Category Archives: English

Team Simbu bike riders take time out at Sipaia beach

Team Simbu bikers at Sipaya beach, Morobe Province

Team Simbu motorbikes at Sipaya beach front on Saturday November 15, 2014.

It took almost three nights to get from Simbu down to Lae to support as part of the Team Simbu contingent to the 6th PNG Games staged in Lae, Morobe province.

18 bikers in the true spirit of support towards their team braved the long and winding journey and had to refill twice before reaching the games’ host city.

One of the bikers Michael spoke briefly about his trip saying the initial 35 bikers was reduced to 18. The whole trip consumed over 60 litres of fuel with a few stops along the way.

The team said the weather in Lae was much warmer and windy compared to Simbu.

Lae hosts 6th PNG Games

Lae the second capital city of Papua New Guinea played host to the country’s 6th PNG Games to over 1, 000 in various sporting codes.


Balloons released at Sir Ignatius Kilage stadium in Lae during the official opening ceremony of 6th PNG Games

The opening ceremony was hosted at the Sir Ignatius Kilage stadium where tickets ran out before the actual opening ceremony. Crowds lined up outside the stadium to catch a glimpse of the grand entrance by all provincial teams as their graced the afternoon with their provinical colours.

The PNG Games takes place every two years and a host province gets to host with the aim of identifying sporting talents from rural areas who take in these national sports event. From this event talented Papua New Guineans are selected and get the chance of being selected to represent PNG in international sporting events such as Commonwealth and Olympics.

Many people braved the intense heat just to see their favourite band Jokema perform live alongside Australian female artist Christian Anu and local artists in the likes of Anslom Nakikus and Keidumen.

Tickets sold out and forced these people to stand outside find every space to watce the 6th PNG Games in Lae

Crowds outside Sir Ignatius Kilage stadium outside official fence after tickets ran out before official opening ceremony

Present during the opening ceremony were senior government officials, games committee and other invited guests including PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. Continue reading

People who gets travel a lot will have a lot to tell, especially about their experiences, travelling abroad. Ask someone who travels a abroad and he or she will tell you about it. You can also hear them referring to those experiences, for instance in debates or forums on certain topics of interest.

What I am about to tell you are my own experiences, more especially the lessons I’ve learned since being in Australia for the past two weeks. I am focusing specifically on infrastructure.

Arriving at the Brisbane International Airport on Friday 23rd August, 2013, I checked into one of the Pullman Hotels.

I was supposed to have a Brisbane-Melbourne connection flight that evening but none was available since we arrived late into the evening. The lateness was a result of a technical problem developed by the Solomon Airlines aircraft we boarded at the Honiara International Airport, Solomon Islands.

However, cutting the story short, a well advanced infrastructural system is vital for the development of any country.

Waking up to see the streets of Brisbane, the tall buildings, the sealed roads and rail ways makes me think of the dusty streets of Honiara, where sealed roads could only go far enough and where dirt rough roads are all over.

This teaches me the lesson that an advanced infrastructure system of roads, bridges, airport runways, rail ways, sub-ways and other transport infrastructures are a vital part of development for a country.

Solomon Islands gained its independent state since 1978, but up to now there hasn’t been much work done to improve its transport infrastructural system, and to make things worse, less restriction on transport imports into the country has led to traffic jam problems, unlike in Australia, where both pedestrians, transport owners and providers follow traffic lights.

However, with all these amazing infrastructure, I would be interested in getting to know whether there are also related implications, and what’s the transport laws in Australia like regarding the importation of cars, buses and others.

Below is an example of infrastructure in Australia.


Exciting Experience in Australia


Have you ever been to Melbourne or Brisbane? Well if you have been to this two cities of Australia, you would have tasted and experieced the lifestyle and feel the cool and warm climate of this cities.

It was my best ever experience for a month tour in this two cities, attending the Mining, Media and Development Regional Knowledge Sharing Training, organized by the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre (APJC).

The training started on  the 24th of August and run for a month – ending on the 28th of September 2013.

The beautiful scenery of the Brighton beach – east brighton melbourne, the ghost haunting tour,  the melbourne writers festival and taking walk around the yarra river and melbourne city as well as visiting the Bengalla mine site in Muswellbrook in Scone and touring the Port Waratah are the excitment and experience I will never forget in my lifetime.

At least having a different feeling of the environment away from a day to day style of newsroom routine in my NBC Newsroom in Port Moresby was something I thought of and have convinced my bosses to send me to attend the APJC training. And with no doubt, the Melbourne and Brisbane cities provided me much to relax and refresh.

Not limited to this, but the APJC Training on Mining, Media and Development Regional Knowledge Sharing Training had been the best ever training in my life, apart from other trainings I attended since my five year carrier as news reporter with the PNG’s Public Boadcaster (NBC).

The training broadend my knowledge on business reporting, online media, getting to know better of myself and my carrier and having to know APJC Staff and prominent persons like Professors from the Monash University Prof Erik Eklund, associate Prof Philip Chubb, Suzy Woodhouse – Professional Development Instructor, Deborah Steele – Editor ABC Asia Pacific News Center, Nigel McCarthy- Business Journalism Instructor, Serena Lillywhite – Oxfam Australia Mining Advocacy Coordinator, and Renee  Barnes – Lecturer in new media journalism, University of the Sunshine Coast.

I recommend for more of such trainings in future for upcoming pacific island countries journalists to broaden their knowledge in business reporting, especially in the mining and resources sector because of lack of public knowledge on the impacts and benefits of mining in the region.



