Events Feed

PIR on parade at Oz exhibition

Sgts Lodi ReniWilly Kana
Back in the day - Pacific Islands Regiment Sergeants Lodi Reni and Willy Kana relax in the mess

TERRY EDWINSMITH

BRISBANE - A display featuring part of the history of the Pacific Islands Regiment was unveiled at the Australian Army Infantry Museum on 16 October.

The display was curated at Lone Pine Barracks in Singleton, NSW, with the assistance of the Australian Army History Unit.

It was opened in the presence of senior military and government officials and former PIR national servicemen in the main from the Royal Australian Army Educational Corps (RAAEC). Interested members of the public were also in attendance.

Continue reading "PIR on parade at Oz exhibition" »


How I was able to share my blessings

Are pic
In front of a massive poster of her poem, Dominica is awarded first prize in the World Food Day poetry competition

DOMINICA ARE

GOROKA - It was Tuesday 8 October during the lunch break. Everyone went out and I was alone in the office with my thoughts.

It was serene. The air crisp and cool. The fresh smell of roasted coffee floated by.

And I stared hard at the blank page before me, pondering on what I would write.

Continue reading "How I was able to share my blessings" »


Lady in mourning captivates me at the Enga show

Kumbon - Engan woman in mourning
"The mourning woman brought back vivid memories of my own mother dressed exactly the same when my baby brother, Nuamb, died nearly 60 years ago"

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG – It’s too easy to forget and slowly lose some of Papua New Guinea’s authentic traditional practices.

This realisation came to me at the recent 25th Enga Cultural Show as I stood intrigued by a lady covered from head to foot in white clay who was sitting with four other women in a booth at the far end of the showground.

She was wearing many white necklaces made with ripe seeds - or Jobs Tears - harvested from a plant called waku that grows wild in old abandoned gardens.

Continue reading "Lady in mourning captivates me at the Enga show" »


Vivid street art of Port Moresby to be showcased in Brisbane

Port Moresby street artBELINDA MACARTNEY | Westender | Edited

Paradise Palette – An Exhibition of Contemporary Art from Papua New Guinea, curated by Don Wotton. Launches on Tuesday 27 August at the Royal Queensland Art Society Gallery, 162 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, running until Monday 16 September. Open daily 9am – 5pm

BRISBANE - I was overwhelmed to see a sign welcoming me ‘home’ at Jacksons Airport in Port Moresby.

After many years’ absence, the urbanscape has changed but the warmth and generosity of its people remains.

When I signed the visitors book at my old primary school as ‘past pupil’ the headmaster beamed broadly.

Continue reading "Vivid street art of Port Moresby to be showcased in Brisbane" »


Torres Strait dance group to feature at Enga Cultural Show

Packet of traditional salt and stone axe heads
Package of traditional salt alongside stone axe heads

DANIEL KUMBON

WABAG – ‘Experience Enga’s Ancestral Salt Pond’ is the theme for this year’s 39th Enga Cultural Show, that looks bound to be one of the best organised extravaganzas ever.

A cultural group from the Foi tribe of Lake Kutubu will participate in the show, re-enacting the ancient oil for salt trade between the people of Enga and Southern Highlands.

And this experience will be flavoured by the participation of an Australian indigenous Torres Strait islander dance group.

The Lake Kutubu oil extracted from the kara’o tree – called digasa oil -  will be exchanged for traditional salt at Enga’s Mulisos Yokonda salt ponds - the exact location and original source of salt manufacture and trade with people from many parts of the highlands.

Another attraction will be the Tasting Enga Food tourism event which will involve a dinner where local dishes will be served for the first time to VIPs, tourists and other interested people.

Continue reading "Torres Strait dance group to feature at Enga Cultural Show" »


Return to the regiment: Lt Les Peterkin & the Governor-General

Lt Les Peterkin and Lt Col Paul SimadasLES PETERKIN

Les Peterkin, 85, lectured at the Australian School of Pacific Administration in the 1960s, teaching a generation of young education officers bound for Papua New Guinea in the finer and more brutal arts of physical education. I particularly recall his fiendish rope course, at which I failed. Les is also a noted ceramic artist and his Super 8 movies of PNG in the 1960s recently featured in PNG Attitude  - KJ

NEWCASTLE – Last Saturday I attended the 119th Regimental Dinner of the Sydney University Regiment hosted at Saint John’s College.

Let me explain. Four years ago, when I rejoined the Ceramic Collectors Society in Sydney, of which I had been president in the late 1970s, I met Paul Simadas, who has just finished his term as president.

Lt Colonel Paul Simadas is a professional soldier and was commanding officer of the Sydney University Regiment from 2000 to 2002.

Continue reading "Return to the regiment: Lt Les Peterkin & the Governor-General" »


The extraordinary mask festival & other Rabaul attractions

Kinjap - Rabaul National Mask Festival participantsPETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY - The National Mask and Warwagira Festival is an annual event in East New Britain where the local tribes gather to display their culture and traditions.

