ISSUE 07 | DECEMBER 2021–JANUARY 2022
CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
IN THE SWIM HOW PNG OLYMPIC SWIMMER BEAT THE ODDS
+ CULTURE | FASHION | FOOD | SPORT | PNG MONI
A near-death experience caused Velma Ninjipa to write down all the things she wanted to achieve with the rest of her life — her ‘bucket list’. One of the items on that list was starting her own piano school, which she has now achieved. She talks about her journey, and the power of music to change young lives, on Page 8. What would your bucket list look like? Velma’s story made us at PNG Now reflect on what would be on our own lists. Perhaps you have a goal related to exercise or sport, like Olympic swimmer, Judith Meauri. The inspiring story of her return from illness, on Page 20, shows how determination and the support of family and friends can make all the difference in achieving your goals. Perhaps you have a passion or hobby you want to follow. Veteran photographer Rocky Roe started his working life as a fitter and turner at the Bougainville Copper mine in the 1970s, but he had a strong passion for photography. Determined to follow that passion, he ultimately left his job to become a professional photographer and never looked back. You can find the photographic highlights of his 44-year career on Page 26. Or perhaps you want to start something new in PNG, as Philma Kelegai of PNG Fashion Week and fashion designer Ziya Riyani are doing. Their shared vision for a dynamic fashion industry in PNG has led them to create the PNG Fashion Foundation, which is bringing the industry together. With the year ending, it’s a good time to reflect on our own life goals, and how we might achieve them. This time of year is also a time for giving. For some exciting Christmas present ideas, many of them made right here in PNG, turn to our Christmas Gift Guide on Page 40. It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it? The team at PNG Now would like to wish all our valued readers, contributors and advertisers a happy and safe Christmas, and a prosperous new year. We’re looking forward to bringing you even more of the best of PNG in 2022. As always, please take care and stay COVID-safe. www.pngnowmag.com Join the PNG Now conversation on Facebook facebook.com/ pngnowmag, Instagram @pngnowmag and LinkedIn linkedIn.com/company/png-now-magazine.
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CONTENTS UP FRONT
Meet our writers and photographers 06 Breakfast with gunshot survivor Velma Ninijipa 08 My World, what people are reading, watching, and listening to 10
Independence celebrations, markets, performances, and the biggest parties in POM 12–17
PNG elder Eddy Moide shares his wisdom and childhood memories 18
Tuberculosis, the scourge of PNG 24
All the best that POM has to offer: restaurants, bars, hotels and more 32
Restaurant review, where to find the best Vietnamese cooking in POM 37
IN THE SWIM 20
PNG’s Paralympic athletes back from Tokyo with personal bests 38 Locker Room Chat with netballer Jeperth Tulapi 39
How a PNG Olympic swimmer beat the odds
MADE IN PNG
The country hard at work, a special report 44–53
PNG economic forecast, and other business news 56 Property report: strong demand for affordable housing estates continues 58 Seven essential money-saving tips 61 At work with front-line nurse Glen Bani 62
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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
Phones, technology, books and more
A portfolio of photos by veteran photographer Rocky Roe
A BIG NIGHT OUT 34
PNG Now is a free magazine produced by Business Advantage International Pty Ltd in association with
Fashion’s grand event Distributed by Pascoe Promotions, Port Moresby © Copyright 2021, Business Advantage International and contributors. All rights reserved. ADVERTISING INQUIRIES TO BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Charles Saldanha firstname.lastname@example.org +61 (0) 404 842 472 EDITOR Robert Upe email@example.com EDITORIAL ADVISORY TEAM Penny Burns, Aaron Chin, Leanne Jorari, Sylvia Pascoe CONTRIBUTORS Paul Chai, Natalie Cholohei, Bronwen Gora, David James, Godfreeman Kaptigau, Lemach Lavari, Poliap M’Buleau, Gabriella Munoz, Carmel Pilotti, Rocky Roe, Peter Schofield (designer), Leilani Stephen, Sally Woollett (proofreader) COVER Papua New Guinean Olympic swimmer Judith Meauri, photographed by Godfreeman Kaptigau. See our story, Page 20.
FUNDRAISER A BIG HIT 56
PNG business community rallies at charity golf day
What is this mystery currency, and should you invest?
Proudly printed in Papua New Guinea by BizPrint
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MEET A FEW OF THE CREW CARMEL PILOTTI
Carmel Pilotti has been busy all-around town for this issue of PNG Now, attending exhibitions (P12), markets (P15), pool parties (P16) and fashion shows (P34). She has also interviewed PNG’s Olympic swimmer Judith Meauri (P20), in which Meauri speaks frankly about her battle with tuberculosis and the sacrifices she and her parents had to make for her to be selected for the Tokyo Games.
Lemach Lavari reports on the Paralympic Games in Tokyo (P38), where two PNG javelin throwers set personal-best records. He also interviews frontline surgical nurse Glen Bani at Port Moresby General Hospital (P62). Bani speaks about life as a nurse and the difficulties of dealing with COVID-19. The nurse, who also considered being a soldier as a career, told Lavari: “The best part of the job is seeing patients fully recover.”
Godfreeman Kaptigau’s camera has been working overtime for this issue of PNG Now. Have a look at his beautiful portraits of swimmer Judith Meauri (on the cover & P20). Away from the pool deck, he has captured all the glitz and glamour of the inaugural NGCB Paradise Runway fashion show staged at the Hilton Port Moresby (P34).
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BREAKFAST WITH … VELMA NINIJIPA GUNSHOT SURVIVOR, LIVING HER DREAM BY LEILANI STEPHEN | PHOTOGRAPHS: LEILANI STEPHEN
Touring the White House, skydiving, going on a meditation retreat, learning salsa and meeting Hollywood actor Denzel Washington are some of the things Velma Ninjipa put on her bucket list of 100 things to do after being shot in 2018. Three years later, with the appreciation for life’s brevity still fresh, she’s opened her own piano school, #92 on her list. Why have you chosen this meal at Duffy Café for breakfast? This, the wheat bread, gives me the energy I need and doesn’t make me sluggish. Brown flour is much better than white flour. Your brain works better too. Do you usually eat breakfast? Because I’m usually on the go, I usually don’t have my first meal until later in the morning, or at noon. So, you’re not a coffee or tea person. I like tea and coffee. I especially like tea at night because it’s soothing. But I love drinking coffee. It must be the right temperature, though. Tell us about the shooting. It was during an attempted car robbery. Dad and I were attending a bible camp at Sir John Guise Stadium and were staying at a Boroko lodge while in town. I
Do you have any complications? I’m completely healed. That’s why I’m able to live like this. My jaw sometimes hurts, and my teeth could use another alignment, but it’s so much better than expected. Is there anything you now fear? I’m afraid of heights.
After the incident (shooting), I felt life was short. I came up with a bucket list of 100 things. drove up to the lodge gate and a gunman started banging on my window. Once security opened the gate I drove in. The gunman and four others ran in after us. I tried escaping by turning the vehicle around and almost running four of them over, but the fifth shot me. Then they ran off. Why do you think you survived the shooting? If God is all-powerful, that means He allowed this. So, you must flow with God’s plan.
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Yet you climbed Mt Giluwe, #1 on your list, twice. The first time (just after surgery), I was so weak, but I went with guys who pulled me all the way to the top. My jaw was really crooked then, so I put my face in the water of a crystal-clear creek. I had read about how water restores your cells. I wasn’t feeling anything on that side of my face, but once I put my head in, I felt a sensation. I knew that was the reason I had been compelled to go up. Tell us about your bucket list. After the incident, I felt life was short. I read a book by Sebastian Terry called 100 Things: What’s on Your List? and came up with a bucket list of things I wanted to do. In my life, I’ve wanted to please my parents and the church, but I realised you’ve also got to know what’s inside of you. What do you need to do to feel fulfilled? What is your list? Life is about living the 100 things and everything else fits into it.
What would you say are the benefits to learning piano? I feel people calm down with music because it makes you focused, disciplined and grounded. Many CEOs in Western countries have taken lessons. The Pope even plays the piano. Where would you like to see piano go in PNG? I want to see children growing up and learning to play piano. I want it to be a part of their education. I’d like to write a methods book that’s customised for PNG kids. To find out more about Velma Ninijipa’s piano school (at Waigani’s Unity Mall), see her Facebook page, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 7262 3973. Duffy Café, Gabaka Street, Gordons, is open Monday to Saturday from 7am for breakfast. Tel. 325 8528.
