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LAUNCH ISSUE | September 2020

SONGBIRD SINGING FOR CHANGE

SMART YOUNG THINGS PNG’s brightest minds at work

+ TRENDS | CULTURE | TRAVEL | FOOD | SPORT

FREE


Welkam!

Welcome to Papua New Guinea’s brand new lifestyle magazine, PNG Now. PNG Now has a unique PNG flavour and features exceptional storytelling from PNG’s best writers and photographers. Delve into lively and topical coverage of PNG events, people, culture, health, travel, food, tech and much more. We want to celebrate the best of PNG, and help you discover and enjoy it too.

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PNG Now is free and has extensive distribution in cafes, hotels and other social hubs. Contact us by email or on social media to learn your nearest distribution point. We hope you enjoy this launch issue and we welcome your letters and comments, either by email at info@ pngnowmag.com or our social media pages at Facebook or Instagram.

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Banking on the go.

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Technologies change but some ideas stay the same. Download the Westpac PNG app today and do your banking on the go.

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www.westpac.com.pg A wooden cart used to transport gold and coin in the 1900’s.

Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141. The liability of its members is limited. Westpac is represented in Papua New Guinea by Westpac Bank - PNG - Limited.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 3


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C RESIDENCES 8 RESIDENTIAL APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT COMPLETION AUGUST 2021

BUILDING CONFIDENCE For better living in Port Moresby As the world changes the need to live safe and secure has never been more important. Airways Residences is proactively taking significant steps to build confidence for a better way of living in Port Moresby. Following their success of servicing two major LNG projects, Airways Residences again is at the forefront of undertaking an expansion project to support the Oil & Gas sector.

The C Residences 8 project, that is due for completion August 2021, will provide fully serviced luxury residential apartments with onsite retail and recreation facilities. Established within a secure garden estate, only a few minutes from downtown Port Moresby, Airways C Residences 8 offers the most spectacular views of Bootless Bay


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and the distant Owen Stanley ranges. Each block of 8 apartments is serviced by a secure private lift and stairs that lead to thoughtful conveniences such as the private Recreation Park, mini supermarket, a Bank/ATM, pharmacy and medical clinic. In recognition for its unique design and highquality standards, C Residences 8 Residential Apartments has recently become an International Award Winner with Asia Property Awards. Also, Airways Residences continues to service a wide range of industry sectors with their fully serviced Apartments and Villas that all feature modern facilities and amenities with flexible leasing terms. Residents live safely and securely within hectares of parklands that is conducive to social distancing. And all residences and exclusive on-site facilities are hygienically cleaned regularly.

At Airways Residences it’s not just about living differently, it’s providing a comprehensive living environment that allows Residents to fulfil their lifestyle, safely and securely, without compromise.

But what makes Airways Residences unique is that Residents live comfortably in a spacious gated community that is shared with the awarded Airways Hotel. Recognised internationally for its five-star services and facilities, hotel guests and residents can enjoy dining at two high-class restaurants and bars, as well as use the swimming pool, Airways Health Club and award-winning Bliss Day Spa.

Find out more about the Airways lifestyle. Contact Airways Residences General Manager Kevin Wells E: kevinwells@airways.com.pg P: +675 325 4366 www.airwaysresidences.com.pg

DISCOVER THE AIRWAYS LIFEST YLE


CONTENTS UP FRONT

Breakfast with Dulciana Somare-Brash 08 Where in the world would you like to travel? 10 What’s happening around town? 12 What’s trending, from indoor plants to movies? 30

CITY GUIDE

Where to eat, drink and play in Port Moresby 32

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ESCAPE

Black Cat Track ready for trekkers again 34 Underwater adventure near POM 40

NATURE

A walk in the park 42

FOOD

Deli KC review 46 A hot recipe that’s good for the budget too 47

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Meet some of Papua New Guinea’s brightest entrepreneurial minds.

Songs from the heart 52

Six PNG masters of their art 48

SPORT

The rise and rise of PNG cricket 54

REAL ESTATE POM’s most desirable suburbs 58

BUSINESS

6 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

A photo essay of POM’s markets

Smart young things

ART & CULTURE

Business news at a glance 60 Meet Ok Tedi boss Musje Werror 62

IN FOCUS

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AN AUDIENCE WITH THE QUEEN

Winnie Kiap’s great moments

Alyson Joyce, adding voice to social issues.


Chef Donald, cooking local 44

PNG Now is a free magazine produced by Business Advantage International Pty Ltd in association with

This amazing Tolai chef is showcasing Papua New Guinean food. Distributed by Pascoe Promotions, Port Moresby © Copyright 2020, Business Advantage International and contributors. All rights reserved. www.pngnowmag.com Join the PNG Now conversation on Facebook facebook.com/pngnowmag and Instagram @ pngnowmag. ADVERTISING INQUIRIES TO BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER Charles Saldanha ads@pngnowmag.com +61 (0) 404 842 472 EDITOR Robert Upe editor@pngnowmag.com

Locker room chat 56

Justin Olam about life as a rugby league player.

EDITORIAL ADVISORY TEAM Penny Burns, Aaron Chin, Leanne Jorari, Sylvia Pascoe CONTRIBUTORS Dean Arek, Mike Butler, Paul Chai, Hal Dente, Dusk Devi, Leanne Jorari, Godfreeman Kaptigau, Lemach Lavari, Yasmina Lloyd, Trevor Mallen, Grace Maribu, Dan Molloy, Gabriella Munoz, Sylvia Pascoe, Carmel Pilotti, Peter Schofield, Russel Tarutia, Russell Wai, Glen West, Sally Woollett, Nicolas Zoumboulis COVER: Papua New Guinean singer Alyson Joyce. Photograph by Dan Molloy.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 7


Conversation

BREAKFAST WITH …

DULCIANA SOMARE-BRASH PUBLIC POLICY AND POLITICAL ADVISOR BY LEANNE JORARI | PHOTOGRAPHS: GODFREEMAN KAPTIGAU

Dulciana Somare-Brash is a political advisor to the PNG Ministry of National Planning and Monitoring and the United Labor Party. If her maiden name sounds familiar, that is because she is the daughter of Papua New Guinea’s founding father, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, and Lady Veronica Somare. Somare-Brash lives in Port Moresby’s Touaguba Hill with her husband and two daughters. Why have you chosen the Grand Papua Hotel for breakfast? Well, firstly because it’s close to my house; and secondly because the coffee’s great. I tend to have a lot of work meetings here. I like the fact that it’s very PNG inspired too. As you go all the way up to the top floor to the Executive Club Lounge, it’s a great reminder of how our traditional ways have provided the inspiration for this modern building. Do you usually eat breakfast? I usually only drink cups of strong coffee in the morning. I will eat breakfast on the weekends, but I won’t make time for it on weekdays. Well that pretty much answers the ‘coffee or tea’ question. 8 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

Definitely coffee, and PNG coffee. Brewed coffee. We have a serious rule in our team (PNG Ministry of National Planning and Monitoring) that black, brewed coffee with honey is the go. What have you ordered today? I’ve gone for the omelette, which is one of my favourites – usually without onions but I’ve asked for everything today.

I feel like I can make a contribution (to society) by being able to get up every morning and helping those less fortunate ...

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? I want to get out of bed just because of the intensity of the issues that we’re dealing with at the Ministry. They are complex landowner, development and social issues that aren’t as predictable and straightforward as you may think. Your maiden name (Somare) needs no introduction, but you have built your own career as a political advisor. You are an inspiration to a lot of young women. Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got to where you are now. I have a background in law and political science. My first job was with Air Niugini, selling tickets in the early 90s. I met my husband and we had our first child, who is now 23. I continued to work after that: at the Australian High Commission as a senior research officer, then at


by my father’s profile and my family name and so it was a good opportunity to be able to go out there (Port Vila), alone. But you know, having said that, operating as the child of this man was also a fantastic opportunity because of the great love and respect my father has in the region.

the British High Commission as a political and public affairs manager. And then I went to work at the ABC as the local journalist, and I was a reporter for Tok Pisin Radio Australia. At 33, when we had our second daughter, 10 years after the first one, I decided to go to university. I studied a joint degree: a Bachelor in Political Science and Anthropology and a Bachelor of Law.