The festival starts at dawn on the beach with a Kinavai ceremony, when the mysterious and feared Dukduk and Tubuan arrive on canoes from their villages accompanied by the chanting and beating of drums.

The Kinavai ceremony is spiritually important for the local Tolai people, who reportedly migrated to East New Britain from Namatanai in New Ireland Province. The ceremony signifies their landing on the shores of East New Britain.

Impressive-looking men in red laplaps stand out from the crowd as they walk leisurely around grass huts selling refreshments, food and crafts.

Continue reading "The extraordinary mask festival & other Rabaul attractions" »


Bougainville’s many festivals present a delight for visitors

Mona - Bougainville men
Bougainville men display a model of the traditional mona vessel used for warfare, exploration and fishing

PETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY - Festivals and events are part of the indigenous lifestyle in Papua New Guinea. Everywhere you go there is always a celebration close by and many of them have turned into tourist attractions for the country.

The Mona canoe race event in Bougainville is one event that is hosted annually with other activities. In 2014 Bougainville set dates for Bougainville festivals including this one that started in August the same year.

The Mona Festival (sometimes referred to as the Canoe Festival) is held annually in Buka to celebrate the seafaring tradition of Bougainvilleans.

The ‘mona’ is a large sea going canoe which was used for trade or to conduct lightning raids on other communities and islands in the Solomon Sea.

Continue reading "Bougainville’s many festivals present a delight for visitors" »


DWU cultural festival promotes students’ ethnic heritage

DWU - Welda woman from Western Highlands
A Welda student from the Western Highlands

PETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY - Divine Word University community in Madang is always pleased to host its DWU Cultural Festival every year in the third week of August.

It’s a lively event with traditional songs and dances as students from all 22 provinces in PNG, Solomon Islands and Fiji take centre stage showcasing their cultures in what is something closer to a Pacific festival.

The people of Madang and visiting tourists and the growing expatriate community of Chinese, Filipinos and Europeans usually take the chance to see a sampling of the diverse cultures and traditions of Papua New Guinea and the Pacific.

Many students had their parents, guardians and extended relatives on campus to assist them with the preparations and performances as well.

The inclusion of mostly highlands parents was a testament to the level of pride and support they have for their student sons, daughters, nephews and cousins.

The highlands students usually appear more spectacular when their elders put the finishing touches on the face painting and traditional attire.

The annual festival is set by the university administration for the students to acknowledge their indigenous roots in traditional song, dance, costumes and folklore.

Continue reading "DWU cultural festival promotes students’ ethnic heritage" »


Events marked World Press Freedom Day in Asia-Pacific region

Professor David Robie
Professor David Robie

NEWS DESK | Asia Pacific Report/Pacific Media Watch

AUCKLAND - The head of an Auckland-based Pacific media watchdog says New Zealand “takes media freedom for granted” and could learn a lot from its Pacific neighbours.

“For the last few years we have been sitting fairly pretty in the world press freedom index where we are seventh at the moment – we have gone up one place from last year and we just take it for granted,” said Pacific Media Centre director Professor David Robie.

“Everything’s fine. Hunky-dory here.

“But around most of the world, particularly in the Pacific, World Press Freedom Day is a really important thing because there is a constant struggle going on.”

Continue reading "Events marked World Press Freedom Day in Asia-Pacific region" »


The Mount Hagen Show will be bigger & better this year

Icon of the show
Welda girl from Mt Hagen (Peter Kinjap)

PETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY - 2019 has brought changes to the Mount Hagen Cultural Show committee in setting priorities designed to regain corporate sector confidence leading to the staging of another colourful cultural extravaganza in August.

A successful team lead by John Bonny has brought forward K30,000 from last year to enhance preparations for this year’s annual cultural festival.

Members representing various organisations have come together to form a strong team including Phil Kelly from Tinining Limited, Pim Mamandi from Paiya Tours, Pauline Grove from Trans Niugini Tours and James Wakapu from Western Highlands Provincial Tourism, Arts and Culture.

John Bonny said the K30,000.00 forms the basis for raising funds this year and he stressed the importance of business community involvement along with key government departments and schools to ensure that one of the world’s great shows will be maintained.

Continue reading "The Mount Hagen Show will be bigger & better this year" »


In industrious Lae, the Morobe Show moves into its 60th year

Wampar village beauty (Jennifer Oliver)
The decorous people of Wampar village at the Morobe Show (Jennifer Oliver)

PETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY - If it was not for the war in the Pacific between 1942 and 1945, Papua New Guinea would be a different country in terms of tourism popularity.

But let me first go back to April 1883 when James Burns and Robert Philp decided their trading company Burns Philp would offer visits to New Guinea and, in 1884, advertised the ground-braking 'New Guinea Excursion Trip'.

This consisted of a five-week round trip from Thursday Island and was described as the "official beginning of tourist cruises in the South Pacific".

By 1914 Burns Philp’s tourism department acquired the Port Moresby Hotel and the Papua Hotel was purchased some years later.