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MY WORLD RUTH KISSAM HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST
BY NATALIE CHOLOHEI | PHOTOGRAPH: POLIAP M’BULEAU
What music are you listening to? I’ve always been a country music fan, but I also like a bit of R&B. I like musicians and bands such as Luke Bryan, Smokie, the Eagles and the Bellamy Brothers because their songs have substance. What’s the best live music act you’ve ever seen? The best would be American Christian artists Chris Tomlin and TobyMac, while the best by a Papua New Guinean act would be P2UIF, also a Christian band. Their songs are current, and they speak about life issues. What’s the best book you’ve read recently? Oh wow! I would say I have read 10 recently. I collect books and I have more books in my house than utensils. Right now, I’m reading the biography of black American civil rights activist Maya Angelou. It’s an intriguing read. She doesn’t leave any of her hardships out and she celebrates everything that she went through because it made her the person she was. What’s your favourite movie, ever? The Notebook, written by Nicholas Sparks, who is one of my favourite authors. Oh man, true love never fails.
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Have you been binge watching any TV recently? My husband loves rugby, so I have been watching rugby with him. I’ve been supporting Justin Olam (a PNG player for the Melbourne Storm in the NRL), and I had been hoping that he got into the grand final. (Ed’s note: Storm was defeated in the preliminary final.) Favourite podcast? I like inclusivus.org by Judith Registre. I love how she goes after different topics (about social and economic equity) and how she gets people to talk about it. Have you discovered any new apps recently? A logo maker. I love creating my own stuff. Where would you most like to travel next? I’ve been to five continents, but never to South America. I’ve always wanted to see Mayan ruins (in Central America). Ruth Kissam is an activist who focuses on gender-based violence, mostly sorcery related. She oversees special projects with the Papua New Guinea Tribal Foundation and is chairperson of the board for the Advancing Papua New Guinea Women’s Leadership Network, as well as the Mission Aviation Fellowship. She is passionate about improving service delivery for people in rural areas.
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AROUND TOWN BY CARMEL PILOTTI | PHOTOGRAPHS: GODFREEMAN KAPTIGAU & SUPPLIED BY MARKET OF ART WORK THIS PAGE
Big crowds celebrate Independence Ela Beach was again the centre of celebrations for Papua New Guinea’s 46th anniversary with the Amazing Port Moresby Independence Festival in partnership with the PNG Tourism Promotion Authority. The five-day celebration started with a massive ‘Unity Walk’ from Spring Garden Road (SP Brewery) to Ela Beach, led by NCD Governor Powes Parkop. He was joined by Governor General Sir Bob Dadae, Oro Governor Gary Juffa, PNG Hunters coach Michael Marum, school students and the RPNGC (police) band. There was also a parade with 22 floats. A diverse range of street performers came together for the event, including the PNG Circus, musicians, dance crews,
magicians, comedians and community sing sing groups, with a special appearance by the Queen of Paradise youth orchestra from Vanimo. Over 300 SMEs set up shop along the length of the beach for the duration of the celebrations. “Next year we hope to do the same in other parts of the city, because Ela Beach was too small and was packed, but we didn’t have any major security issues, which was good, and it showed us that people are respectful and appreciate these events,” Amazing Port Moresby director Fazilah Bazari told PNG Now. Christmas Carols by the Sea is also set for Ela Beach in December and fireworks will welcome 2022 on the last night of the year.
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Hot spot for local art The monthly Harbourside Night Markets have become popular for local art. Regular exhibitor Albert Joseph says the space gives artists access to many potential buyers. Joseph says painting sales are strong, with works being sold in the price range of 500 to 2000 kina. The markets are held on a Wednesday night every month at the Harbourside West Precinct on the Stanley Esplanade. Market dates have varied because of COVID-19, so check on Facebook for the next date.
PNG’s musical magic Every year, from August to October, the University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Music welcomes the public to end-ofyear recitals. The recitals cover traditional instruments and song, classical and jazz standards, and the combination of both that is the PNG contemporary fusion genre. The fusion recital had a great turnout, with haunting soundscapes that panned into heavy percussion intros joined later by complex rhythmic midsections that offered irresistible groove. There was even a hard-rock climax with a blistering solo at the end. Students’ performances are
assessed on instrumentation, arrangement, improvisation and technical abilities. With the passing of PNG contemporary fusion legend and Sanguma Band pianist Buruka
Tau, at 62, just a week before the recital, the show was dedicated to his memory and opened with the Sanguma piano classic Crystal Rapids and a moment of silence.
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A ‘growth’ industry for enterprising women The Central Floriculture Association (CFA) is a group of women entrepreneurs supporting each other and their families through their monthly garden market at the National Museum and Art Gallery. CFA president, Veronica Lou, says the markets are a way for the women to generate a small income through the sale of plants and other products, such as food and clothing. “This is a great location where people can shop for plants and other products such as art and craft, meri blouses and also get cooked food. We also have fresh garden food,” she says. Besides the monthly markets, the CFA has a presence at the museum grounds throughout the week, providing a peaceful option for lunch while browsing the products for sale before or after a museum visit. The market dates are flagged on the association’s Facebook page.
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Hottest parties in POM Newly established party organiser Rydm Culture (the Caribbean pronunciation of rhythm), has been hitting Port Moresby with some hyped-up parties. Rydm is set to bring the hottest themes from around the world to the city, covering Afro beats and reggaeton, and electronic dance music. Live acts, DJs and popular musicians like Sean Rii, Mereani Masani and Desiree are also part of the scene. Sponsored by Paradise Brewery, the Laguna Hotel recently hosted partygoers, and organisers say they’re pushing boundaries on the definition of “a good time” in PNG.
The fun won’t only be for the young and boisterous: Rydm tells PNG Now that it will also be organising family events soon.
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WHERE TO FIND US PNG Now has extensive distribution in cafes, hotels and other social hubs. In Port Moresby, this includes Duffy outlets (pictured), Airways Hotel, The Hilton and The Stanley (cafes), Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry, CHM at Vision City, the POM City Markets and Harbourside Night Markets. In Lae, it can be picked up at the Lae Chamber of Commerce and the Lae International Hotel.
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DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 17
EDDY MOIDE LOGISTICS AND SAFETY SUPERVISOR, 70 BY CARMEL PILOTTI | PHOTOGRAPH: GODFREEMAN KAPTIGAU
Eddy Moide, one of three brothers, was born in Port Moresby in 1951 and attended Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Hohola and De La Salle Catholic High School at Bomana. He worked in operations with the Mobil Oil Company at Idubada, and then joined freight company TNT, where he remained for the rest of his employment years. A childhood memory I remember that I was always favoured by the nuns at primary school. They were very strict but I was always a good student who listened and never got into fights or trouble. And I always said ‘yes’ to the nuns. Someone admired My first boss at TNT was Doug Maskellyn, an expatriate Australian who taught me a lot about the job and trained me well and believed in me. From that, I later became one of the first nationals to be a supervisor and sometimes was in charge of expatriates – that was not common in those days and some were not happy about it. Advice for younger self Maybe to slow down a bit in life. The important things in life as you age I think it is important to teach the younger ones about respect, and not to play around with life. Something to be proud of I was a good sportsman, always selected to go out and be a representative
I think it is important to teach the younger ones about respect. for teams when I was young, so I encouraged my children with sport. I played rugby, basketball and hockey. One thing to change I am okay with my life. There is nothing I would change. I’m happy to be the same old guy (ha ha). Advice for children Always stick to your schooling and listen to your teachers. Education is important. Also, help others that may be having difficulties. A tragic memory I joined the Australian Army cadet program while I was in high school. De La Salle Catholic High School was one of a few schools that had cadets. We went on a camp to
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Lae for one of our camps and on our return home to Port Moresby we split up the company on two flights: a Hercules aircraft and a Caribou aircraft. We took off first in the Hercules and behind us, the Caribou crashed. There were some survivors, but many of our friends didn’t make it. FOOTNOTE The Caribou accident in 1972 was one of the most tragic losses of life in peacetime incurred by the Royal Australian Air Force. The Caribou’s four-man crew and 21 school cadets were killed. The aircraft was found after a threeday air search in dense jungle in Wau, Morobe Province.
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IN THE SWIM
HOW OUR OLYMPIC SWIMMER BEAT THE ODDS BY CARMEL PILOTTI | PHOTOGRAPHS: GODFREEMAN KAPTIGAU
Papua New Guinean Olympic swimmer Judith Meauri smiles modestly when excited friends, fans and acquaintances tell her they watched her on television when she raced at the Tokyo Olympics last July. Back at the Boroko Swimming Club training sessions, little girls adore her and their conversations show how much she has inspired them: “I’m training every day from now on,” one youngster tells her teammate after she greets Meauri passing by. The road to the Olympics was long and tough for mild-mannered Meauri, who had to overcome serious illness to realise her Olympic dreams. Her story is one of courage and mental triumph. In December 2012, Meauri was diagnosed with tuberculosis of the lymph nodes, and she quickly fell into depression because of the debilitating disease. She got to a point where she did not have the motivation to keep going with the routine of normal life, although physically she could have done so. “I had thoughts about being worthless; my mental state was definitely very weak at the start of the illness. Although I was still capable of having a normal life, the stigma that surrounds the illness limited me from having that,” Meauri tells PNG Now. Shutting everyone out and stopping training, the fear of being judged because of the illness got the better of her. After a year of treatment, she was admitted to hospital and was told that the medication she was taking wasn’t working – this was the lowest point of the ordeal for her. With the news, her condition worsened and physically she became reduced to a mere shadow of her former self.