I graduated in 2013 and went to work at a regional think-tank in Port Vila in Vanuatu. I really loved it. I had a really good opportunity to understand public policy – the importance of it in planning but also the importance of it in jurisdictions in Melanesia. What has it been like living in the shadow of your father? We’ve always been overshadowed

Being a member of your high-profile family, are you ever judged for ‘your position of privilege’ or being accused of not being able to empathise with the people or their issues? I have always felt guilty that I didn’t really have the (hardship) experiences that a lot of people have had. I have had the luxury of being able to read, to access information and to be focused about my choices. But I feel like I can make a contribution back. Being able to get up every morning and contribute to society and helping those less fortunate, kind of reduces that internal feeling of guilt, for want of a better term. I am able to bring ideas and offer notions of what the rest of the world is doing in terms of development and economic prosperity. The Grand Brasserie at the Grand Papua Hotel in Mary Street, Port Moresby, is open for breakfast from 6am to 10am. For bookings, tel. +675 304 0170. SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 9


Vox Pop

WORD ON THE STREET BY GRACE MARIBU | PHOTOGRAPHS: GRACE MARIBU

When COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted, where in the world would you like to go for a holiday?

VALENTINE MELDIA

22, receptionist, Gordons, Port Moresby

I am fascinated with Maori culture and history, and how New Zealand has integrated these into their country. I want to see New Zealand – visit their museums, see how Maori tattoos are done, and witness a live haka performance. I also want to visit the Lord of the Rings ‘village’, the set used in the movie. I hear it is now a major tourist attraction.

VILLI PUANAVOI 50, public servant, Touaguba, Port Moresby

JOHN ROROSI

47, TV producer, Ensisi Valley, Port Moresby

I’d like to go back to Hawaii. My wife and I went to Waikiki last year for our 20th wedding anniversary, but the four-day trip was too short. We visited Pearl Harbour but I’d like to go back to see the rest of Hawaii, tour the islands, walk as far as possible into a volcanic crater and see the big surf that Hawaii is known for.

Tonga or any smaller Pacific Island country would do nicely. I want to be among people who are still in touch with their roots, somewhere peaceful where people still live simple lifestyles and enjoy that sense of community and togetherness. I have visited England many times and can say our Pacific ways of life are still the best.

ALICE PAKAT

37, process engineer, Three Mile, Port Moresby

Holland for sure. When I was very young, I was told a Dutch children’s story about a boy who put his finger in a dam to stop the water from bursting it. This story made a big impression on me, so later in high school, I wrote my geography paper on Holland. Yes, go to Holland, walk in the fields of tulips and see those windmills with my own eyes.

10 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

SHEENE VERAVE

22, home duties, Koki, Port Moresby

Italy is first on my list for its scenery and those really beautiful buildings. I have read about and heard it is known for its atmosphere of ‘romance’, like Venice with its water canals and rides on the gondola. America is next. To stand and look up at the Statue of Liberty. That’s something.


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Free call 180 1599


FYI

AROUND TOWN CONTRIBUTORS: CARMEL PILOTTI, DUSK DEVI, NICOLAS ZOUMBOULIS

Home-grown circus kids A Port Moresby based circus is providing a lifeline for young Papua New Guineans. Aged from 16 to 20, the youngsters were selected by the PNG Circus in a talent identification program about two years ago. Training at the Sir Hubert Murray Stadium, the eight have now performed in balancing acts and fire shows at major city events, as well as around the country at places including Mt Hagen and Kundiawa. Freddy Kamo, 18, is one of the performers and says the circus has given him purpose and has provided him with the opportunity to get off the streets. The PNG Circus is a small troupe that is hired to perform at corporate and government

12 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

functions, community shows and festivals. It’s supported under the NCD Active City Development Program and headed by Argentinians Mariana Silva and Juan Cruz Bracamonte, who have both travelled the globe teaching circus performance. They have been on a selfdescribed ‘world tour’ since 2003, performing their own show, Mandragora Circo (mandragoracirco.com.ar), in countries as diverse as India, Kenya, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates. They came to PNG in 2018 and have decided to stay longer, seeing the positive impact that the circus can have for young people in PNG. You can see more about the PNG Circus on Facebook.

POM’s new shopping mall When Papua New Guinea’s retail group Brian Bell made plans to shift its Port Moresby warehouse from the suburb of Gordons to Gerehu, the company invested 30 million kina to turn the deserted warehouse space into a brand new shopping mall. “Turning the ugly duckling into the swan,” laughs Brian Bell’s CEO Cameron Mackellar. Featuring an expanded groupowned Home Centre as its anchor tenant, the mall opened recently to queues of people. There are 21 retailers, selling everything from homewares to musical equipment and postal services. Drawing its inspiration from international malls, but adapting to local Papua New Guinean needs, the new Gordons Plaza was in the works for three years. “Trade has absolutely continued to pick up (during COVID-19),” says Mackellar. “It is not levelling out; it is continuing to grow for us.”


PNG shows appetite for home delivery Shop and Meat Haus joined to provide groceries and catering respectively. Now, amidst rising demand, it has launched GoFresh, as CEO Eugene Anang explains: “Continuing our efforts to serve the community in these unprecedented times, we have expanded our services to offer fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood as well.” The company has also introduced extra hygiene measures this year, to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

If nothing else, 2020 has been a great year for food delivery businesses across the globe, and Papua New Guinea is no exception. The COVID-19 pandemic has kept people at home like never before, but what is bad news for many retailers has provided an opportunity for PNG start-up GoFood. GoFood was founded in Port Moresby two years ago to provide home deliveries via online and phone ordering. Twenty restaurants signed up initially, then last year Stop &

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Say hello to a rewarding career. We’re hiring. If you’re passionate about customer service and working as part of a team, then we want to hear from you.

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Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141. The liability of its members is limited. Westpac is represented in Papua New Guinea by Westpac Bank - PNG - Limited.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 13


FYI

Rhythm of the city Hip hop has taken a foothold in Port Moresby with regular classes at the Holiday Inn’s Life Gymnasium. Whether you can dance or not, it’s hard not to start bopping to the music if you look in on one of the high-energy classes taken by instructor Theodore Towalila. Towalila (pictured far right with some of his dance students) says there is a lot of interest from young Papua New Guineans looking for something new to do. “Dancing helps to build selfesteem, it’s definitely beneficial for the youth. It’s also a way of connecting people of all walks of life; I believe it can change PNG society,” Towalila says.

POM’s trash a big drawcard

Adult classes are from 6pm to 7pm every Thursday and kids’ classes are every Sunday from 3pm to 4pm.

The recent BSP Trash to Treasure Sculpture Festival at Port Moresby Nature Park focused attention on plastic pollution. Sculptures at the show were made from rubbish collected from beach clean-ups and from donations of recyclable rubbish. The octopus sculpture (pictured) was made with 1528 plastic bottles, 151 plastic plates, 100 pieces of plastic cutlery, 85 plastic trays, 55 margarine containers and 32 metres of bubble wrap. Nature Park CEO Michelle McGeorge says the festival is a big opportunity to reach out to the public on issues concerning waste and pollution, which is a critical concern in a rapidly expanding city like Port Moresby.

The finesT dining in Pa P ua n e w g u i n e a Bacchus Restaurant Experience PNG’s premium dining destination. At Bacchus, talented chefs prepare cuisine of the highest quality. With the country’s best-stocked wine cellar and attentive table service, Bacchus transforms every meal into a memorable experience.