Burns Philp continued its maritime passenger and tourism services until the outbreak of the World War II in the Pacific in 1942.

Continue reading "In industrious Lae, the Morobe Show moves into its 60th year" »


Kundu & Digaso festival is restored after quake disaster

Kinjap - Kutubu women nearing Daga village on canoe (Pekinjap)
Kutubu women nearing Daga village by canoe (Peter Kinjap)

PETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY – In February 2018, Daga village located in the midst of tropical forest near Lake Kutubu in the Southern Highlands, was the scene of a devastating earthquake.

The quake was a disaster for more than 40 villages, claiming many lives, destroying houses and food gardens and displacing hundreds of people.

The remote Daga village was unknown to the outside world until nine years ago when it hosted a traditional party known as the Kutubu Kundu and Digaso Festival.

The event is hosted at the centre of Daga village, which lost its traditional Kutubu long house, to the shocking earthquake. Buildings surrounding the outdoor area where the festival takes place were also damaged.

Continue reading "Kundu & Digaso festival is restored after quake disaster" »


Enga’s annual show highlights people, tradition & identity

Kinjap - Sili Muli girls prepare for the show
Sili Muli dancers prepare for the Enga show

PETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY - We can safely say there is enough evidence for us to know that more than 25,000 years ago the Melanesian people crossed land bridges from Indochina to inhabit what we refer to as Papua New Guinea.

When Engan son and prolific writer Daniel Kumbon paused at the display of Engan artefacts at the African American Cultural Centre in Dayton, United States, he addressed black Americans with the words:

“Like some of you, we too are black. Like you, our roots are rich and deep. We are your distant cousins, sharing a common African heritage but now scattered in different parts of the world.”

“Maybe black Americans have appreciated the [Engan] display more than others,” said Dr Paul Brennan, the American anthropologist, when he saw the love and admiration of his culture on Daniel’s face.

Continue reading "Enga’s annual show highlights people, tradition & identity" »


Late Terry Shelley receives one of Rotary's highest awards

Joe Shelley Wes Nicholls
Joe Shelley receives a humanitarian award on behalf of his late father, Terry, from Rotary director Wes Nicholls

MURRAY BLADWELL

BRISBANE – The late Terry Shelley was both a successful businessman in Papua New Guinea and a generous philanthropist.

He dedicated his working life to the welfare of the people of the Highlands and was always one of the first to contribute when PNG Attitude and other organisations initiated projects to benefit the ordinary folk of PNG.

Two years ago he worked with me on a massive undertaking to provide library books and related materials for dozens of schools in the Chimbu Province.

This was where Terry had started his career in the 1960s as a cooperatives officer and where he was a familiar figure for the rest of his life as an entrepreneur and benefactor.

A few weeks ago, Wes Nichols, the international director of the Rotary Club of Toowong in Brisbane, visited Goroka to present Terry’s son, Joe, representing his late father, with the Paul Harris Fellow award and medallion.

This prestigious award marked the Rotary Club’s recognition of a man who was a true humanitarian and an adopted son of Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Late Terry Shelley receives one of Rotary's highest awards" »


The Goroka Show reflects the face of a changing nation

Mudmen
Asaro mud men prepare their masks at the Australian Museum in Sydney (Ian Neubaueri)

PETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY - Since the beginning of human society, festivals and other events have provided a means for people to relax, enjoy, and escape from the routine of their daily lives by celebrating and enjoying themselves.

Papua New Guinea, steeped in a rich culture and with a fascinating history, plays host to many events throughout the year. Not only do they showcase the unique attributes of PNG, they also bring together communities, tribes and tourists.

The oldest regional show in PNG is the Goroka Cultural Show, launched in 1957 and since 1975 always coinciding with the week the country celebrates its independence. It brings together the customs of more than one hundred tribes that populate the highlands which gather for music, dancing, extraordinary tribal rituals and plain showing-off.

Continue reading "The Goroka Show reflects the face of a changing nation" »


How we nearly blew ourselves up at the Goroka Show

2011 Goroka Show (Natalie Wilson)
Dance banners at the 2011 Goroka Show (Natalie Wilson)

PHIL FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Peter Kinjap’s article about the Mount Hagen Show reminded me of my first foray into the world of district agricultural shows.

In 1968, assistant district officer Don Reid, patrol officer Rob Kelvin and cadet patrol officer Yours Truly were cajoled into putting together the Western Highlands entry for the Goroka Show by the assistant district commissioner in Mt Hagen, Ross Allen.

Don Reid was good at persuading people into doing things they didn’t really want to do, like donating the expensive commodities they produced for the greater glory of our planned exhibit.

Among other things, he seized copious bags of coffee from several planters and a full chest of tea from Ivor Manton and his newly opened tea factory at Warrawou.