Opposite: Swimmer Judith Meauri, back from the Tokyo Olympics but now focusing on the World Championships in Abu Dhabi. Above: Meauri with one of her adoring young fans.
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Anyone can achieve anything they set their mind to and put the work into. No matter how low or hard you fall, the moment you choose to pick yourself up is the moment you start winning. Left and below left: Judith Meauri with her parents, Evie and Joe. They have been with her every stroke of the way. Right: Meauri glides through the water during a session at Boroko Swimming Club.
“At that time, all I wanted was to get better. I took a day as it came and never really thought of swimming again. Any plans I had were for no more than a month.” Once on the road to recovery with new medicine, Meauri’s focus was on beating the side effects of the medication. At this point, simply walking a flight of stairs had become an ordeal. Being advised to return to the pool to improve joint mobility through water therapy, she hoped only for the pain to subside. “As I continued on with casual swimming, I started improving my speed and I could keep up with the squad swimmers,” she says. “That was the moment I thought about pushing myself, not for anything but just to swim faster and feel good in the water again.” Meauri’s parents have been with her every stroke of the way. Her father, Joe, has been beside the pool for every session since she joined the swim club in 2002, and her mother, Evie, has delivered her training bag to school every afternoon, as well as a healthy meal after each training session. During Meauri’s six-anda-half months in hospital this turned to three meals a day, without fail. “My parents have sacrificed a lot before, during and after my recovery. During my illness, dad had to resign from his job to also care for me, and as I recovered and regained my independence their love has continued to this day,” Meauri says. Her illness and recovery took four years, but even to this day she sometimes feels the side effects of the intensive treatment she had to undergo. 22 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
After her first Olympics in London in 2012, Meauri missed selection for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, but she remained determined for Tokyo. “(This journey) has been a rollercoaster,” she says. From being under the radar to slowly climbing back up to representing PNG at the highest level of competition hasn’t been easy. Sacrifices had to be made and there was a lot of hard work and tears.” In an effort to make the Tokyo Olympics, Meauri relocated to Thailand for two years, where she trained at the Thanyapura Sports Resort in Phuket. She finished 58th of 84 swimmers in the Tokyo Olympic 50-metres freestyle and came first in her heat. This ‘first’ was all that most of her Papua New Guineans fans expected, saying that as long as their rep made it over the line first in her heat, they don’t need a gold medal.
Since returning to PNG from Thailand, Meauri says she is looking forward to “giving back” to the community. She says it is her hope to see the next generation of swimmers come through stronger and faster. As PNG Now was going to press, Meauri was focusing on the World Championships in Abu Dhabi in December. Swimming has given her a sense of self-awareness and added value to her life, and Meauri says she is grateful that she has stuck to it for all these years. She may not have a gold medal around her neck, but she’s a bigger winner than that in the eyes of most Papua New Guineans. Next page: Tuberculosis, the scourge of PNG. DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 23
TUBERCULOSIS: THE SCOURGE OF PNG BY BRONWEN GORA
Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the planet’s oldest preventable diseases. Yet in Papua New Guinea it has long been an epidemic and a leading cause of death. Here, the highly contagious lung disease has one of the highest prevalence rates in the world. About 30,000 people in PNG every year contract TB – in 2018 alone 37,000 contracted the disease and 4500 died – and now the arrival of COVID-19 has resources battling TB outbreaks stretched to the limit. The airborne bacteria that cause TB thrive in the tropics. These bacteria proliferate in overcrowded areas and, when contracted, usually targets the lungs creating symptoms of severe cough, sometimes with blood, along with weakness, chest pain, weight loss, fever and night sweats. TB remains particularly problematic in PNG because the country is among just over a dozen worldwide threatened by three main strains of the bacteria: those that are easier to treat, those that are multi-drug-resitant and those that are extensively drug resistant. Health authorities such as childfund.org.au are concerned the heavy focus on combating COVID-19 will allow a rise in multidrug resistant TB, the most virulent strain, which requires around two years of expensive treatment, which even then delivers only a 50% success rate. Further complicating matters
of patients do not complete their treatment, according to World Vision. Furthermore, up to 90% of Papua New Guineans live in remote rural areas where access to health services is limited. Fortunately, however, TB is largely preventable through simple practices.
Health authorities are concerned the heavy focus on combating COVID-19 will allow a rise in multi-drug resistant TB. is that treatment for even the regular strain of TB demands precise dosages of medication at the right times for six months minimum. Not surprisingly, 20%
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Chief among them are: Early diagnosis Deemed the most effective way of reducing spread when followed by medication. Seek medical attention if you develop a nasty, painful cough with fever. Once a person starts medication it takes about two weeks for them to be no longer infectious. But should they remain undiagnosed and unmedicated, a contagious person can infect up to 15 other people over several months. Vaccination 80% effective against TB for 15 years. Healthy diet & clean living Up to 60% of adults with strong immune systems can ward off TB according to TBAlert.org. Good ventilation Open windows, doors and get as much fresh air as possible because TB particles thrive in enclosed environments for several hours. Bright natural light The sun’s UV rays kill TB bacteria. Hygienic practices Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing to help prevent the spread of TB.
A PNG SNAPSHOT
THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF VETERAN PHOTOGRAPHER ROCKY ROE
Right: Kids having fun at a cultural show at Ela Beach in the early 2000s. Rocky Roe says he sometimes made funny sounds to get people to relax, and perhaps that’s why the kids were laughing. Bottom right: Rocky Roe recalls being on assignment in a helicopter in Gulf Province when he took this shot of a man building a traditional dugout canoe. “We landed, and I probably spent 10 minutes with the man before flying to the next location,” he says.
Above: A high school student poses at a cultural festival at Cameron High School in Alotau. The photo was shot with studio lights and a film camera, so there was no knowing if the photo had worked until the film was later developed in a dark room. It was taken in 2003.
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You may not know it, but you may be carrying a photo taken by Rocky Roe in your wallet. Roe, 74, is a veteran photographer who was based in Port Moresby for 44 years, until his recent retirement and move back to Queensland, Australia. During his decades in PNG, he travelled around the country, photographing people and places. “I did lots of portraits of politicians and candidates for elections,” he says. “I’ve photographed all the prime ministers. I took the photo of Michael Somare that’s on the 50-kina bank note. “I went almost anywhere someone was drilling or digging a big hole – mines and oil fields,” he adds. Roe’s portfolio includes rugby league, village life, landscapes, people at work, Miss PNG balls, corporate photography for big companies such as Oil Search, and visits by prime ministers from other countries. He even photographed the opening of Parliament Haus by Prince Charles in 1984.
“I did lots of photography from helicopters, and recently from drones,” he says. Roe, born and raised in the suburbs of Adelaide in South Australia, first arrived PNG in 1976 to work as a fitter and turner for Bougainville Copper. He had a passion for photography and tried to join Bougainville Copper’s photography department, without success. Eventually, he landed a job as a photographer with Gordon Sioni Pacific Advertising in Port Moresby. A few years later he started working for himself as a freelance photographer. “Bougainville Copper twice offered me the position in their photographic department that I had wanted while on the island, but I liked working from Port Moresby, from where I was travelling all over the country taking pictures. I was a happy chappie. It was the luckiest move in my life, coming to and staying in PNG,” he says. So, has he really retired? “No. Sort of. Almost. Not sure. Maybe. Yes. I’d like to think ‘no’. I don’t know.” DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 27
Above: Some children are focused on their work, while others are focused on the camera in this elementary school in the Markham Valley. Rocky Roe says the teacher had two adjoining classrooms running at the same time. In the other class, he had children counting with sticks. Right: Grand Chief Michael Somare with his wife Lady Veronica Somare and grandchildren, taken for an official Christmas card in 2004.
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Above and right: Rugby league is huge in PNG and Rocky Roe often found himself with camera in hand at matches. “This game is at the main ground in Port Moresby and it’s the PNG Hunters playing the WM Seagulls,” he says.
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Focus Right: Rocky Roe was invited to stay in this village on Kiriwina Island in the Trobriand Islands in 1979. He stayed for three weeks and witnessed this ceremony involving the handing over of grass skirts from one group of women to another.
Above: Cooling off at Lihir Island. “This may have just been a happy snap I took for myself,” says Rocky Roe who was often travelling across the country on assignment.
Above: In the Trobriand Islands, a boy’s chest is adorned with polished shells and traditional shell money necklaces. Right: A lagatoi arrives at Ela Beach on a Saturday morning in the 1990s for the Hiri Moale Festival. 30 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
Left: Cocoa being unloaded from trucks at Kieta on Bougainville Island in 1984. Rocky Roe says this was before the days of TV when everyone went to the movie theatre. He was traveling with a crew filming an ad for ANGCO, whose business it was to export cocoa.