For reservations please call 324 5200 (ext. 3400) www.airways.com.pg

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A premier restaurant inspired by tradition, crafted for today. Open Every Wednesday - Saturday 6pm - 10pm To make reservations Please Call us on +675 7501 8015

Mumu Bar & Grill Ground Level, Kutubu Convention Centre


Lae helps Aussie bushfire victims Papua New Guinea was all over the Australian news recently for its incredible generosity to the bushfireaffected community of Merimbula on the New South Wales east coast. “I thought there might be anything from a couple of hundred dollars to AU$1000. But I was wildly wrong,� Andy Thorp from the local Rotary Club told ABC News. The donation from Lae ended up at over AU$60,000. Showing some incredible local leadership and commitment, the donation was organised by Sheila Harou in Lae. After seeing the horrific bushfires that ravaged Australia in January, she started a charity appeal that began with young people pushing wheelbarrows around the streets of Lae seeking donations, and eventually included a number of local organisations. And now the PNG flag proudly flies in the town of Merimbula as a permanent reminder of the incredible generosity of Lae.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 15


FYI

Young readers on cloud nine Children at the Buk Bilong Pikinini learning centre at the Koki Markets in Port Moresby recently got busy painting green clouds to celebrate a new sponsorship that will keep their centre open. The sponsorship is from Green Cloud Consulting, a consultancy firm that specialises in finance. Director Tim Green says his company is proud to join the Buk Bilong Pikinini family. “We believe education is the foundation of success and our partnership with Buk Bilong Pikinini is intended to provide the opportunity to the children of Koki to realise their potential.” Buk Bilong Pikinini is a charity that promotes literacy and provides children with access to books.

PNG-made masks Lae-based fashion designer Kenny Ng has a range of PNG-made face masks available, made for COVID-19 times. The masks (pictured) include a bird of paradise design and are priced at 3–5 kina. They are available at Port Moresby retailers including Ni-Van Tailoring, DMK and Xalu.

Miss PNG on hold This year’s Miss PNG Pacific Islands Pageant has been postponed, a victim of conditions created by COVID-19. The pageant’s chairperson, Molly O’Rourke, said many of the pageant’s supporters and sponsors are facing tough economic times. Meanwhile, Miss PNG Lucy Maino will continue to make charity visits and give talks at schools and to groups of young women. Among the topics she speaks about is gender-based violence. In Madang recently, Josie Nicolas, 21, a business accounting student at Divine Word University, was crowned Miss Madang 2020.

CA F E B A KERY COF F EE ROA STE R SP ECIA LTY COF F E E DUFFY CAFÉ LOCATIONS GABAKA ST, GORDONS HARBOURSIDE PRECINCT, TOWN POM INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

16 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020


Health tips for COVID-19 Papua New Guinea’s official website for COVID-19 information is covid19.info.gov.pg.

To help prevent the spread of the virus it recommends:

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WASH HANDS OFTEN COUGH INTO ELBOW DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE FROM OTHERS STAY HOME IF YOU CAN

The site also has updates on COVID-19 cases in PNG and a 24/7 call centre, 1800 200. It advises that people immediately call the toll free hotline and get tested if they show signs of the virus, including fever, cough, sore throat or breathing difficulties.

In other tips, the site recommends that people greet each other with a smile or nod, not a handshake or elbow bump. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, wear a face mask if social distancing is not possible, and visit as few places as possible.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 17


People

SMART YOUNG THINGS

PNG’S BRIGHTEST MINDS AT WORK BY SYLVIA PASCOE | PHOTOGRAPHS: PIXELS PERSPECTIVE, MANGILEA PHOTOGRAPHY

An estimated 50,000 small-to-medium businesses (SMEs) in Papua New Guinea help power the nation’s economy. The PNG Government wants that number to grow to 500,000 by 2030. This growth will create two million jobs and ultimately SMEs will contribute 50 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product. The Prime Minister, James Marape, has said the government will inject 200 million kina a year for the next 10 years into the sector, as well as offer tax incentives to SMEs. Often, the SMEs are headed by young people who have had a simple idea and developed it into a thriving business. Here, PNG Now meets six rising entrepreneurs.

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Rebekah Ilave 29

Tech whiz Port Moresby Rebekah Ilave and co-founder David Valentine have created Niunet, a local high-speed wireless network that provides free access in PNG to educational content, including TED talks, opensource textbooks, Wikipedia and video tutorials. Their education start-up aims to help learning institutions deliver targeted educational content to students without internet access. It came about in response to the high cost of the internet in PNG, which they say keeps information out of the reach of young adults in the country. Niunet operates without the need of cellular network data or phone credit. All you need to tap in is a Wi-Fi-enabled device, such as a laptop, tablet, or a smartphone. 18 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

Before co-founding Niunet, Ilave was working as an environmental analyst. “We were doing community outreach in some of the most remote parts of the Gulf Province, to talk about conservation and resource management with them,” she says. “Some of the villages there had schools that only went up to Grade 2, and had a four-hour canoe trip to the nearest clinic. It was heartbreaking. “That night my team leader told me something I’ll never forget: ‘How can we talk with these people about working with us, when their basic needs like health and education aren’t being met?’ That struck a chord with me, and it resonated with me for another year before I quit my job. I started developing Niunet full-time, and now I’m so much closer to living life in line with my beliefs.”


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Amanda Tau Kanasa 30

Fashionista Port Moresby Amanda Tau Kanasa runs a fashion retail business called Pacificana, focusing her sales through online channels and through retail spaces such as POM City Markets. Her slogan, ‘look good, feel good’, has cemented her brand as one of the most well-known social media retailers in PNG. Kanasa’s range of Pacific-themed clothing and accessories suits all ages and sizes. Like many, she saw getting into business as a way of working in her own time and achieving financial freedom.

“I love seeing people look good and feel good and I also love that through this I can show people that no matter how far they have gone in their education, there is always a way to achieve success. It’s not just about making money, it’s about making a difference in people’s lives.” She prides herself on her work ethic and customer service, spending up to 16 hours a day working on her business, which she says also brings her lots of enjoyment. “I know one day all the hard work will pay off. If there is anything we focus on, it is making sure our customers know just how important they are to us.”

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 19


People

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Idau Raka 38

Burger queen Lae Just two years after Idau Raka started selling hamburgers in Lae, she has a following of 3000 people on Facebook for her Boss LAEdy Burgers home-based business. Customers place their orders online and pick up from her house daily. Lamb kofta burgers, kumul burgers, wicked (chicken) wings and hot mess chips are some of the favourites on the menu, which has a price range of 5–30 kina. Raka runs the business while maintaining a full-time job with a courier and parcel company, but is helped by her supportive family – aunty Darusila Ranu, nephew Vian Kevon and her son Jack T Raka during school breaks. “My passion for cooking and being creative in the kitchen were the two main factors that nudged me to start my journey,” she says. “As well as that, I wanted to create a second income because I realised my fortnightly pay wasn’t enough to support my family of five.” Boss LAEdy Burgers started in 2018 and early sales and the strong following on Facebook gave her confidence to invest back into the business in 2019. This year she is putting money aside for future investment.

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Ginia Sialis 36

Cakes and catering Port Moresby Eight years ago, Ginia Sialis wondered what would happen if she ever lost her office job, so she set about starting up a part-time business. She came up with the idea to sell tapioca cakes to her colleagues during lunch hour. The cakes were a huge hit. About 12 months later, when Sialis did lose her office job, her cake-loving customers stayed loyal and continued to order her little delicacies. This gave her the motivation to set up a fully-fledged cake and catering business, Tapioca Delight, named after the first cakes she sold. “I’m so happy I set out to sell that first tapioca cake from my lunch box,” she says. Sialis runs the business with her husband and has 11 staff.