Continue reading "How we nearly blew ourselves up at the Goroka Show" »


The rhythm of the kundu…. It’s Mt Hagen Show time

Huli dancers (PNG Value Tours)
Nebilyer (Western Highlands) dancers at the Mt Hagen Show (PNG Value Tours)

PETER S KINJAP

PORT MORESBY – Most of Papua New Guinea’s cultural events are a relatively unspoiled resource that have great potential for generating revenue from tourism. 

From the year’s beginning to its end, it is festival time somewhere in PNG.

In Mount Hagen, capital of the Western Highlands Province, the famous Mount Hagen Cultural Show is showcased every year during the first of week of August.

With a history that dates back almost 60 years, the show is one of PNG’s finest and most popular events.

It draws tribes from all over the Western Highlands and neighbouring provinces for cultural performances, art and craft displays, singing and dancing, and traditional rituals.

The show was first staged in 1961, long before Papua New Guinea’s independence, in a bid to peacefully share and preserve the people’s traditions.

Continue reading "The rhythm of the kundu…. It’s Mt Hagen Show time" »


Sean’s daughter walking Kokoda to clobber motor neurone disease

JERVINA DORNEY

 

BRISBANE - In April I will be walking the Kokoda Trail to raise funds for a small, not-for-profit called the MND and Me Foundation. 

MND is Motor Neurone Disease, which, sadly, my father, Sean, was diagnosed with a few years ago. 

It is a struggle every day and, but for the exposure given to it by a few high profile sufferers (the late Stephen Hawking being one), it is one of the many diseases that is not very well known unless someone in your circle has been afflicted.

I will be walking the Trail with a group of family and friends, all of whom are fund raising in support of the MND and Me Foundation.

Continue reading "Sean’s daughter walking Kokoda to clobber motor neurone disease" »


It’s International Anti-Corruption Day

TiMEDIA RELEASE | Transparency International

BERLIN - Today is International Anti-Corruption Day. Around the world anti-corruption activists are highlighting that no country is immune to the effects of corruption.

Most countries are making too little progress in ending corruption, as we found in our Corruption Perceptions Index 2017. 

Similarly, we’ve found that despite lofty promises the G20 is moving too slowly on implementing its anti-corruption commitments, and OECD members are not actively enforcing laws against bribing abroad.

Continue reading "It’s International Anti-Corruption Day" »


Nine things you need to know about this APEC leaders’ week

Parliament House and Independence Boulevard
Parliament House with Independence Boulevard behind and the circular new International Convention Centre at left (Aaron Chin)

STAFF WRITER | Business Advantage PNG

PORT MORESBY - The final two events of Papua New Guinea’s APEC-hosting year begin tomorrow.

The APEC leaders meeting and CEO summit are the highlights of APEC leaders’ week, to take place from tomorrow (Monday) to next Sunday, and thousands of delegates are arriving in Port Moresby from all over the APEC region. Here’s what to expect.

Public holiday in Port Moresby

Friday 16 November will be a public holiday but only in Port Moresby. Last week, prime minister Peter O’Neill said there would be just one public holiday after speculation the government was planning to declare two.

Continue reading "Nine things you need to know about this APEC leaders’ week" »


Multi-million kina Maserati fleet for APEC raises questions

Maserati loading
The Maseratis with their V6 Ferrari engines will struggle to reach their top speed of 275 kph on Port Moresby’s roads. They can hit 100 kph in five seconds

KEVIN PONNIAH | BBC News

LONDON - Papua New Guinea's government is under scrutiny for importing 40 luxury Maserati cars from Italy for the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

The Quattroporte sedans, which cost more than $100,000 each (K325,000), will be used by foreign leaders.

Media and activists have questioned if the poor Pacific country has wasted millions.

But the government says the private sector has "committed" to paying.

APEC Minister Justin Tkatchenko said the cars would "provide the level of carriage for leaders that is the standard for vehicles used at APEC summits".

Continue reading "Multi-million kina Maserati fleet for APEC raises questions" »


Citizens react in anger as govt tries to explain Maserati purchase

2018 Maserati Quattroporte
2018 Maserati Quattroporte S GranLusso Sedan

HELEN DAVIDSON | The Guardian | Extracts

SYDNEY - Papua New Guineans have reacted with anger at its government importing a fleet of Maseratis to drive international delegates around the APEC conference next month, amid a health and poverty crisis, struggling economy, and ongoing efforts after a devastating earthquake.

The PNG government has defended its decision, expressing confidence that all 40 luxury cars will be bought by the “private sector” after the two-day event, leaving the government with no financial burden.

The cars, which cost between $200,000 and $350,000 each in Australia, were flown in from Milan on two Boeing 747-8F charter planes this week, with the costs covered by “the private sector”, according to the minister for APEC, Justin Tkatchenko.

“Maserati Quattroporte sedans have been secured and delivered, and are being committed to be paid for by the private sector,” he said.

Continue reading "Citizens react in anger as govt tries to explain Maserati purchase" »


Bougainville Day events gain momentum as referendum nears

Bougainville DayANTHONY KAYBING

ARAWA – This town will come alive late this week as the former capital commemorates Bougainville Day on Friday 15 June.