Above: Modern Port Moresby from the air. Rocky Roe took this photo last February with a drone that took multiple shots while it hovered above the city. The multiple images were combined later to make up the final image. DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 31
THE PORT MORESBY GUIDE CAFE CULTURE
☛ Duffy (pictured), three locations in POM, excellent coffee, bakery items, duffypng.com. ☛ Edge by the Sea, marina outlook, alfresco, at Harbour City, facebook.com/edgebythesea. ☛ Jeanz Cafe, great vibe, at the new Gordons Plaza, gordonsplaza.com. ☛ Rainforest Cafe, surrounded by living tropical rainforest wall at The Stanley Hotel, thestanleypng.com. ☛ Deli KC, all-day, particularly good lunches poolside at the Airways Hotel, airways.com.pg.
OUR FAVOURITE BURGERS
☛ Heritage Bar, Monday to Saturday happy hour has free tapas and live entertainment, at Crown Hotel, crownhotel.com.pg. ☛ Port Moresby Yacht Club, where you can enjoy a sundowner as the yachts bob in the water. Non-members need to be signed in by a member, rpyc.com.pg. ☛ Mojo Social, a hip spot for after-work drinks any night of the week, facebook. com/mojosocialeatdrink.
EATING LOCAL ☛ For traditional localstyle PNG cuisine try the Mumu restaurant (pictured) at the Hilton Hotel, hilton.com, and the Sanctuary Hotel and Spa where Chef Donald David is cooking up a storm with his aigir, thesanctuary hotelpom.com.
☛ The PNG National Museum and Art Gallery at Waigani has artefacts from all 22 PNG provinces, some dating back to the 1800s, museumpng. gov.pg.
OUR FAVOURITE JAPANESE
☛ The Buffalo Burger with two beef patties, melted cheese, gherkin, caramelised onion and aioli is one of the best-loved hamburgers in Port Moresby. There are four Buffalo Burger stores in POM, including the town store in Hunter Street. The Dirty Burger now has three outlets in town (Ela Beach, Boroko and Gordons). Be sure to try the crunchy chicken burger with sweet pickles.
☛ The new Daikoku at Harbourside has a sizzling-hot teppanyaki menu, Tel. 7111 0425.
OUR FAVOURITE FINE DINING
OUR FAVOURITE PIZZA
☛ Bacchus Restaurant at Airways Hotel has just re-opened after extensive renovations. Check out the new look and menu, airways.com.pg.
OUR FAVOURITE ASIAN
☛ Fusion 2, in Waigani, go-to dishes include crab and lobster brought in fresh from Kavieng, Tel. 7917 0077.
☛ There’s great debate about the best pizza in POM, but we’ve settled for the pepperoni at Mojo Social in the heart of Harbour City, facebook. com/mojosocialeatdrink. It’s 50 kina for eight slices of pepperoni smothered in napoli sauce and mozzarella. Highly recommended are Mr Mike’s Pizza, Enzo’s Pizza and Yellow Captain’s.
DISCLAIMER The hotels, bars, cafes, restaurants and other businesses and activities listed in this guide have been selected on merit, chosen by PNG Now writers.
32 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
☛ The Southside Fitness Centre at Koki has modern equipment and fitness classes, facebook.com/pg/ssfcpom. ☛ The Royal Port Moresby Golf Club has 18 holes, accepts non-members (there’s a dress code) and hires equipment, royalpomgolf. com. ☛ Swim laps at Taurama Aquatic & Indoor Centre from 6am, facebook.com/pages/TauramaAquatic-Indoor-Center/504337133075625. ☛ Free programs and activities from yoga to kickboxing are available through the Active City Development Program, activecityportmoresby.com.
☛ About 10 minutes out of Port Moresby is Taurama Bay, with a selection of beaches, bars and activities. Turning right off Vada Vada Road, the road to Taurama has now been fully sealed and is a comfortable and safe drive with many newly built shops and homes. At the end of Taurama Road turn left to the Tutu Beach Retreat and Akaka Bar, within the one premises. Akaka is a modern place on a hill with spectacular bay views – it’s a great choice for an afternoon of live music on Saturdays and Sundays, with some of the best bands in Port Moresby. ☛ The Tutu Beach Retreat (TBR) is further down by the beach. TBR has spacious grounds for family picnics and events and four self-contained rooms for 180 kina a night, or 200 kina with fridge. TBR offers boat trips to outlying islands, as
MARKETS ☛ Laguna Hotel Craft Market (first Saturday every month), Moresby Arts Theatre Craft Market (second Saturday), POM City Market at the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery (second Saturday), Holiday Inn Craft Market (third Saturday), Ela Beach Craft Market (last Saturday), POM City
OUT OF TOWN
Market at the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery (second Sunday). ☛ Dates for the Harbourside Markets and Motu-Koitaba Market events are being varied due to COVID-19 restrictions. For updates see pascoegroup.com/ events.
LATE & LOUD
☛The Lamana Gold Club has a reputation as the ‘party capital’, with resident DJs, live music stations and international artists, lamanahotel.com.pg.
well as kayak hire at 40 kina for adults and 30 kina for children. ☛ The Pyramid Board Riders’ Club is at the other end of the bay. The surf club charges a day-visit fee of 20 kina per vehicle, and visitors can hire boards to take out onto the waves. The best surfing conditions are from April to November. Kayaks and paddleboards are also available. facebook.com/ pyramidsurf, facebook. com/tutubeach.retreat, facebook.com/AKAKAPNG-101741541887410
NATURE ☛ The Port Moresby Nature Park has 550 native animals and hundreds of plant species in beautiful gardens, and cafe, portmoresbynaturepark.org.
☛ Ela Beach has space for joggers; the volleyball and basketball courts are free for public use.
☛ Airways Hotel, one of the best in the Pacific, close to airport, airways.com.pg. ☛ The Stanley, luxury accommodation adjacent to Vision City Mega Mall, thestanleypng.com. ☛ Hilton Port Moresby, 15 storeys of typical Hilton comfort, hilton.com. ☛ The Sanctuary Hotel and Spa, most spacious twin-share rooms in Port Moresby, handmade furniture, walk-in bird enclosure, thesanctuaryhotelpom.com. ☛ Grand Papua, a centrally located premium hotel with plenty of executive options, grandpapuahotel.com.pg. ☛ Holiday Inn Express, affordable, in Waigani, ihg.com.
The listings are not meant to be comprehensive and are not based on commercial considerations. They represent what we like.
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 33
BIG NIGHT OUT FOR FASHIONISTAS BY CARMEL PILOTTI | PHOTOGRAPHS: GODFREEMAN KAPTIGAU
The inaugural NGCB Paradise Runway fashion show was staged at the Hilton Port Moresby in September. The event also included the first-ever PNG Fashion Awards. The show, and the awards, were created in a partnership between Philma Kelegai of PNG Fashion Week and Ziya Riyani of Glow Boutique. The two fashion giants got together with a vision of a united fashion front for the country, with the hope of advancing the industry. This has also resulted in the formation of the PNG Fashion Foundation. Kelegai says the foundation was an idea from previous years,
which finally manifested when the need to unite the industry was fully recognised this year. “It’s an industry that we can build, but it’s better if we build it together,” she said on the night. The runway provided a display of bold designs, vibrant colour combinations and unreserved contemporary creations capturing the extravagance of traditional attire and coupling it with global fashion trends. The outfits paraded by the young models wowed the audience, with creations ranging from minimal but striking line art inspired by PNG’s popular earthen palette artefacts and
34 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
traditional tattoos, to flamboyant pieces inspired by the bird of paradise. Certainly a collection with wide appeal. The first-ever awards recognised nominees in four categories: The Innovation Award, The Established Designer of the Year, The Emerging Designer of the Year, and Model of the Year. The Innovation Award, which recognises outstanding contribution to the fashion industry, commitment to sustainable fashion and the recipient’s influence to create a positive impact in the community, was won by designer
Guests mingle at the cocktail reception for
01 Paradise Runway.
Pants from the ‘Emancipation’ collection
02 by Dylan Yaruso.
A traditionally inspired design from Cynthia
03 Chapman’s ‘Sunsets & Silhouettes’ collection. A contemporary piece from the ‘Alo Tattoo’
04 collection by emerging designer Naomi Tom.
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 35
Fashion People Anna Amos, the creative director of the recent PNG Fashion & Design Week 2021 virtual runway and owner of the AA Tribal label. Tabu Warupi, owner of the TABU label, was named The Established Designer of the Year and Cynthia Chapman, who showcased her collection ‘Sunsets & Silhouettes’ on the night, was named The Emerging Designer of the Year. The Model of the Year went to Samuel Tupou. Riyani says the foundation hopes to extend the awards categories next year. “We want to be able to encompass everyone in the industry, not just the people you see in the front – photographers, make-up artists – there’s so many people behind the scenes that are involved.” The CEO of the National Gaming Control Board (NGCB), Imelda Agon, said on the night that the NGCB continues to support the PNG fashion industry because the sector is one that enables economic independence. She also encouraged people in the fashion industry to work together to build the industry. Other sponsors that made the event possible were CPL, Amazing Port Moresby, the Shady Rest Hotel and LJ Hooker.