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Dean Arek 26

Digital content provider Port Moresby In 2016, the world came to Port Moresby in the form of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Dean Arek, just out of his teens, noticed that many of the soccer fans arriving into the country at that time were pleasantly surprised by what they found, despite the widespread negativity they had seen about Papua New Guinea on the internet. Arek recalls that online searches about PNG automatically brought up stories about corruption, violence and even cannibalism. He set about righting the wrong and started building websites to showcase PNG in a positive way. “I wanted to counteract all the negativity online,” he says. The websites kickstarted his entrepreneurial life in digital content creation and today he

runs his own photography, videography, graphic artwork and website creation business, called proficienteC. His passion for digital content can keep him going 48 hours without sleep. “It really sets my soul on fire. I love what I do,” he says. “The challenge of operating in a space that has very little structure and norms is the greatest form of motivation there is. What’s even better is I know so many amazing creators who are living their dream life through digital content creation.” Arek has two photographers (one permanent and one casual) engaged in his photography business, which operates under the arm of Pixels Perspective. (You can see some of their work in this issue of PNG Now.) He does most of the graphic design work but outsources when the workload gets too big. He is looking at expanding his team in the area of social media management.

She says an important philosophy of the business is helping community with employment opportunities. “We have a team of 11 staff who now have a full-time job thanks to our business. We want to do our part to bring Papua New Guineans out of poverty and into leading meaningful lives and improved standards of living for themselves and their families.” With strong Christian values built into her business and personal life, she believes it’s what sets them apart. “My husband and I have gone back to our biblical roots to see what God’s word says about business, finance and life – and it’s all there! Not many people do this nowadays. “We’ve been in business since 2013 and can say we saw the biggest improvement in our lives and our business when we started making our faith walk, a 24/7 commitment rather than just a once-a-week Sunday church attendance.”

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 21


People

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Nemika Brunton 24

Jam entrepreneur Alotau A childhood pastime has developed into a viable business for Nemika Brunton, who has created Yanua Kitchen, a thriving cottage industry that is making some of the best homestyle jam in Papua New Guinea. As a small girl, Brunton picked up her jam-making skills from her grandfather and mother during family cooking time. “My mum always made star fruit jam, so I remember watching her in the village,” Brunton says. Yanua Kitchen specialises in homemade jams using local seasonal fruits, including star fruit and pomelo (a large citrus fruit). “The pomelo jam is my personal favourite because it goes so well on toast or buns,” Brunton says. Brunton has been encouraged by online interest in her business and, with the support of her partner Sioni, is expanding to produce larger quantities to keep up with demand. The next step will be to export her jams, she says.

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GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURS WHO STARTED SMALL AND MADE IT BIG Richard Branson

Jack Ma

Kayla Itsines

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Net worth: 3.4 billion kina What he does: Business investor and philanthropist. Based in: British Virgin Islands How he started: Sold vinyl records through a mail order business when he was 16 and used the profits to launch Virgin Records. Net worth: 1.7 billion kina What she does: Personal trainer and creator of fitness ebooks. Based in: Australia How she started: Grew an Instagram following by posting ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of her clients and fitness tips.

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Net worth: 169 billion kina What he does: Founder of Alibaba. Based in: China How he started: Saw a gap in the market and founded one of the first Chinese internet companies, Alibaba, now one of the largest e-commerce networks in the world. Net worth: 1.4 billion kina What he does: Actor, businessman, former politician and bodybuilder. Based in: US How he started: Using money he made from bodybuilding, put a down payment on an apartment building, then developed and traded up his buildings, and made his first million in real estate.

Jane Lu

Net worth: 80 million kina What she does: CEO and founder of Showpo, a women’s online fashion boutique. Based in: Australia How she started: Launched the website from her parents’ garage and was one of the first online traders to use social media to bring in business.

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SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 23


People

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GREAT MOMENTS WINNIE ANNA KIAP

PNG’S HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE UNITED KINGDOM

Winnie Kiap took up the post of Papua New Guinea’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in 2011, with accreditation to Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Kiap, from Baluan Island in Manus Province, recounts some of her most memorable moments mixing in diplomatic circles and with royalty.

ATTENDING

01 MEETING HEADS OF

02 MAJOR EVENTS

STATE

I feel privileged to have attended the major events commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, as well as the London Olympics. I was also very privileged to have attended the funeral service of President Nelson Mandela, who fought apartheid.

On taking up duties in London in 2011, I introduced myself to Queen Elizabeth II as her High Commissioner and Ambassador to the UK. At an event at the Vatican, I was introduced to Pope Francis. From humble beginnings in Manus to palaces to exchanging small talk with rulers makes me feel that ‘I have arrived’.

03

THE BIG DEBATE

I was invited to take part in the Oxford Union debate in March and was teamed up with the former first female Prime Minister of New Zealand, Dame Jenny Shipley, and Premier David Banks of Anguilla. We were the winning team.

24 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

04

PUBLIC SPEAKING

In the nine years I have been in London, I have given over 30 speeches to organisations including the Rotary Club of London, universities, the annual Commonwealth Diplomats Induction Program, and the annual London Pacific Fashion Week. Perhaps the Everest of these were two or three speaking panels at the House of Lords. All of these bring visibility to PNG.

DIPLOMAT OF THE

05 YEAR

It was truly humbling to be awarded Diplomat of the Year in 2018 for Outstanding Contributions to the Commonwealth. The award was in recognition of my having chaired the Accreditation Committee and the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat, as well as chairing the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Foundation Board of Governors.


Focus

A SLICE OF PNG LIFE AT THE MARKETS PHOTOGRAPHS: TREVOR MALLEN

Port Moresby has a colourful mix of markets, selling everything from fresh produce to seafood and locally made craft. PNG Now dispatched photographer Trevor Mallen to the markets one Saturday recently, and this is what he saw.

Meet Charlie – he’s originally from Baimuru in Gulf Province and has been selling mud crabs at Koki Fish Market in Port Moresby for more than five years. He gets his crabs at Manubada Island and then transports them to the market.

26 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020


A family buys vegetables at the new undercover Gordons Market, which opened last November. The market is one of the biggest produce markets in the country and has space for 2000 vendors. More than 400 female vendors were consulted about the market’s design to ensure they have a safe environment.

Alice Simora supports her family selling mud crabs in Port Moresby. She has to travel up to two hours by dinghy and PMV to get to the market from her home at Manumanu in Central Province. The going rate for crabs is about 20 kina for 500 grams, but if you get a big juicy one over 700 grams it will fetch more than 40 kina.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 27


Focus

Saki Nupiri is hoping to graduate in marketing this year, but meanwhile he sells fruit at Waigani Market to support himself and pay the rent. He moved from the Highlands to Port Moresby more than 10 years ago.

Pawpaw and other fruit are laid out at Waigani Market. The market opens daily at 6am, with the early birds picking up the freshest produce that has been brought in from market gardens. The men are holding fly swats.

28 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020


Vendor Philomena Joseph splashes water over fish at Koki Fish Market near Port Moresby’s Ela Beach. The market is the best in town for seafood and is a lively place, with vendors and customers bargaining over the catch of the day. The fish here were caught by net the night before and the water helps keep them fresh in the stifling heat of the PNG capital.

The tapa cloth on sale here at the craft market at the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby is from the Oni Tribe in Oro Province. Vendor Roderick Vana returns home to the province to collect more stock when he runs out. The tapa cloth is made from the bark of the mulberry tree (white) and the oak tree (brown and yellowish). The patterns and designs represent various stories, which Vana can interpret for buyers.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 29


Trends ’n Things

IN VOGUE CONTRIBUTORS: NICOLAS ZOUMBOULIS, GLEN WEST, DUSK DEVI, PAUL CHAI

Style that sets you apart Although fashion shows and events have been cancelled this year because of COVID-19, PNG designers are still creating Instagram worthy pieces. At least your look can travel around the world, even if you don’t! We love this Lumai colourised canvas tote by Dru Douglas (above right) and the Duk Duk white pleated ruffle dress (above left). Douglas is based in Auckland, New Zealand, but provides international shipping. His creations are available exclusively from lumailabel.com. Meanwhile, fashion designer Kenny Ng (that’s his Oro-Tapa Butterfly collection, pictured right) says he has been selling a lot of fabric because his customers have a lot of time to sew while stuck at home during COVID-19. He has also been busy designing a new collection; we can’t wait to see what the Lae-based designer comes up with.