The initiative is largely a communal effort with backing by local business houses and the Kieta District Administration.

The celebrations are aimed at encouraging economic recovery, reconciliation and celebrating Bougainville’s achievements on its path to next year’s referendum and the ultimate political goal of independence.

Tonny Moera, chairman of the Central Bougainville Events Committee, said in previous years there was not much emphasis on celebrations.

Continue reading "Bougainville Day events gain momentum as referendum nears" »


It's difficult to be enthusiastic about APEC's immense cost

WatnaMori
Watna Mori - government still owes much money from past spending on public spectacles

WATNA MORI | The Interpreter | Lowy Institute

PORT MORESBY - It is not clear when the big-man politics in Papua New Guinea’s foreign policy began.

It was likely during the prime ministership of Sir Michael Somare in the early 2000s, when he pushed for PNG to be an aid donor to the region.

At the time, and to this day, PNG continues to be Australia’s largest aid recipient, so Somare’s aim seemed hugely ironic. The ambition kicked off debates in the national newspapers between Somare’s cohorts and critics.

With the exit of Somare and the entry of Peter O’Neill, the benevolence grew. In 2013, O’Neill unveiled the Pacific aid program and proceeded to make donations to various Pacific countries, including a whopping US$18.5 million of funding for the Fiji national elections in 2014.

The O’Neill government also needed to deliver on several infrastructure-heavy commitments made in the heat of promised liquefied natural gas (LNG) returns. These included the Melanesian Arts Festival in July 2014 and the South Pacific Games in July 2015.

Continue reading "It's difficult to be enthusiastic about APEC's immense cost" »


When war came to Australian Papua: Poppy & lantana side by side

Doug Robbins  Anzac Day  Springbrook. 2018
Ex kiap Doug Robbins' speech to Springbrook's Anzac Day ceremony yesterday

DOUG ROBBINS

SPRINGBROOK, QUEENSLAND - The past year marked 75 years since, sadly, too many Australian lives were lost during World War II fighting in the South West Pacific Area – and on Australian soil.

Following Pearl Harbour, Darwin at the north of mainland Australia, was bombed in February 1942 with loss of many servicemen and civilians. Then Broome was bombed the next month.

We know that Darwin is part of Australia, but little is acknowledged that Papua, a former British Colony in the south-east quarter of the island of New Guinea and only four kilometres from the Torres Strait Islands of Queensland, was a Territory of Australia for almost 100 years to 1975.

The fierce jungle battles of Kokoda, Milne Bay and the Beachheads were fought on what was then Australian soil.

In August 1942, at the same time as Kokoda, Australian Forces were defending airfields at Milne Bay to protect Port Moresby and Australia to the south. Milne Bay was free of fighting by September.

Continue reading "When war came to Australian Papua: Poppy & lantana side by side" »


Last month: A Bit na Ta reminds us of forgotten links to PNG

Kinawai dance ceremony
Tolai men with sacred tubuan objects perform a ritual Kinawai dance ceremony in the early hours of the morning on a Bit Na Ta, Blanche Bay (G Kakabin)

HELEN GARDNER | The Conversation

MELBOURNE - It is rare to find histories of colonialism told by Pacific people utilising Pacific song, dance and culture as well as more standard archival materials.

Historians of the region are largely products of the universities of former imperial powers and the sons and daughters of settler colonialism.

The A Bit na Ta installation in the Bunjilaka gallery in the Melbourne Museum is therefore an important counter to the Australian colonial stories of Papua New Guinea.

The exhibition centres around a film made by Melbourne musician David Bridie, in collaboration with the Tolai people of East New Britain, particularly photographer/historian Gideon Kakabin and singer George Telek.

It is accompanied by commissioned artworks and artefacts from the museum’s collections. The result is a surefooted retelling of the history of the island and its famous town Rabaul from the perspective of the Tolai people.

Continue reading "Last month: A Bit na Ta reminds us of forgotten links to PNG" »


Art & song forge closer bonds between Australia & PNG

 EDITOR | Visual Arts Hub

Ritual Kinuwai dance ceremony (G Kakabin)
Tolai men perform a kinawai dance ceremony with sacred tubuan objects at dawn on a Bit Na Ta, Blanche Bay

a Bit na Ta: The Story of the Gunantuna at the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Melbourne Museum, until- 4 February 2018; ticketed

MELBOURNE - Although Papua New Guinea is Australia’s nearest neighbour geographically, it has traditionally been held at a cultural distance.

Shared projects are rare and relatively few Australians have experienced the cultures of this vibrant nation.

Museums Victoria is challenging that distance through the multimedia installation and exhibition, a Bit na Ta: The Story of the Gunantuna, a collaborative project re-imagining PNG through language, colour and symbolic imagery.

a Bit na Ta ('the source of the sea') incorporates video footage, photographic works and collection objects, and celebrates the resilience of the Tolai people of East New Britain, who have survived the disruptions of shifting colonial powers, war, volcanic eruptions and independence struggles.