05 A striking outfit from
the ‘Birds of a Feather’ collection by award winner Tabu Warupi.
06 A colourful piece from the
‘Paradise Wings’ collection by designer Kenny Ng.
Silver Leaf is the definitive Port Moresby dining experience. With lavish interiors, breathtaking views of the city, our fine dining restaurant is the place for any occasion. www.thestanleypng.com Sir John Guise Drive Port Moresby Vision City Waigani PNG
36 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
Call +675 302 8888 to book or email email@example.com
ANNA’S KITCHEN WAIGANI BY LEILANI STEPHEN | PHOTOGRAPHS: LEILANI STEPHEN
TEL. 7068 1766 SOCIAL Anna’s Kitchen OPEN Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm; Saturday 11am to 8pm. STYLE Vietnamese cuisine and French pastries, but also burgers and steak. GO-TO DISHES Summer or spring rolls, grilled pork noodle bowl and shaking beef. PRICES Appetisers K20–60, dinner mains K28–50, on-the-grill meals K48-80, desserts K6–25, kids’ meals K16–20.
Diners don’t need to go far in Port Moresby to find good Vietnamese food, including noodle bowls, rice paper rolls, pork-stuffed bread rolls and savoury pancakes. Tucked away inside the Central Government Office compound in Waigani, Anna’s Kitchen is an authentic Vietnamese restaurant with marble floors. The kitchen opened last year, after three years at the Car Club, with the cooking of Vietnameseborn French owner Anna Vellacott becoming a drawcard for public servants. One of her signature dishes is the beef pho, a slippery noodle soup made of a broth that she boils for 12 to 16 hours, skimming it so thoroughly you can see everything – meat, shallots and bean sprouts – bowl deep. The Vietnamese herbs flavouring it are taken from her home garden. She also does a highly rated ham sandwich, called a banh mi, with airy bread she makes from
This picture: Anna’s Kitchen owner and chef Anna Vellacott. Above: Beef pho. Top: Chicken stir-fry with soy and oyster sauce.
scratch, insisting the doughy store-bought baguette simply won’t do. “It must be hollow and crusty,” she says. The baguettes are only available if you order in advance, but Vellacott has plans to bring in two Vietnamese bakers early next year, if COVID-19 allows, to make banh mi a regular menu offering. I started my visit to the restaurant with goi cuon tom (prawn summer rolls), which were filling but light. They are a perfect appetiser, a fresh and crunchy wrap of prawns, lettuce, cucumber, grated carrot and rice vermicelli, with
minty, lemongrass tones. They were served with the restaurant’s in-house peanut sauce. Next, I dipped into the pho, a Vietnamese soup dish that is popular around the world. Vellacott suggested I dip the beef in the broth into hoisin sauce for extra oomph. You can also add basil, chilli or lemon for more punch. Dessert was a sticky date pudding with a warm butterscotch sauce, with a side of cream. It’s fluffy, not too sweet, and cupcake sized. You can request ice-cream or Italian gelato as an accompaniment for something richer. There are also French pastries, such as chocolate éclairs and salted caramel banana tarts. In the pipeline is a Vietnamese three-colour drink made from kidney beans, sweetened mung beans and green jelly, topped with coconut cream and shaved ice.
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 37
JAVELIN RECORDS SET AT PARA GAMES BY LEMACH LAVARI | PHOTOGRAPHS: SUPPLIED PNG PARALYMPIC COMMITTEE
Left: PNG’s Paralympic delegation in Tokyo.
For them to compete with the world’s best is an achievement. Papua New Guinean javelin throwers Nelly Leva and Morea Mararos set personal best records at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in August. In addition, Mararos’s best throw was a record for Oceania. PNG sent just four people to the Paralympics, including coach Jacklyn Travetz, chef de mission Susanne Sere, Leva and Mararos, who carried the PNG flag at the opening ceremony at Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium. Mararos, 24, competing in the seated men’s javelin F34 class, threw 21.11 metres, eclipsing his
personal best of 16 metres set at the 2019 World Championships in Dubai. Leva, 32, competed in the women’s javelin F46 class, throwing 23.30 metres, a whopping five metres further than the personal best she set at the Queensland Championships in Brisbane, Australia, in 2020. “As their coach, I am very pleased with their performances,” Travetz says. “It was their first Paralympics Games and for them to compete with the world’s best is an achievement.
38 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
Top: Morea Mararos, set a PB and carried the flag. Above: Nelly Leva, set a PB.
“I believe they both have returned with a great experience of the game and have built their confidence. Their exposure is valuable to our team back at home.” The PNG Paralympic Committee first sent a delegation of athletes to the Paralympic Games in 1984. Since then, PNG has been represented in 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020. Francis Kompaon is the first and only PNG Paralympian to win a medal, claiming silver in the men’s T46 100 metres at Beijing in 2008.
LOCKER ROOM CHAT JEPERTH TULAPI NETBALLER BY LEMACH LAVARI | PHOTOGRAPH: LEMACH LAVARI
“I am training hard, and I would like to be one of Papua New Guinea’s best goal shooters,” says netballer Jeperth Tulapi. The 23-year-old has represented PNG in the Pepes national team and plays for the Mermaids in the senior division of the Port Moresby Netball Association’s (POMNA) competition. The POMNA competition has been disrupted by COVID-19, but the association launched a shortened Super League competition in August with three teams from POMNA and three from the Pepes national squad. Tulapi is captain of Pepes Team 3.
Jeperth Tulapi on … Keeping fit during the COVID-19 lockdown It has been difficult to get into a match situation, so our coaches have given us training plans to do at home. My favourite workout focuses on increasing speed and agility. My aim is to be consistent in my training and to remain fit. Playing internationally I first represented PNG when I was 15, in the Netball World Youth Cup
FOR THE RECORD Name: Jeperth Tulapi Age: 23 Positions: Goal Shooter (GS), Goal Attack (GA), Goal Defence (GD) and Goal Keeper (GK). Local team: Mermaids in the Port Moresby Netball Association (POMNA).
in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2013. I was also part of the silver-winning team at the Pacific Games in 2015 hosted here in Port Moresby. My latest national representation was at the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia, Samoa. (In 2017, Tulapi was also selected by Singapore Netball to play in the Singapore Super League. She played 15 games for the SRC Barracudas in the threemonth tournament.)
A memorable moment in national colours Playing in my first Pacific Games in 2015 at home in Port Moresby was surreal because I had most of my family come to watch and support me. We lost to Fiji (68–51) in the gold-medal play-off. Since then, I have always looked forward to playing the Fijian Pearls (Fiji’s national team). Inspiration I owe my inspiration for netball to my mother and seven aunts who all played the sport in the Koitabu village of Mahuru. I grew up around the sport and it just became a part of me too. Pre-game routine Before every game I like to listen to music to help me focus. I visualise how I am going to play the game and I speak to myself about it. Off the court I recently graduated with a Diploma in Business Management from the IEA College of TAFE. I hope to further my studies and progress into a professional career.
Internationally: Pepes Sporting idol: Lua Rikis, former Pepes goal shooter. DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 39
Hand-made in PNG
CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE WOODEN CHILDREN’S ROCKER A wonderful locally made toy for children, as opposed to the usual choice of imported plastic. Hand-carved from rosewood by Gilbert Woimba.
CANE WALL HANGERS Stylish and modern, these wall hangers are handwoven in the Trobriand Islands, Milne Bay Province. A wonderful gift for anyone who loves to beautify their home or office with local decor.
TEL. 70112977 OR 75530476, K250 (OTHER SIZES AVAILABLE)
TEL. 71533001 OR VISIT PACIFIC PRIMITIVE ARTS ON FACEBOOK, K200–600
CARVED BOWLS These ocean-themed ornamental bowls are hand-carved from rosewood by Vavine Pouna in Karawa Village, Central Province. Use as a centre piece for a coffee table, as a holder for various objects, or even a salad bowl. TEL. 72425322 OR VISIT CHARISMA CRAFTS ON FACEBOOK, K500 PER PIECE
40 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
MULTI-PURPOSE BASKETS These, and many more artefacts, are handwoven with cane by families in Siwai, Bougainville. Great for display and useful for holding just about anything – try a small picnic lunch! TEL. 73137420 OR VISIT ANKA CRAFT ON FACEBOOK, K150 PER BASKET (OTHER SIZES AVAILABLE)
BUTTERFLY KAFTAN A uniquestyle kaftan sewn by Eunice Ume. Buy this for that ‘style meri’ in your life.
COUNT IN MOTU CHILDREN’S BOOK Written by Anja Mari Geno, this is a great gift for children by a Papua New Guinean author to get them started on learning one of the country’s official languages, Hiri Motu.