Headbands to calm the mind Benefits of a calm mind are many – but highest on the list are improved focus, quicker thinking, better health and less chance of heart problems. Now Muse headbands (choosemuse. com) are available to help anyone achieve a peaceful state of mind. The headbands use the same brainwave-measuring EEG (electroencephalogram) technology that hospitals and medical researchers have 30 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

used for almost a century, then link it via Bluetooth to a meditation app you download to your mobile smart device. Using the brainwaves being read by the headband, the app guides the user through a range of weather sounds that eventually brings his or her mind to complete rest. There are headbands designed for pure meditation, as well as sleep.


Down-to-earth interiors The humble indoor house plant is making a huge comeback globally, thanks to interior design and wellbeing influencers on social media. The trend continues to grow as people try to integrate the natural world into their homes, and it has significant health benefits too. Research has

shown indoor plants have a positive effect on our wellbeing. Being physically close to nature is linked to positive mental health, and can actually boost mood, concentration and creativity. Indoor plants are also a great way to improve the air quality in your home, as they act like a

natural air purifier and absorb harmful chemicals. If you’re worried about killing your house plants, make sure you choose a plant that is native to Papua New Guinea – they’re climate-resistant and far easier to manage.

Book lifts the lid on West Papua Investigative journalist John Martinkus has released a book about the ongoing crisis between the West Papuan independence movement and Indonesia. The Road, Uprising in West Papua, is a victory for free speech with Martinkus providing a detailed and up-to-date glimpse into the conflict despite Indonesian bans on the media and NGOs. The Road is published by Black Inc. (blackincbooks.com.au).

Home movies usher in new era Events all around the world have been cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 crisis, including movie screenings. This has led to a global trend of the latest films and film festivals being released online. One of the next big ones to go digital is the Coalition of

Coffee on the go Imagine you are halfway along the Kokoda Trail but craving a city-style espresso. That is where Wacaco’s Nanospresso (wacaco.com) comes in. This portable espresso machine has pressure greater than most home espresso machines and produces a perfect brew. It is slimline, light and comes with a detachable cup. Just fill with boiling water and pump.

South Asian Festivals, which will screen online in October. Meanwhile, classic PNG-set documentaries are available to rent online through Ronin Films. Award-winning movies Forgotten Bird of Paradise (pictured) and Angels of War can be watched on Vimeo on Demand.

A yen for Japanese A second Daikoku Japanese restaurant has opened in Port Moresby and has become the hottest table in town. The new restaurant (tel. +675 7111 0425) is at Harbourside and is popular for its sushi and sashimi, but it’s also hard to bypass the signature teppanyaki menu, which includes a sizzling special of shrimp, lobster, beef and vegetables. Daikoku (daikokupng.com) has had a presence in Port Moresby for 30 years, with the original at Harbour City establishing a great reputation and still going strong. SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 31


CAFE CULTURE

☛ Jeanz Cafe, great vibe and hot right now, at the new Gordons Plaza, gordonsplaza.com. ☛ Duffy, three locations in POM, excellent coffee, bakery items, duffypng.com. ☛ Edge by the Sea, marina outlook, alfresco, at Harbour City, facebook.com/edgebythesea. ☛ Rainforest Cafe, surrounded by living tropical rainforest wall at The Stanley Hotel, thestanleypng.com.

CATCH UP

☛ Deli KC, all-day, particularly good lunches poolside at the Airways Hotel, airways.com.pg (see our review, P46).

☛ 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. ☛ Red Rock Bar, five minutes drive from Six Mile, a weekendonly bar with speccy views popular with 4WD clubs and motorbikers, facebook.com/ skilagepng.

DINNERS TO IMPRESS ☛ Mumu, traditional local-style cuisine at the Hilton, eat inside or in alfresco tropical setting, hilton. com.

MARKETS ☛ Craft markets are held in the city every Saturday: Laguna Hotel Craft Market (first Saturday of every month); Moresby Arts Theatre Craft Market (second Saturday); Holiday Inn Craft Market (third Saturday); Ela Beach Craft Market (last Saturday).

☛ The recently Fitness Cent modern equ classes, face ssfcpom.

GET PHYSICAL

THE PORT MORESBY GUIDE

☛ Ela Beach ha for joggers; volleyball an are free for

☛ The Pyramid at Taurama access to th near POM a skate ramp, pyramidsur

☛ The Royal Po Club has 18 non-membe code) and h royalpomgo

☛ Swim laps a Aquatic and from 6am, h facebook.co Taurama-Aq Center/504

☛ Free program from yoga to available thr City Develop activecitypo

OUR FAVOURIT

STAY HERE

☛ Airways Hotel, one of the best in POM, 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.

☛ Bacchus, fine dining and service at Airways Hotel, airways.com.pg.

☛ The Sanctuary Hotel and Spa, most spacious twinshare rooms in Port Moresby, handmade furniture, walk-in bird enclosure, thesanctuaryhotelpom.com.

☛ Silver Leaf, fine dining with 19thfloor city views at The Stanley Hotel, thestanleypng.com.

☛ Holiday Inn Express, affordable, in Waigani, ihg.com.

☛ Gateway Hotel, close to airport and consistently good, coralseahotels.com.pg.

☛ The Sanctuary Hote thesanctuaryhotelp our story, P44).

OUR FAVOURIT

☛ A two-way tie, betw Stanley Hotel’s Gree for its pasta), sogno thestanleypng.com

OUR FAVOURIT

☛ Tasty Bites, traditio atmosphere, good p list, tel. +675 321 22

OUR FAVOURIT

☛ Fusion 2, in Waigan include crab and lob from Kavieng, tel. +

DISCLAIMER The hotels, bars, cafes, restaurants and other businesses and activities listed in this guide have been selected on merit, chosen by P

32 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020


as space the nd basketball courts public use.

OUT OF TOWN STAY & EAT

y opened Southside tre at Koki has uipment and fitness ebook.com/pg/

d Board Riders’ Club has private property he only serious swell and the city’s only , facebook.com/ rf.

ort Moresby Golf holes, accepts ers (there’s a dress hires equipment, olf.com.

at Taurama d Indoor Centre https://www. om/pages/ quatic-Indoor4337133075625.

☛ Lae: The Lae International Hotel has two restaurants, a bar, swimming pool and gym, laeinterhotel.com.

PAMPER ☛ Trends Beauty International has spas and salons across the city, trendsbeautypng. com. ☛ Divine Beauty at Holiday Inn for manicures and pedicures; they do some amazing nail art, facebook.com/ divinebeautyPNG. ☛ Top hotel day spas include Bliss the Spa at Airways Hotel and the Zen Spa at The Stanley Hotel, airways.com. pg, zenspastanley.com.

☛ Madang: Set by the sea, Madang Resort has it all; pools, restaurants, cocktail bars, tennis, gym and a big list of activities and tours, including diving, madangresort.com. ☛ Kokopo: Beside the bay, Kokopo Beach Bungalow Resort has an open-air haus win style restaurant, volcano views and a big list of activities and tours, including diving and island stays, kbb.com.pg. ☛ Rabaul: Rabaul Hotel, character-filled, three-star with the best place to eat in town, rabaulhotel.com.pg. ☛ Alotau: Driftwood Resort, cosy cabins on water’s edge, dine on the hotel’s jetty, driftwoodresortpng.com.

ms and activities o kickboxing are rough the Active pment Program, ortmoresby.com.