The work is the outcome of a 30-year friendship between internationally renowned Tolai singer George Telek and Aria-winning musician and composer David Bridie.

Continue reading "Art & song forge closer bonds between Australia & PNG" »


Kiaps meet again on Sunshine Coast – a most durable body of men

Peter Salmon and friend
Peter Salmon & colleague - old kiaps never die, they just go ape

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - “Are you going to stray from your lofty editorial cyber-perch and grace us with your presence at the next reunion?” said the email.

It was impertinence normale from onetime pikinini kiap Peter Salmon. A missive of characteristic disrespect.

As soon as they put on their broad brimmed military-style hats, these young turks of pre-independent Papua New Guinea thought they sat at the feet of god. Which in a sense some did.

Vale nambawan kiap Tom Ellis.

Peter and I were contemporaries in Chimbu in the 1960s – him a kiap, me a tisa - before we both went on to other careers and other lives.

Since 2001, Peter has been publisher of the valued and historically valuable Ex Kiap website (if you haven’t seen it, catch up here). He is a communicator after my own heart – keep the channels open, the debate free and duck for cover as required.

Continue reading "Kiaps meet again on Sunshine Coast – a most durable body of men" »


APEC forum will benefit people throughout PNG: Lepani

Artist’s impression of APEC Haus
Artist’s impression of APEC Haus off Port Moresby's Ela Beach

STAFF REPORTER | Business Advantage PNG | Edited extracts

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea businesses should expect income streams from next month as momentum builds towards the APEC summit in November 2018, director-general of the APEC PNG coordination authority, Sir Charles Lepani, says.

He told a Business Advantage PNG investment summit in Sydney that hotels, small business suppliers and the informal sector throughout PNG will benefit from preparations for next year’s APEC leaders’ summit in Port Moresby.

Sir Charles said his authority needed to manage expectations, noting that the summit will not change PNG overnight. But he said it would establish a foundation for stronger growth, bringing in much-needed foreign exchange and raising PNG’s profile.

Continue reading "APEC forum will benefit people throughout PNG: Lepani" »


Marvellous line-up of performers for Melanesian music festival

MARK SCHUBERT Wantok Telek

BRISBANE - On Sunday 17 September, people from Brisbane's Melanesian communities together with many Australians will celebrate PNG’s anniversary of independence in a music festival at Redlands Performing Arts Centre, about 30 minutes from the centre of Brisbane.

Topping the bill is the brilliant PNG singer and poet George Telek who will perform with Ben Hakalitz (PNG), Charles Maimarosia (Solomons) and Tio (Vanuatu).

On the weekend of the 42nd anniversary of PNG independence, this showcase brings together the most outstanding contemporary and traditional Melanesian music.

George Telek, who has performed in the UK, the US and Germany as well as in our part of the world, headlines the concert, bringing his signature blend of modern and traditional Melanesian rhythms.

Continue reading "Marvellous line-up of performers for Melanesian music festival" »


Nicholay Miklouho-Maclay IV to visit PNG next month

Nikolai-Miklouho-Maclay-by-Russian-artist-Konstantin-MakovskySIR PETER BARTER

THE great-grandson of the famed Russian anthropologist Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay (pictured) will visit Papua New Guiena next month.

Nickolay Miklouho-Maclay IV is a direct descendant of the naturalist, explorer, anthropologist and artist who first arrived in PNG in September 1871, landing at Garagassi Point and settling at Gorendu village on the Rai Coast of Madang.

Here he established an excellent relationship with the people and is anthropological work and diaries became widely acknowledged in Russia and around the world.

In September 1971, a delegation of Russians visited Madang on board a Russian frigate to mark the centenary of Maclay’s arrival, at which time a monument was established on the site of his house.

Continue reading "Nicholay Miklouho-Maclay IV to visit PNG next month" »


‘Walk to Equality’ story continues at Oz literary festivals

My Walk to Equality CoverRASHMII BELL

THE milestone anthology by Papua New Guinean women writers, My Walk to Equality, will be showcased at two international literary festivals in Queensland in the next two months.

The book will be discussed in special panel sessions at the Sunshine Coast International Readers and Writers Festival in Coolum on 11 August and at the Brisbane Writers Festival on 8 and 10 September.

The book of evocative essays, short stories and poems was written by 45 Papua New Guinean and published by Pukpuk Publications to coincide with International Women’s Day this year.

It was launched at companion events were held in Port Moresby and Brisbane and has since become a landmark publication.

Continue reading "‘Walk to Equality’ story continues at Oz literary festivals" »


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.

Continue reading "PNG writers to share views & struggles at writers festival" »


Redlands in Queensland to host inaugural Melanesian Showcase

George TelekDR MARK SCHUBERT

THE Redlands Performing Arts Centre in Cleveland near Brisbane is bringing together a Melanesian Showcase in mid-September.