TEL. 76061986 OR VISIT GABADI GIRL ON FACEBOOK, K20 PER GARMENT
TEL. 75214040 OR 71601137, K20 PER BOOK
MINIMAL DESIGN WALL ART These metallic acrylic paintings of slick and catchy designs are painted by artist Noah Kawatalu.
GALIP NUT PACKS Surely a PNG favourite, and unfortunately scarce in many parts of the country, these nuts are farmed, peeled, roasted and packaged in Rabaul, East New Britain Province.
TEL. 71945037 OR VISIT EBONY HUGGER ARTS ON FACEBOOK, K50 (CUSTOM ORDERS AVAILABLE)
TEL. 70062076 OR VISIT DMS ORGANICS ON FACEBOOK, K20 PER PACK
ORGANIC SOAP GIFT PACKS Made at home by Nuailo Anakapu with organic ingredients, these soaps are perfect for those who love to utilise natural products for health and beauty. GOROKA OYSTER MUSHROOMS Farmed and shipped weekly from Eastern Highlands Province to Port Moresby, a box or two of these are perfect for a good cook-up with friends.
TEL 71254624 OR VISIT NUA’S ORGANIC OILS & SOAPS ON FACEBOOK, K60 FOR PLASTIC PACKS AND K80 FOR WOVEN BASKET PACKS
TEL. 71342708 OR VISIT BILO’S GOROKA MUSHROOMS ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM, K20 PER PACK
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 41
Christmas Gift Guide/Tech/Books/Sound IPHONE 13 & IPHONE 13 PRO Apple’s most recent release is better in every way. The new A15 bionic chip offers 50% faster graphics than any other smartphone and there’s an updated camera system with new cinematic mode feature. Battery life gets a major boost. Wide range of colours. CHM, CHECK IN STORE FOR PRICE
TRAX MOUNTAIN BIKE Rugged and stylish, this 26-incher will take you over the toughest terrain. Comes with mag alloy wheels.
ESPRESSO MACHINE All your coffee needs in a compact Duo Temp Pro home machine. BRIAN BELL, K1695
BRIAN BELL, K690
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN WUHAN Part-thriller, partexpose, this book is a ground-breaking investigation by journalist Sharri Markson into the origins of COVID-19, the cover-ups, the conspiracies and the classified research. It features never-before-seen primary documents exposing China’s concealment of the virus. Published by HarperCollins. AVAILABLE THROUGH ONLINE BOOKSELLERS, ABOUT K80
EARBEAT MAXI 840 HEADPHONES Foldable and black, these greatlooking headphones come with a 3.5mm audio jack. BRIAN BELL, K40
42 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
DJI MAVIC MINI 2 The smallest and most portable drone from DJI’s lineup is the Mavic Mini 2. Don’t be fooled by its miniature size. Packed full of the latest technology, it can take photos and shoot video in 4K. Perfect for anyone who has never flown a drone and for the avid photographer looking for an exciting new perspective. CHM, K2399
THE BATTLE OF THE BISMARCK SEA In March 1943, in the sky and sea near PNG, Australian and American pilots faced some of the darkest days of World War 2. Bestselling author Michael Veitch tells the dramatic tale of the battle that thwarted Japan’s final, desperate lunge for the South-West Pacific. Published by Hachette. AVAILABLE THROUGH ONLINE BOOKSELLERS, ABOUT K85
SONY SRS-XG500 MEGA BASS PORTABLE BLUETOOTH WIRELESS SPEAKER The new SRS-XG500 speaker is built for pure fun. Coincidently shaped like a traditional kundu drum, its powerful sound, huge 30hours of battery and IP66 water resistance make it the ultimate gift to help celebrate the festive season. CHM, K2550
THE STORM WITHIN: CAMERON SMITH This is the autobiography of the most decorated rugby league player of all time. The recipient of numerous Dally M and Golden Boot awards, Smith captained Melbourne Storm to multiple premierships. The book investigates the biggest matches and biggest moments, as well as Smith’s private life. Published by Allen & Unwin.
TRAMPOLINE Get jumping during the holidays with a trampoline with safety netting. BRIAN BELL K600 (6FT), K800 (8FT)
AVAILABLE THROUGH ONLINE BOOK SELLERS, ABOUT K120
THE LAST GREAT FRONTIER PAPUA NEW GUINEA International photographer David Kirkland has been photographing PNG for nearly two decades. This special second edition is the ultimate pictorial of incredible photographs that cover all regions around the country, from breathtaking sceneries to rich tribal cultures. EXCLUSIVE TO CHM OUTLETS, K89
RATTAN HANGING CHAIR This comfortable perch in black has 130kg capacity, perfect for even the heaviest rugby league players. BRIAN BELL, K995
BBQ, FOUR BURNER Perfect for summer entertaining, this four-burner barbecue comes with trolley and hood. BRIAN BELL, K900
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 43
REPORTS BY DAVID JAMES & LEILANI STEPHENS
CELEBRATING THOSE WHO ARE MAKING IT IN PNG 46 THE COUNTRY AT WORK The importance of local manufacturing to the nation
50 TECH HEADS The PNG wunderkinds introducing PNG to a new technological world
HOMEGROWN An in-country food and produce boom
WINE From little things big things grow
53 CREATIVE MINDS How the fashion and arts sectors are contributing to the economy
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 45
Made in PNG MANUFACTURING
A NATION AT WORK The manufacturing sector in Papua New Guinea is predominately based on the country’s agriculture and resources, or on the ability to gain access to local consumers. South Pacific (SP) Brewery is an important part of manufacturing in PNG. SP brands dominate the domestic market. Even the parent company, Heineken, achieves relatively modest sales when compared with SP’s locally-produced products, including South Pacific Lager, South Pacific Export Lager, Kundu Lager, Niugini Ice and Paradise Lager. SP Brewery was a one-brand company in 2001, but as consumer tastes have changed it has expanded its offering. There are several international companies that are established manufacturers in PNG, including soft drink makers Coca-Cola and Pacific Industries, which makes the highly popular Gogo Cola, among other drinks and snacks. Regional food company Goodman Fielder has some of its manufacturing operations in PNG. There are several local PNG
Above: Trukai Industries, the rice producer, is a household name in PNG. Right: Companies such as Monier and Steel Industries are manufacturing building materials and products in PNG.
THE LEADING PROVIDER OF COASTAL SHIPPING IN
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
LINER SHIPPING CARGO CONSOLIDATION
PROJECT CHARTERS DOOR-TO-DOOR DELIVERY
46 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
food manufacturers with strong track records, such as Lae Biscuits and Paradise Foods, which is the oldest food company in PNG and employs hundreds of Papua New Guineans. The company produces biscuits, snacks and beverages and is also responsible for the Queen Emma chocolate range.
Top left: Thirst-quenching SP Beers. Top right: Chocolate delights in the Queen Emma range. Above: RD Tuna, one of PNG’s key export companies.
While manufacturing only accounts for 3% of PNG’s economy, it employs about half of the workers in the formal sector. Exporter New Britain Palm Oil, for example, is the largest employer in the country, after the government. It has almost 25,500 permanent employees and supports 17,500 smallholder farms. Processed tuna is another strong export industry, with RD Tuna Canners and Frabelle being two of the important players in the sector. Trukai Industries is the leading supplier of rice in PNG and is a household name in the country. Not all PNG manufacturing is food and beverage related. Monier, which is PNG’s largest producer of construction and building materials, creates products for road construction projects and concrete for the building industry. Steel fabrication business Steel Industries, established 53 years ago, makes and distributes steel building products manufactured in PNG. Atlas Steel is another major player in the sector.
ON TIME. RELIABLE. COMMITTED. WE SHIP TO: ALOTAU, BASAMUK, BUKA, DARU, KAVIENG, KIETA, KIMBE, KIUNGA, LAE, MANUS, MADANG, ORO BAY, PORT MORESBY, RABAUL, VANIMO, WEWAK Call us on +675 478 3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. For Project Charter requests, please contact us directly.
FOR A QUOTE
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 47
Made in PNG TECHNOLOGY
PNG, GETTING CONNECTED Technology being developed by young and entrepreneurial Papua New Guineans is revolutionising the way things are done around the nation, from the way people shop to the way farmers sell their produce. PGO!, for example, is PNG’s very own DoorDash. The app allows you to track your takeaway food order in real time, from when you place the order to when it’s at your doorstep. Founder and Non-Executive Director, Andrew Kitum, is soon to expand the seamless on-demand delivery experience to include non-
Technology is steering consumers to online shopping.
food vendors, like grocery shops, pharmacies and SMEs. Slowly edging into the eBay scene is new ecommerce site
50 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
Shop Direct PNG. Owner Andy Lapthorne says that, unlike competitors Jungle and Shopsmart PNG, he wants to upload digital content, too, such as Tok Pisin lessons and bilum-weaving tutorials. He has also developed GoFeedMe, a free shopping platform for food in PNG. The basic plan allows vendors to access sales reports, data analytics and tools to reach more customers. ODESH, the first Papua New Guinean online ride-hailing service, is another recent innovation, now connecting taxi drivers and chauffeurs in Port
A new digital platform called EDidiman is helping farmers track and set prices for their produce.