☛ Mount Hagen: The Highlander Hotel is set in tropical gardens and has a range of room styles, right up to apartments, coralseahotels.com.pg.

TE LOCAL

ON YOUR BOAT ☛ Fishing: Port Moresbybased Sport Fishing PNG has charters to fresh and saltwater destinations around the country, sportfishingpng.net. ☛ Surfing Fishing Diving: Kavieng-based PNG Explorer offers liveaboard charters, pngsurfaris.com. ☛ Diving: Liveaboard charters are available through Walindi Plantation Resort in Kimbe, walindiresort.com. ☛ River adventure: The liveaboard Sepik Spirit plies the waters of the Sepik region, pngtours.com. ☛ Small ship cruising: Explore the coast, islands and Sepik region out from Madang on board Kalibobo Spirit, mykalibobospirit.com.

el and Spa, pom.com (see

ween Sogno and the en Haus (nominated o.restaurant.com, m.

TE INDIAN

onal Indian in a cosy prices and a good wine 222.

TE ASIAN

ni, where go-to dishes bster brought in fresh +675 7917 0077.

GALLERY ☛ 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.

☛ The Lamana Gold Club has a reputation as the ‘party capital’, with resident DJs, live music stations and international artists, lamanahotel.com.pg. ☛ The Cosmopolitan is a ritzy superclub at Vision City, often featuring live bands, facebook. com/CosmopolitanPNG.  ☛ Club Illusion is a latenight DJ playground, facebook.com/ clubillusion.pg.

☛ Crystal Rapids, picnic on the well-maintained lawn area, swim in the river or float over the rapids; via Sogeri.

DAY TRIPS

LATE & LOUD

TE ITALIAN

☛ Kokoda Trail, journey to the trail head at Owers’ Corner about 50 kilometres from POM, and stop in at the Bomana War Cemetery. ☛ Loloata Island Resort, newly opened, accepts day visitors for a fee, dive, snorkel, laze by the pool, loloataislandresort.com.

PNG Now writers. The listings are not meant to be comprehensive and are not based on commercial considerations. They represent what we like.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 33


Escape

BACK ON TRACK BY MIKE BUTLER | PHOTOGRAPHS: OUR SPIRIT ADVENTURES

Step off a road deep in the interior of Morobe Province, disappear from the rest of the world down a rugged track, reappear five days later rafting down a fast river to a pristine beach a fitter, gutsier and somehow better version of yourself, and you’ve done the Black Cat Track. After years of being closed, the Black Cat Track is ready to re-open. There were plans to take commercial trekkers this year, but visitors have been stopped in their tracks because of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The Black Cat is the ‘other’ track to Kokoda that saw fierce fighting between Pacific superpowers during World War 2. It saw more fighting and more men die on it, but it is hardly known compared to Kokoda. While Kokoda is an Australian-only affair, the Black Cat has greater significance for Papua New Guinea because this is where this country’s people came together to fight the Japanese. 34 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020


The Black Cat Track, ready to take visitors again.

PNG NOW 35


Escape Left: Papuans preparing for battle on the Black Cat Track during World War 2. Below: Trek leader Aidan Grimes.

They (the landowners) are ready to welcome people again right along its length.

WHAT IT’S LIKE The Black Cat Track is 58 kilometres between Wau and Salamaua in Morobe Province. It is home to many language and cultural groups, as well as wildlife including tree kangaroos, cassowaries and birds of paradise. The terrain includes valleys, rivers, jungle and kunai grass.

36 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

It saw the largest numbers of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles and the Papuan Infantry Battalion fight, as well as American GIs alongside the Australians, to save PNG from being overrun. Aidan Grimes (ourspirit.com.au), one of the leaders of Kokoda’s trekking industry, had been hoping that 2020 would be the year the Black Cat could start stepping out of its obscurity. This gruelling 58-kilometre hike has the potential to not only attract Australians to PNG but also Americans and, perhaps more importantly, PNG people paying their respects to a place that represents the defence of the nation. “PNG people died up there along with more Australians than on the Kokoda Trail and their sacrifices, heroics and mateship should be known while it’s still in living memories,” says Grimes, the 54-year-old Irishman who came to PNG in 1994 and now is one of the country’s most prominent trek leaders. (He’s done Kokoda 125 times.) “There are still so many unaccounted soldiers up there,” Grimes says, adding this is where the PNG’s fighting spirit and strength in unity were forged. For a country still looking for the foundations of a national identity and its place in a fast-changing world, the lessons that the Black Cat might represent to PNG’s people could be even more valuable than overseas tourist dollars. Grimes’ plan to put the Black Cat back on the map is simple: “Take people down it, tell them the stories exactly where they happened, help them face the challenges of the track, give them an experience you can’t get anywhere else and it will sell itself just like Kokoda did to Australians.” Grimes trekked the Black Cat soon after Kokoda and – because of the profusion of relics, stories and the harder physical challenges – he started taking expeditions down what was always pegged as the ‘next-level Kokoda’. The last time that happened was in 2013 when he brought now Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to the track. A few months later, there was an attack on a trekking company new to the track that left three porters killed. Seven years on, Grimes had plans to take around 45 paying trekkers along it … until COVID-19 struck. They would have been the first commercial trekkers since 2013.


Above: The Black Cat Track ends at Salamaua Isthmus, near Lae. Right: One of the landowners along the track. Bottom: A crashed Flying Fortress is one of the war relics along the track.

“The landowners were missing out on the benefits of bringing people down it and it’s that wild up there you absolutely have to respect the traditional laws,” he says, explaining he’s kept walking it himself each year since, protected by his relationships along it, listening to the stories, getting shown more battle sites and showing the landowners how trekking can benefit all the communities. “They’re ready to welcome people again right along its length with all the type of hospitality this country does best,” he says. Grimes says tourism operators have met in Lae since the COVID-19 outbreak, agreeing to continue to work together to develop the region’s tourism. He says Black Cat tourism has consolidated significantly with the Morobe Government investing in it. “ We are poised to be part of the tourism bubble when travel to PNG is allowed again.” Grimes has done the Black Cat 28 times and was nationally recognised last year for his work with Kokoda’s people with the first Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal to be awarded to a foreigner. Having been at the ‘birth’ of Kokoda in 2000 when only about 50 trekkers walked along it, Grimes witnessed numbers explode to more than 5500 in SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 37


Escape

Stepping up on a hilly section of the 58-kilometre Black Cat Track.

CAN YOU DO IT? One popular travel guide says the Black Cat Track is “suitable only for masochists and Israeli paratroopers”. Guide Aidan Grimes says this is ‘bull’. With a bit of preparation, he says, it is achievable by the average person. Just be prepared to walk at least eight hours a day along ridges and down ravines, crossing rivers and swamps, and for a lot of sliding down hills on your bum.

38 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

2008. He saw Kokoda’s serenity swamped with conga lines of cowboy operators, exploiting local people and creating conflict. His response was to help set up the Kokoda (operators) Ethics Committee, which advocates for a better go for PNG people and a higher standard of guides. I was one of those 50 who did Kokoda in 2000 and will never forget the effect of the stories my guide Charlie Lynn told my group of 12 trekkers. I did a portion of the Black Cat a couple of years ago and I saw enough to know that it has the same appeal as Kokoda, if not more. I remember I climbed the wing of the Flying Fortress, walked through its fuselage and sat in the pilot’s seat wondering what the hell it must have been like landing this aluminium beast in mountains crawling with Japanese soldiers wanting to kill you. While I truly loved Kokoda, the Black Cat also has its own stories of heroism, like Digger Leslie ‘Bull’ Allen, who carried 12 wounded GIs to safety through a Japanese machine gun attack, the GIs saving Aussies, and the Papuan people saving the skins of everyone in a shoulder-to-shoulder defence as the Japanese attacked.