The culture of culture

fvb 03

IF you think about your culture – REALLY think about it.

Remove your emotions, those rose tinted glasses, all the romanticism you feel toward it and just look at it from a detached point of view- would you be able to identify issues with it?

And would you have the courage to speak out about it- not just to your friends and peers- but to your society as a whole.

I ask this question because in my travels through Australia- I’ve been confronted with this question and I’d be lying of if I didn’t admit that much of my free time is consumed turning the idea over in my head- like a baker kneading dough trying to find just the right consistency.

I’ll explain a little bit about myself though, I’m a 24-year-old Fijian male, 6 foot, blonde hair blue eyes- ok so i’m lying on that bit- I’m actually 23 lol.

My culture is something I am immensely proud of- even though I may not be as familiar with it as I should be.

Just the fact that I know I have an identity, a place, just the knowledge that my grandfather  and his grandfather before him all practiced and passed down the traditions that I am blessed with today.

And the cultural effects from mining is what I’m currently soaking up.

As part of this Mining, Media and Development Fellowship with the APJC- we are required to look at all the effects of mining- environmental, business, political and cultural.

And after a few sessions hearing from different speakers on the cultural effects of mining I started to think- Is my culture robbing women and young men of their voices when it comes to deciding whether or not to allow mining on indigenous land.

For those of you who don’t understand, let me explain.The Fijian culture is patriarchal.

The men make the decisions, their voices carry weight in village discussions. They sit at the top of the table and they drink the first bowl of Kava in formal ceremonies.

Women and young men- to put it politely- do not carry as much weight with their opinions.Unless of course they are chiefs in their own right.

That’s the way it’s been since the time of my grandfather and his grandfather before him.

Now when the newest mine in Fiji began to seek landowners approval for use of their land- the decision making process went straight to the Mataqali- or land owning units which of course are headed by men.

And two days before I came to Australia I listened to a panel that was convened to talk about mining in Fiji, one of the speakers presented a few statistics on the new mine.

The statistics showed how young men and women were marginalised when it came to the decision making process for giving mining companies permission to mine on THEIR land.

A survey conducted on a portion of the community showed that a staggering 76 per cent felt they were not included in the process- even though the mining operations would affect all in the area.

A further 15 per cent of 500 villagers surveyed had no idea what an EIA was.

Add to this the fact  that Indians -who had also settled nearby and would feel the effects just as equally-were not consulted- simply because they were not part of the landowning group.

Now back then it didn’t seem that wrong to me- I remember thinking ‘Well tough luck guys but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

But now I wonder- can the mining consultation process with a community actually be participatory when the culture present in the community is the exact opposite.

And this thought occurred to me during an APJC organised excursion to the Melbourne Writers Festival to catch a session on Tradition and Development.

They were talking about including the views of a community when deciding about aid for development- yes I know it’s not mining but the same principle applies.

Basically can we justify a development decision that includes the views of an indigenous community when the culture present is not a consultative one to begin with?

Am i making sense here?

With regards to our culture- have we gotten so used to doing things one way that we are actually passing off the injustices that arise because of it- as acceptable?

And to go even further do we know the finer details of why our culture is as it is? Or are we practising our culture for culture’s sake?

I’ll be honest I don’t know the answer to ALL the questions I’ve raised here – my feeling is that if we concede on on aspect of our culture then we place ourselves on a slippery slope.

And also these damn rose tinted glasses refuse to come off.

But then are we risking destroying ourselves as a society- from the inside out by not conceding on the negatives?

For my grandfather and his grandfather before him- I hope we find our answers very soon.

What’s media’s role in mining?

Oxfam Australia Mining Advocacy Leader Serena Lillywhite giving a presentation on the organization's Mining Program to APJC participants in Melbourne, Aus.

Oxfam Australia Mining Advocacy Leader Serena Lillywhite giving a presentation on the organization’s Mining Program to APJC participants in Melbourne, Aus.

Apart from PUBLIC RELATIONS for mining companies and GOVERNMANT AGENCIES that are tasked to regulate mining operations, how can the MAIN STREAM MEDIA have an impact on mining and development in general?

The ASIA PACIFC JOURNALISM CENTRE through it’s MINING, MEDIA and DEVELOPMENT-Regional Knowledge Sharing Training program, currenty underway for journalists in the Asia-Pacific region, aims to highlight some pending issues that many developing countries often encounter with mining investments.

One major highlight is the role that JOURNALISTS in main stream media can play in ensuring that mining companies are conducting their operations with MINIMAL NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS and MANAGEMENT measures, FAIR sharing of BENEFITS derived from the mine project, and TRANSPARENCY and ACCOUNTABILITY by the companies on the host communties, who ARE often ILLITERATE and RURAL-BASED.

As a radio and television broadcast journalist in Papua New Guinea, a developing nation that is commemorating it’s 38 years of self independence on the 16th of September this year, the APJC program will greatly complement my work in the province of East New Britain.

With a mine currently operating under New Guinea Gold Limited, 2 explorations underway by Ok Tedi Mining Limited, and negotiations for a world first seabed mining by Nautilus Minerals Ltd on the radar, there is a great need for me as an informer, to make sure I am able to get the necessary information I need to do my work and in turn educate the mass audience in a province where radio is the main medium for disseminating news and information.

So unlike PRs and state agencies, main stream media should not have attachments to any of those parties already represented, but be a watch dog and do a check and balance through news reports, which at the end of the day, can have a positive impact on development from mining.