Moresby with customers in real time. Small-scale farmers, meanwhile, are benefiting from the EDidiman digital market platform developed by Bougainvillean Jordan Becks. It provides a consumer price index that allows farmers to track prices of cash crops, so they may be able
to achieve best value for their product. AgriKonnekt, another agritech startup, is being trialled in Central Province before it rolls out to the rest of the country. The platform provides a logistical arm, connecting farmers with transport to carry their produce. “We want
to sign up SME trucks (for the trial) that are already servicing routes going into Kairuku,” says AgriKonnekt’s Chief Technical Officer, Victor Tekwie. Agbook, based in East New Britain, is offering a different kind of help to farmers: financial literacy programs. “This will help them transition from subsistence gardening to running a small, profitable business,” says owner Nicole Isifu. Training is facilitated through workshops and selfpaced videos. Agbook will also be assisting PNG Agriculture Company in rolling out AgUnity, a blockchainbased app that allows farmers to make and receive payments through scanning QR codes, exchange information with buyers, and get a higher share of the profit.
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 51
Made in PNG FOOD & AGRI-BUSINESS
DELICIOUS PROSPECTS During this COVID-19 era, there has been a marked shift in food consumption to locally made. Smallholder Papua New Guinean businesses are innovating products ordinarily of the imported variety, such as peanut butter, jams, rice and wine. Gudi Foods’ organic peanut butter from Milne Bay can’t keep up with the feverish demand of its customers. Even its roast nuts – seasoned with sea salt, chilli garlic and salted caramel – sell out. Yanua Kitchen Marmalades, also Alotau-based, but already a household name for all-natural spreads, may soon add to its range a coconut jam. Of course, there are older players like Highlands Honey, which is packed and distributed by New Guinea Fruit Company Limited; they started out in 1997 making ginger, tamarillo, elderberry and strawberry wines. A serious honey alternative is Mountain Honey from Goroka,
Top: Jams from Yanua Kitchen. Above: Highlands Honey, a PNG stalwart.
praised as this year’s best honey at the SME Awards. A 30 member-strong cooperative society in Hisiu, Central, is selling homegrown medium-grain
Kairuku red, purple and white rice. Red and purple rice contain more antioxidants than brown rice. The society also makes herbal teas such as moringa and lemongrass, aloe vera juice and ground turmeric. An up-and-coming coffee brand, Central Mamina, showcased its beans at North America’s largest specialty coffee expo in October. This arabica coffee is from Koiari and Goilala. Owner Nellie Varmari, dubbed the ‘Coffee Queen’ by Western coffee culturists, “grew up in the Highlands playing among coffee cherries,” so her nose for quality is so fine-tuned she can tell if any of the 40,000 farmers that supply her have used fertiliser. Up in Karamui, Simbu, cocoa farming is breaking new ground, with a variety of dark chocolate. Bean samples in 2019 ranked in the top 50 at the World Cocoa of Excellence Show. The beans were noted for their smoky taste.
CASE STUDY FROM LITTLE THINGS BIG THINGS GROW The Friends in Agriculture Cooperative Society is making wine out of homegrown red grapes in the coastal village of Hisiu in Kairuku. “Everyone was so surprised grapes could be grown here on sandy soil,” Chairman Pastor Ikupu Vaki says with a laugh. His 10-metre x 2-metre vineyard started bearing fruit in 2014, after his son brought him his first grape seeds from Port Moresby. Initially he sold single bunches for K4 or K5 to villagers at the barter system market every Saturday. Kairuku is one of the districts in the country still practising this traditional system of trade: vendors from nearby Mekeo villages go to
52 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
Hisiu to exchange their fish for garden food, betel nut, and mustard. Only three years ago Pastor Ikupu started experimenting with making red wine: picking only the ripest grapes, he cleaned them thoroughly, crushed them, added a bit of sugar then allowed them to ferment for 21 days before straining the liquid and rebottling for two to three months more. Some of the wine is sold for K10 per bottle and some is given to the local Christian Life Centre Church for communion. The pastor plans to extend his plantation, scale up, and get licensed to start selling to major town centres.
CREATIVE MINDS AT WORK Papua New Guinea is home to world-class creative minds, be they fashion designers, artists, jewellers or other artisans. Tabu Warupi was named Designer of the Year for her seductive bird of paradise-inspired collection at the inaugural PNG Fashion Awards (see our full story on Page 34). Warupi was just one of many talented PNG designers to be showcased at the awards and accompanying runway show. Jewellery makers, not often counted among serious fashionistas, are also making strides, with Miss Ray Jewellery growing an 3000-strong following on Instagram with her handmade
clay earrings. For accessories with a pandanus bent, there’s Faumori (‘pandanus girl’ in the Toaripi dialect), also on Instagram. She sells woven clutches, table runners, coasters, and wall hangings as well. Some students from Sydney’s Australian Film Television and Radio School with ties to PNG are putting together a short film called Pasifika Drift. It’s about a young multiracial PNG dad who delivers a stolen car to some bad people on the same night his girlfriend goes into labour.
“There are some surreal elements incorporating traditional dance and music,” says director Alana Hicks, who also wrote the award-winning short Chicken in 2019, based on her own experiences growing up as a migrant in Australia. In the fine art space, the paintings of Milne Bay artist Noah Kawatalu have been showcased at the National Contemporary Arts Exhibition. Swapping a paintbrush for a stylus, Shawk23 Design (pictured) and Media are fusing traditional culture with digital art in brand collaborations. The Moanaesque designs have been used for everything from uniforms to commercials for clients like NCDC and Paradise Foods.
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 53
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MONEY | BUSINESS | REAL ESTATE | WORK
CRYPTOCURRENCY, SWEEPING THE WORLD We reveal everything you need to know
56 PNG BUSINESS AT A GLANCE Companies battle it out on golf course Two sitting Prime Ministers speak at PNG business conference
58 PROPERTY REPORT Strong demand for POM housing estates The problem with customary land leases
61 SAVINGS TIPS Seven essential money-saving tips provided by Credit Corporation
62 AT WORK WITH… Front-line nurse Glen Bani
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 55
PNG BUSINESS AT A GLANCE
BY GABRIELLA MUNOZ & CARMEL PILOTTI | PHOTOGRAPH: GODFREEMAN KAPTIGAU
Business community rallies for RSPCA Port Moresby’s business community turned out in force for the RSPCA’s Charity Golf Day at the Port Moresby Golf Club. Twenty-two teams took part in a four-person Ambrose event. The finalists were Orbitz Elevators, SP Brewery and Paradise Brewery. The RSPCA’s Karen Swale says the event was a great success because of the support of the business community, the sponsors, and the commitment of volunteers. “This golf competition encourages companies and individuals to partake in a fun game whether they have experience or not. The RSPCA hopes more will join next year for an even bigger and better event,” Swale told PNG Now. The charity day is one of the RSPCA’s major annual fundraising events and was sponsored
by Fletcher Morobe, Agmark, Dulux, KPMG, Paradise Brewery, Meat Haus, Graffiti Signs and DFL Mayberry, with catering by Chef Julz from the Healthy Food Co.
PNG economic predictions
Tax time goes online The Commissioner General of PNG’s Internal Revenue Commission (IRC), Sam Koim, has announced the development of an online client platform, myIRC, which will “enable individuals and organisations, for the first time, to lodge returns, pay their taxes, as well as other interactions previously only able to be performed at an IRC office.”
PNG’s economic performance is projected to remain subdued for the rest of 2021 but rebound in 2022, according to the World Bank’s latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update. The update‘s projection of GDP growth for PNG of just 1% for 2021 reﬂects “a decline in gold mining and LNG production, and the impact of lockdown measures to counter the COVID-19 waves in March and May”. This growth is largely due to the non-resources economy. By comparison, the PNG Treasury’s Mid-Year Economic
56 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) predicts growth for this year of 1.8 per cent, and the Asian Development Bank 1.3 per cent. The World Bank’s outlook for PNG in 2022 is more positive. “Contingent on mining output returning to prepandemic levels, growth is projected to accelerate to 4% in 2022.” The report cautions, however, that this level of growth will only mean PNG’s economy attains pre-COVID levels. The bank is predicting GDP growth of 3% for PNG in 2023.
