture the daily challenges faced and positive contribution made by the women of PNG to improve community and nation.

The anthology was edited by PNG writer Rashmii Amoah Bell (pictured) and published by PNG's Pukpuk Publications.

Ms Bell is an important voice in PNG writing who is regularly published on the PNG Attitude blog which has been the platform in bringing her views on socio-economic development in Papua New Guinea to a significant readership.

Ms Bell writes essays and opinion commentary to convey her views on issues including anti-social and criminal behaviour, mental health, development aid and gender equality. Several of her essays were published in the 2015 and 2016 Crocodile Prize anthologies of the best PNG writing.

Ms Bell will be joined on the PNG panel by several of the 44 female writers who contributed to the anthology plus Pukpuk Publication's Phil Fitzpatrick.

Also on the panel is PNG author Daniel Kumbon with his latest book, I Can See My Country Clearly Now - A Traveller's Tribute to His Own Country.

Mr Kumbon, a much-travelled journalist, was born in Enga Province, university educated and is now back working among his own people. He is a Papua New Guinean who has been successfully able to blend the rich traditions of Melanesia with the requirements of a modern state.

In his book, the award-winning writer tells of his travels to the old world and the new and reflects on how his many experiences revealed PNG to him in a new light.

Brisbane journalist and author Sean Dorney completes the panel. Sean, the author of The Embarrassed Colonialist, is a fellow at the Lowy Institute.

After reporting on the Pacific with a particular focus on Papua New Guinea for more than four decades, Mr Dorney left the ABC in August 2014.

During his time with the ABC, he won a Walkley Award for his coverage of the Aitape tsunami and was both deported and awarded an MBE by the Papua New Guinean Government.

He is also the author of Papua New Guinea: People, Politics and History since 1975 and The Sandline Affair: Politics and Mercenaries and the Bougainville Crisis.

The PNG panel will be staged from 11.15am to 12.15pm on Saturday 12 August in Coolum Civic Centre.


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