The first ever event will be hosted by the Quandamooka people of the Redlands region and is designed to be an important cultural exchange between Melanesia and coastal indigenous Australia.

My wife, Elaine Seeto (originally from Kavieng) is one of the organisers of the showcase, which is intended to grow into a regular and even larger festival of music and the arts.

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PNG WW2 veterans’ anniversary invitations close this Friday

On the Sanananda ...KEITH JACKSON

AUSTRALIAN Veterans’ Affairs Minister Dan Tehan is encouraging veterans from some of the important Papua New Guinean campaigns of World War II to nominate to attend two important commemorations to be held in Canberra later this year.

Time is running out, though, and nominations to receive support to attend the commemorations of the Battles of Milne Bay, Kokoda, Buna, Gona and Sanananda close this coming Friday.

Mr Tehan said the government will arrange return travel and accommodation for eligible veterans and an accompanying carer from their home location to attend the ceremonies at the Australian War Memorial.

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Commemorating the controversial battle of Porton plantation

The Battle of PortonREG YATES

AFTER PNG Attitude published my ‘PNG Adventurous Training Guide' recently, I received an invitation from James Warar, headman of Porton Plantation in Bougainville, to let interested people know about the commemoration of a controversial World War II battle at the plantation.

The 31/51st Battalion of the Australian Military Force attacked Imperial Japanese soldiers defending the plantation from 8-11 June 1945. The commemoration will be held on Saturday 10 June 2017 at Porton.

But the Australian assault made several mistakes and the attack did not go according to plan.

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Milestone book launched: Let us walk boldly to equality

Books arrive in PNGRASHMII AMOAH BELL

The first collection of writing by Papua New Guinean women, My Walk to Equality, was launched last night before 80 people at a high-spirited event at The Stanley Hotel in Port Moresby. The book’s editor, Rashmii Amoah Bell, could not be there and her speech was delivered by Cr Ingrid Jackson. The launch - which included a number of powerful presentations by leading women - was scheduled to coincide with International Women’s Day. The book will also be launched at the Mary Ryan bookshop at Milton in Brisbane next Thursday

TO the brilliant 44 Papua New Guinean women writers. To Keith Jackson and Philip Fitzpatrick. Well we did it!

I extend my apologies for my absence from this Port Moresby launch of our milestone publication. If there is anything I am more devoted to than reading, writing and praising God Almighty, it is my young family and fulfilling my daily responsibilities to my three children.

And so I thank Councillor Ingrid Jackson who has kindly agreed to convey these words on my behalf to this wonderful gathering celebrating the publication of My Walk to Equality.

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‘Be Bold For Change’ – PNG’s women writers are already there

Beboldforchange-iwd2017KEITH JACKSON

THE theme for International Women’s Day to be celebrated on Wednesday 8 March is for women to #BeBoldForChange – and, through contributions to the anthology, My Walk to Equality, nearly 50 Papua New Guinean women writers proved they already had taken this idea to heart.

And as the Oil Search Foundation, Allen’s Legal, Paga Hill Development Company, the Sir Brian Bell Foundation and other PNG organisations rally to the cause of this highly praised book, it’s clear that the call is understood and is gaining momentum.

My Walk to Equality will be launched in Port Moresby on International Women’s Day (IWD) and in Brisbane eight days later. The Moresby launch – by invitation only – will feature Dame Carol Kidu and Tanya Zeriga-Alone, two fighters for women’s rights in PNG. Rashmii Amoah Bell will be the star attraction in Brisbane. I will be at both events.

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Five reasons why people feel they should protest against APEC

Manila APEC protestACT NOW PNG | Edited extracts

IN NOVEMBER 2015, Manila in the Philippines hosted an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.

Civil society mobilised to protest against the meeting. There are cogent reasons why people were so angered by APEC and what it represents.

Here in Papua New Guinea we should be similarly outraged as the same reasoning applies.

Ahead the Manila summit, Philippines’ social movements, unions, indigenous groups, farmers’ organisations and international activists mobilised to protest against the two-day annual meeting.

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A year of multitude blessings for Simbu Children Foundation

Digicel Foundation representative presenting vehicle to SCFFRANCIS NII

PATIENCE and perseverance are truly the keys to success in whatever we want to achieve.

This proved true for the Simbu Children Foundation this year when it was smothered with an unprecedented level of support in its charity work serving the sick and disadvantaged children of Simbu.

During its ninth annual fundraising ball last Saturday at the Mt Wilhelm Tourist Hotel, SCF was presented with no less than two motor vehicles.

The first is a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser station wagon fully kitted out with mobile medical facilities worth at K190, 000 by Digicel Foundation.

The second is a Land Rover which was donated by Kennedy Wemin, CEO of Melanesian Trustee Services Limited and long-serving SCF patron.

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100 Simbu schools & health centres benefit from huge gift

Kundiawa crowd thanks Toowong Rotary & Simby writersFRANCIS NII

SIMBU schools and rural health centres have celebrated an early Christmas with boxes of books and linen gifted by the Toowong Rotary Club in Brisbane.