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Escape

IN DEEP

BY YASMINA LLOYD | PHOTOGRAPHS: YASMINA LLOYD

WHAT YOU’LL SEE World War 2 plane wrecks Manta rays Seahorses Colourful coral Hammerhead sharks

Two companies offer dive courses and dive trips (as well as snorkelling trips) at Bootless Bay. Pro Dive PNG (prodivepng. com) is based at Tahira Marina and there’s a dive shop based at Loloata Island Resort (loloataislandresort.com). 40 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

Bootless Bay is an underwater treasure, just 30 minutes from Port Moresby, where the best diving and snorkelling conditions are coming up in November and December. During these months, the sea is often calmer and the water warmer than other times of the year. It’s the perfect time to see the abundance of marine life. The bay is surrounded by mangroves supporting a rich biodiversity at several islands, including Buna Moto, Motopure, Manunouha and Loloata where a new resort has opened up. Manunouha, also known as Lion Island, is perfect for a picnic. There’s a beautiful strip of white sand there during low tide, ideal for snorkelling along the shallow reef or resting while you explore the bay by kayak. The Papuan Reef provides protection from the open sea,

running parallel to the coastline. Divers and snorkellers can enjoy diverse dive sites that include reefs, walls, tunnels, bommies, wrecks and two World War 2 planes. The wrecks were sunk by dive legends and pioneers Bob Halstead and Kevin Baldwin 30 years ago, so now they are well established with an abundance of corals and home to prolific sea life. One of my favourite dive sites is Suzie’s Bommie, where you’ll find schools of sweetlip, snapper and grouper, as well as passing Napoleon wrasse. Hammerhead sharks can be seen at End Bommie, manta rays at Big Drop, and huge and pristine Gorgonian fans at Dei’s Delight. There’s also an abundance of pygmy seahorses, ghost pipefish, giant frogfish and leaf scorpionfish to see.


MORE GREAT PNG DIVING Tawali Dive Resort (tawali.com), Milne Bay. Tufi Resort (tufiresort.com), Oro Province. Niugini Dive Centre (niuginidive.com), at Madang Resort. Walindi Plantation Resort (walindiresort.com), Kimbe Bay. Lissenung Island Resort (lissenung.com), Kavieng.

Far left: A diver explores one of the wrecks in Bootless Bay. Left: Suzie’s Bommie.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 41


01

02

Nature

A WALK IN THE PARK BY NICOLAS ZOUMBOULIS | PHOTOGRAPHS: PORT MORESBY NATURE PARK

The Port Moresby Nature Park is home to over 550 native animals, hundreds of plant species and is one of PNG’s leading destinations for tourists and Port Moresby residents. It’s also a world leader in conservation, and the park’s chief executive officer, Michelle McGeorge, says its goal is to be the guardian of PNG’s natural biodiversity. “Our logo is three symbols, we have a feather, a leaf and a tattoo, so it’s plants, animals and culture. Our logo is the connection of those three circles and without one, the others will also suffer so it’s important that they’re all nurtured.”

McGeorge says a focus of the park is providing care to injured and endangered animals, and rehabilitating animals for release into the wild. “We get a lot of rescues, and we get a lot of surrenders, a lot of people’s unwanted pets, people who thought it’d be a good idea to have a crocodile as a pet and then it grew big and then they realised actually,

it’s not a fun pet,” says McGeorge. The park is now part of an exciting mission to help save the world’s frog population from a deadly fungus that has ravaged frog species worldwide. “There’s a fungus called chytrid fungus and its actually estimated about 50 per cent of the world’s frogs have been wiped out from this fungus over the last few decades, including a number of species becoming extinct. “Papua New Guinea is home to seven to eight per cent of all the world’s frogs, so in terms of biodiversity,

05 42 PNG NOW


03

04 01. A Raggiana bird of paradise, one of the residents at Port Moresby Nature Park. 02. Wildlife carers Epi Vele and Susan Fari with orphaned grey wallabies. 03. An endangered Matchies tree kangaroo, part of a breeding program at the park. 04. Wildlife carer Joshua Heni with a cuscus. 05. CEO Michelle McGeorge and wildlife carer Ryan Reuma with a green tree frog.

we have an amazing number of frogs.” McGeorge says the fungus has not yet reached PNG, and this provides a great opportunity for researching how to protect the wildlife against destruction. “We’re going to get as much DNA as we can from as many frog species across the country, and then we will essentially freeze that DNA in a sperm bank so if and

A priority of the park is to give back to the PNG community through education and training. when chytrid fungus comes to the country, we will effectively have the gene bank for all of the frogs.” It’s a long-term project, and one of many conservation projects the park is leading. A major priority of the park is giving back to the PNG community through education and training,

and it does this through holding regular community education events for children and adults. It offers programs such as ‘City Kids Don’t Eat Bush Meat’, ‘Don’t Buy Native Animals as Pets’ and ‘Lukautim Bilus Bilong Yu’. “Lukautim Bilus Bilong Yu focuses on how to look after your traditional headdresses, how to look after your traditional feathers, your furs, so that you can get as much life out of them (as possible). You don’t necessarily need to go and buy more or hunt more feathers to still maintain your cultural connections,” McGeorge says. She is proud of the park’s campaigns that resulted in the park being awarded the prestigious International Zoo Educators Award by the Zoo and Aquarium Association of Australasia in 2018. The park also trains university students, with the majority from the neighbouring University of Papua New Guinea. “What gets me excited is over the years, we’ve seen lots of researchers coming from other countries, but what the nature park can do is actually get Papua New Guineans doing the research and that’s really what inspires us,” McGeorge says.

THE NATURE PARK NEEDS HELP Due to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 which has resulted in significant declines in visitation, the park is appealing for more business support, no matter how small, to ensure the park can continue to cover the daily care of over 550 animals and continue its wildlife rescue, conservation and research efforts. It costs about 110,000 kina per month to ensure the animals are cared for, including food, wildlife officer wages, power, and heating and cooling life-support systems. If you can help, go to the Port Moresby Nature Park’s wildlife appeal at GoFundMe, gf.me/u/x55wxs.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 43


Food

IN THE KITCHEN

DONALD DAVID TOLAI CHEF BY LEANNE JORARI | PHOTOGRAPHS: GODFREEMAN KAPTIGAU

COOKING LOCAL It’s hard to believe that a village boy from Nonga in the East New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea would be cooking for one of the country’s highest rated establishments, the Sanctuary Hotel Resort and Spa. But when he tells his story, it seems the stars aligned for the village boy who found his destiny in the haus kuk (house kitchen). Chef Donald David, now better known as the Tolai Chef, is a master of the culinary arts. Seeing him behind the kitchen counter, gracefully working on a meal of creamed fish with corn and vegetables, one could be forgiven for assuming

that he has undergone years of training in the best culinary schools in Asia or Europe. He meticulously steams the fish and vegetables and dresses the plate like a painter with a canvas. But the Tolai Chef neither trained to be a chef nor planned to be one. While a young man in Nonga, he was a regular at his local church, faithfully attending crusades and fellowships and aspired to a career in IT. It wasn’t until one fateful day that an announcement in church turned his life around. The church leaders were looking for kitchen hands to cook at the church’s haus kuk and he happily volunteered. “I wanted to go into IT when I was going to school, but it didn’t work out,” says the Tolai Chef. “It was when

I committed myself to the church kitchen that I realised cooking came to me easily, I didn’t face any difficulty.” His church elders soon realised his potential and wrote him a reference letter to look for work at the Rapopo Beach Bungalow in Kokopo, and the rest is history. The owners of the Rapopo Beach Resort, East New Britain’s Pang family, noticing his natural talent, gave him the space to develop it. He was quickly promoted from a bar waiter to a kitchen hand and then a chef. When the family opened the resort and spa in Port Moresby’s North Waigani, it didn’t take long for the new head chef at Rapopo to move down to the big city and occupy the kitchen. It was a giant leap of faith but after three years in the province, he had made it to the proverbial ‘Rome’.