PMs join in for conference Two sitting prime ministers – Papua New Guinea’s James Marape and Samoa’s Fiamē Naomi Mata‘afa – fronted up for the three-day Business Advantage* Papua New Guinea Investment Conference. The prime ministers were among a host of expert speakers addressing the 2021 digital forum. The tone was more upbeat than could have been expected 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic. The Asian Development Bank’s country economist for PNG, Ed Faber, seemed to sum up the general sentiment when he said that “PNG can expect a tough couple of years, followed by the beginning of another growth cycle.” KPMG’s Wayne Osterberg pointed out how PNG had
suddenly become very important in geopolitical terms as the US and its allies seek to counter China’s influence in the Indo–Pacific region. He also explained that KPMG’s recent decision to establish an integrated South Pacific Practice was based on its confidence in the region’s strong longer-term prospects. James Marape had a positive message for foreign investors, acknowledging that both they and PNG need to benefit from every project. Besides the larger resource projects, he explained how his administration is keen to use special economic
James Marape PNG PM
Fiamē Naomi Mata‘afa Samoan PM
Wayne Osterberg KPMG
zones to create new opportunities not just in different sectors, such as tourism and agribusiness, but also in different parts of the country. The PM also said that the government is seeking to progress key resources projects such as Wafi-Golpu, Papua LNG, Pasca A, P’nyang and the restart of operations at Porgera. “Once these projects are up and running, they will support the national budget to fund and sustain our development agenda,” he added.
*Business Advantage International is the publisher of this magazine.
Coffee boost PM James Marape has announced 1.5 million kina for coffee development in Menyamya, Morobe Province. One million kina will be for a
coffee depot and the rest of the money will be used for coffee price support, according to a report in The National.
DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022 PNG NOW 57
PNG Moni/Real Estate
PROPERTY REPORT WITH CARMEL PILOTTI
Housing estates on the outskirts of Port Moresby have been a popular property investment for the past decade, and the trend continues into the next. Tom Snelling of Papua New Guinea’s property classifieds site Hausples says this trend indicates a growing middle class and a demand for home ownership. “I believe there is an ongoing demand for home ownership, and developers who can build quality houses at an affordable rate will find the demand,” Snelling says. He says there are new housing developments coming online with increasing numbers of inquiries generated monthly, however, there is a shortage of developable land. Some of the latest developments
are the Valkyrie Estate at 8 Mile, Iagamaga Estate at 8 Mile, Tuhava Town on Napa Napa Road, Tranquility Estate in Hohola and Anitua 7 Mile Estate in the city. A research paper released by the National Research Institute PNG has highlighted the need for bankable customary land leases. Customary land makes up 97% of land in PNG and is administered by the Department of Lands and Physical Planning through the Voluntary Customary Land Registration (VCLR) system. Researcher Logea Nao says that many customary land leases have been found to not be bankable due to disputes around ownership
and administration. This makes it impossible to acquire loans from banks to develop the land. The researcher says landowners need to minimise land disputes to gain confidence from lenders, and the government needs to improve title registry and management. In an interview with PNG Fire Chief Bill Roo by the PostCourier, it was revealed that it is a requirement to have a fire hydrant every 100 metres and for apartments to be equipped with a fire extinguisher. Roo said that unfortunately there had been insufficient installation of fire hydrants at some housing developments.
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CRYPTOCURRENCY: WHAT IS IT, HOW DOES IT WORK? BY DAVID JAMES
One of the more radical recent developments in finance has been the creation of Bitcoin and other digital cryptocurrencies. They are being touted as a revolution in how we create money. There is some growing interest in Papua New Guinea. Bitcoin first emerged after the global financial crisis (GFC) of 2007–08. It was promoted to solve the problems of ‘fiat currency’: money created by government fiat, or edict. It was claimed that the GFC occurred because of the fatal shortcomings of fiat currency and that a new approach was needed. Bitcoin is described as a ‘trustless’ system that does not rely on human-to-human trust (collapsing trust in the system is what caused the GFC). It is based on a mathematical solution to what is known as the ‘two generals’ problem. Imagine two generals must attack a castle together if they are to win a battle. But they must do so via intermediaries who cannot be trusted. How do they know the message has got through? An ingenious mathematical solution was devised to this puzzle that makes it unnecessary to trust any intermediaries. This mathematics forms the basis of what is known as the blockchain, the digital system underpinning Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency technology. Originally, the idea was that Bitcoin would replace, or supplement, normal money.
AT A GLANCE ☛ Cryptocurrency is a digital currency. ☛ Cryptocurrency can be bought through online exchange platforms. ☛ There are more than 10,000 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Cardano. ☛ Cryptocurrency can be used to buy and sell things, as well as to store and potentially grow in value. ☛ Cryptocurrencies are high-risk and speculative to buy, because of their volatility.
It would be used for everyday transactions in the same way that the kina is. But there was always a question about this. Would it become just a new form of money, or would it become a digital asset that people invest in? If it was a new form of money, its value would tend to stay stable in the same way that one kina always equals one kina. But if it became a financial asset used by investors its value would change. It is now clear that Bitcoin has become a financial asset, not a replacement for ordinary money. Over the last five years its value
60 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
has increased by a factor of 892. The total value of Bitcoin has soared to US$1 trillion (3.5 trillion kina) and the total value of all the cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin is only one) is US$2.3 trillion (8.2 trillion kina). Anyone buying Bitcoin should realise they are investing, not using an alternative currency. Loi Bakani, Governor of the Bank of Papua New Guinea, has warned that Bitcoin does not have “legal tender status to be accepted as a currency.” He added that investment in cryptocurrencies is “considered very risky and speculative in nature.”
PNG Moni/Saving tips
THE 7 ESSENTIAL STEPS FOR SAVING MONEY It can be overwhelming to start saving money, which is why it’s often viewed as a difficult thing to achieve. The secret, and sometimes the hardest thing about saving, is just getting started. You can start by setting a small, achievable short-term goal for something fun that you are unlikely to have the cash on hand to pay for, such as a new smartphone. Achieving smaller goals – and enjoying the reward you’ve saved for – can give you a psychological lift that makes the payoff of saving more immediate and reinforces the habit. Staying motivated to save money can be made easy by following the tips here explained by experts from Credit Corporation.
01 SET YOUR SAVING GOALS
Start by thinking of what you might want to save for. Perhaps you’re getting married, buying a car, or saving for school fees. Figure out how much money you’ll need and how long it might take you to save it.
02 RECORD ALL YOUR EXPENSES
Figure out how much you currently spend. Keep track and a record of all your expenses – that means every lunch, coffee, and household items you purchase daily, weekly, and monthly.
03 SET UP A BUDGET
Once you have an idea of what you spend in a month, you can begin to organise your recorded expenses into a workable budget. Your budget should outline how your expenses measure up to your income – so you can plan your spending and limit overspending. Include a
savings category, which clearly states how much you aim to save as a percentage of your income.
04 CUT DOWN ON
If you find your expenses are high and you can’t save as much as you’d like, identify nonessentials expenditure, such as entertainment, and spend less. Look for ways to save on your fixed monthly expenses, such as your mobile phone, by buying bundled packages.
05 WATCH YOUR
Review your budget and check your progress every month. Not only will this help you stick to your personal savings plan, but it also helps you identify and fix problems quickly.
06 PICK THE RIGHT TOOLS
Get the right account for your goal. Do you have a short- or long-term goal? Depending on your answer, you need to open a savings or investment account that is tailored to your needs.
07 THE POWER OF HABIT
By paying money into your savings account first thing every month, or even setting up a standing order, you’re creating a savings habit that’s more likely to last than when you’re only saving occasionally. Tips provided by Credit Corporation, creditcorporation.com.pg.
PNG NOW 61
AT WORK WITH NURSE GLEN BANI
BY LEMACH LAVARI | PHOTOGRAPH: LEMACH LAVARI
Glen Bani is a nurse in the surgical department of Port Moresby General Hospital. He says he always wanted to do work that would have a positive impact on people. After considering joining the PNG Defence Force, he settled on nursing and has been in the surgical ward for six years. “Growing up in a Christian family, we were taught to help others,” he says. “That’s why I thought I wanted to become a soldier or a health worker.”
Glen Bani on … Working in surgery is challenging, especially when patients have had major procedures or operations. As a nurse, you are always at the bedside observing and reporting to doctors. You must be a quick and critical thinker. The best part of the job is seeing patients fully recover, leaving their beds and saying goodbye to me. In those moments, I feel accomplished and satisfied that I have contributed towards the wellbeing of someone else, and I feel proud about that. Working in the COVID-19 section of the surgical ward has been tough. I no longer spend as much time as I would like with family and friends because we must self-isolate if we are exposed to the virus. Sometimes we need to spend our days off in isolation, and then go back to work. But I must keep going because this is the line of work I chose.
A typical day for me is attending to patients, observing and recording their recovery and providing medical care where needed. We work in eight-hour shifts. There is the morning shift (7am–2pm), afternoon shift (2pm–10pm) and night shift (10pm–7am). As the team leader for the afternoon shift, I often stay on for the next shift if we have people (nursing staff) away. After my shift, I go into self-isolation and keep alert for symptoms of COVID-19.
62 PNG NOW DECEMBER 2021 – JANUARY 2022
The best part of the job is seeing patients fully recover.
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