Rotary’s Murray Bladwell and Terry Shelley of Goroka’s Nowek Ltd worked together to deliver the Books for Simbu Schools project, a shipping container of 11,000 books, linen and other health items.

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'Let's show the world we're as good as anyone,' says Drekore

Merlyn & Jimmy DrekoreGLORIA BAUAI | Loop PNG | Edited

JIMMY Drekore will refer to it as “a nation’s achievement” when, next Thursday, he receives the 2016 World of Children Health Award in New York City.

“Even though it’s Jimmy Drekore receiving the award, I will be proud to represent this beautiful country,” he told the media before leaving Port Moresby for the United States with wife Merlyn (pictured).

In 2005, Mr Drekore founded the Simbu Children Foundation, which strives to provide hope for sick and disadvantaged children.

It is a charity that funds airfares, medical costs and expenses for sick village children from Simbu Province to enable them to travel to the city and overseas hospitals for medical tests, operations and other treatments that are unavailable locally.

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A new collection that declares a bright future for PNG poetry

Wardley Barry 2PHIL FITZPATRICK

ONE of the really satisfying things about PNG Attitude and the Crocodile Prize is that every so often a writer of impressive power comes along.

Sometimes they just jump out at you and at other times they creep up behind you and it takes a while to notice them.

Wardley D Barry-Igivisa is one of the former. Upon sighting his first poem, it was obvious that a major talent had emerged.

Like many Papua New Guinean writers, Ward has set out on a long and arduous road with many pitfalls and little reward.

He is now a traveller who needs help along the way if he is to reach the final destination of having his name scrawled up there on the rickety totem pole of Papua New Guinean literature.

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Kundiawa Hospital celebrates its achievements

Mathew Kaluvia and colleaguesFRANCIS NII

THE MOSTLY quiet corner of Kundiawa town that is home to the Sir Joseph Nombri Memorial Hospital last week came alive with the beating of kundus, singing and dancing as over 3,000 people celebrated its second open day.

The event marked the hospital’s proud track record of community service and development in both its clinical and non-clinical areas under the management of CEO Mathew Kaluvia (in suit).

The activities took place in the outpatient area in which each unit of the hospital had its own stall where staff conducted displays and exhibitions.

The crowd was eager and amazed at some of the displays, especially weird looking surgical tools they had never imagined before. ‘This is just amazing,” said Jane, a guardian from Jiwaka Province.

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Melanesian artists invited to submit work to Melbourne exhibition

Sampari logoPAULINE VETUNA

THE curators of an art exhibition in Melbourne, Australia, are urgently looking for Papua New Guinean artists to submit work for the upcoming Sampari Art Show in December.

The submission date is 17 October 2016.

The show, curated and organised by a team of dedicated volunteers from the West Papua Women's Office, is themed 'West Papua' and will feature the art of artists across Melanesia in solidarity with the West Papuan people.

Sampari coordinators in each of the Melanesian nations are working to attract submissions inspired by West Papuans, their geography, cultures, politics, history and environment.

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PNG writers spectacular international debut at Brisbane festival

Part of the audience at the PNG writers sessionKEITH JACKSON

AT THE Brisbane Writers Festival yesterday, before an audience of over 50 people including Papua New Guinea’s consul-general Maggie Moi-he, four of PNG’s top writers showed they were not only giants of the keyboard but splendid performers on the international stage.

As representatives of their country and interpreters of Melanesian literary expression, Francis Nii, Martyn Namorong, Rashmii Amoah Bell and Daniel Kumbon - with style, intellect and charisma - put in a superb performance at the first ever PNG presentation at an Australian literary festival.

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Adventist University's Vision City show brings out top talent

SketchingWARDLEY BARRY

LAST Saturday was a night to remember. A night where the raw beauty of untapped talent was exposed.

A night where cultural pride, national identity, individuality and innovation left everyone in the audience speechless and inspired.

The first ever Vision City talent show held at Pacific Adventist University exploded in colours way beyond expectations.

Talented painters who had never showed their works to a wide audience paraded them with pride.

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Walking the talk against cancer: Major fundraising planned

Walk Against CancerBOMAI D WITNE

I’VE MADE many announcements since taking on the responsibility for community announcements after Sunday service at our local church in Goroka.

But last Sunday I made an announcement that I thought needed to be shared with the wider community.

Catholic Health Services in Eastern Highlands Province, in collaboration with many other organisations, is pooling ideas and resources to raise money to buy cancer treatment facilities.

The theme of the fundraising is ‘Walk the talk against cancer’ and the initiative was provoked by the lack of early detection, diagnosis, testing and specialist treatment of cancer patients in Papua New Guinea.

The death rate from cancer is increasing each year with women topping the list. Most victims are unaccounted for and suffer silently in rural areas throughout PNG.

The organisers of ‘Walk the talk’ aim to raise K10 million to buy cancer treatment facilities for facilities in Goroka, Port Moresby, Mingende and Kundiawa.

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