CHEF DONALD’S PANTRY ESSENTIALS My essentials are spices and condiments, and I add them always for extra flavour, regardless of what I cook. ☛ Salt ☛ Lemon juice ☛ Pepper ☛ Herbs (basil, ☛ Coconut cream coriander, thyme and rosemary)

44 PNG NOW


Far left: Chef Donald David. Left: One of his local dishes, Duke of York tapioca and fish topped with prawns. Bottom: Plating up.

The Sanctuary Resort and Spa is breaking barriers by promoting local dishes, using local ingredients, a feat that the Tolai Chef excels in. “When people travel in from overseas, they eat fish and chips there, so why serve them fish and chips here? I like encouraging our customers from overseas to try the aigir (an East New Britain traditional way of cooking with hot stones and coconut milk). Maybe they like it, and when they go back home, they can tell the story of how they ate a dish called aigir, cooked for them by a chef from the province it comes from,� he says smiling. The Tolai Chef first fell in love with food as a child growing up, when his bubu (grandmother) would cook him kaukau (sweet potatoes) smothered in coconut cream, teeming with local herbs and spices. A satisfied customer of his once encouraged him to open up an Instagram account and show the world what PNG kaikai (food) looks like. The Tolai Chef now has a rapidly growing international following on Instagram. You can find the Tolai Chef on Instagram, @tolai_chef, or at the Sanctuary Hotel Resort and Spa, 121 Pipit Street, Port Moresby, thesanctuaryhotelpom.com, tel. +675 303 7400. SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 45


Food

REVIEW

DELI KC AIRWAYS HOTEL BY ROBERT UPE | PHOTOGRAPHS: ANDREIA BRODSKY

TEL. +675 324 5200 (ext 3400). OPEN Daily 7am to 9pm. STYLE Italian, part delicatessen, part bistro. GO-TO DISH Lasagne with beef ragu, herbs and mozzarella. PRICES Cafe latte 11 kina; sandwiches from 18 kina; pizza from 45 kina; small dishes from 12 kina; big dishes from 28 kina.

Lately, there’s been quite a buzz about Deli KC, the casual eatery located poolside at Airways Hotel. It has become a high point in the city’s dining landscape, a favourite meeting place for coffee, light snacks and Italian classics that is equally popular with locals, business executives and tourists. Deli KC is named after Sir Kostas Constantino, the chairman of Airways Hotel. It was his idea to start it in 2003. The deli underwent a recent renovation (the old Vespa room is gone and is now a bakery and pastry room) and it’s now brighter, bigger and more modern. The revamped menu retains 46 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

old favourites such as the beef lasagne and the pasta with meatballs. But there’s also a good selection of dishes ranging from appetisersize bruschetta and minestrone to larger dishes of chicken parmigiana and scallop risotto. There’s a variety of interesting sandwiches and pizzas, too, including the impressive Pizza Royale with Scottish smoked salmon, lobster, pepperoni, anchovies, caviar and gold flakes (65 kina). Vegetarian pasta and risotto are made on request. The deli provides a showcase of PNG food and produce, including coffee, honey, homemade cakes, bread, cookies, pastries and pasta, as well as fresh fish and local lobster.  Be sure to look out for buffet specials. The regular seafood, salad and pasta buffet (35 kina) is very popular for lunch. Hotel guests can access the deli via a secure lift and walkway. If you’re not staying at the hotel, drive to George Street for the easiest access.


Food

IN HOT PURSUIT CHILI CON CARNE BY HAL DENTE

CHILI CON CARNE Serves 4–6 Easy to make

INGREDIENTS

1kg minced beef 1 chili chopped finely 1 chopped onion 2 cloves of garlic chopped finely 2 tablespoons chili powder (less if you don’t like it too hot) 1 teaspoon ground cumin Pinch of sugar (optional) 2 cans of 400g tomatoes 1 can drained kidney beans 1 can drained black beans or mixed beans 1 capsicum roughly chopped 2 splashes of tomato sauce Splash of cooking oil Splash of red wine (optional) Splash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)

HOW TO DO IT The origin of chili con carne is disputed, but it most likely comes from the US or Mexico. Among the colourful stories about this spicy stew is that it was created by cowboys or prisoners in Texas as a cheap and hearty meal. In time, the quality of jails was rated on the quality of their chili con carne. Less likely is that it came from Mexico where, according to one legend, the Aztecs would cook up conquistadors they had captured. (Chili con carne is a Spanish term that translates to ‘chili with meat’.) To this day, chili con carne remains an affordable dish, with key ingredients of minced meat, tomato, beans and the chili. It can be eaten on its own, as a topping for your favourite pasta, or poured over a steaming-hot baked potato. For crispy skin on the potato, pierce it several times with a skewer, wash and roll in salt while it’s wet. Place on a rack in a hot oven for two hours. Most recipes will say less than two hours, but it will crisp up beautifully if you give it the extra time.

1 Heat the oil in a large saucepan and brown the garlic, onion and chili. 2 Add the meat and fry until brown. 3 Add capsicum, spices, sugar and tomato sauce and stir for 1 minute. 4 Add tomatoes and beans. 5 Add red wine and Worcestershire sauce if using. Season with salt and pepper. 6 Simmer for a minimum of 45 minutes. 7 Serve with cheese, coriander, sour cream or plain yoghurt on top. On the side, add corn chips or dry crackers for dipping.

BIG TICKS FOR CHILI CON CARNE

✔ It’s versatile. Hold out the meat and you have a delicious vegetarian dish. ✔ It’s a great source of protein. ✔ There’s lots of fibre. ✔ It makes you happy. Endorphins released from hot food make you feel good. ✔ It’s affordable. SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 47


Art & Culture

MASTERS OF THEIR ART NOTEWORTHY PNG PAINTERS BY GRACE MARIBU | PHOTOGRAPHS: GRACE MARIBU

ALBERT JOSEPH is the fastest-rising, highest-selling fine artist in Papua New Guinea. His signature portraits are highlighted by his use of strong, vibrant colours that take traditional PNG portraiture to another level. He is often commissioned by business people and politicians to paint portraits and he exhibited at the 2018 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Summit in Port Moresby. Joseph has a degree in graphics and multimedia from the University of PNG and a Diploma in Creative Industries from the University of Goroka. He is from Western Highlands Province. Joseph is pictured next to one of his works, titled The Tribal Warrior of Kaluli. See more on Facebook at ‘Joseph’s Art’.

LABEN SAKALE has established a balance between his passion of painting and making a living. He almost gave painting away at one stage, but his paintings can now sell for up to PGK12,000, with a clientele that includes collectors, heads of companies, diplomatic missions and expatriates. He uses a variety of tools, some unconventional, in his painting, including broken glass, kitchen and butter knives. He draws inspiration from Papua New Guinean themes. Sakale has held exhibitions in Germany, the US, New Zealand and Australia. His pieces are in private and public collections around the world, including the Australian National Museum, Her Majesty’s Collection at Buckingham Palace, and the World Bank headquarters in Washington DC. He has a Diploma in Fine Art from the University of PNG. He comes from Menyamya in Morobe Province. See more on Facebook at ‘Laben Sakale’. 48 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020


LARRY SANTANA is considered a legend in PNG contemporary fine art. He has been practising and teaching painting for almost 40 years and has nearly 50 national and international exhibitions to his name. His work has been sold locally and internationally. He has been the guest artist at several US universities. Santana recently finished a collaborative work with Divine Word University in Madang, a painting for the cover of the university’s centenary book. He is also working towards a solo exhibition in Port Moresby. His works connect art and life and record the old and new ways of living in PNG. He is of mixed parentage of Milne Bay and Madang provinces. See more on Facebook at ‘Larry Santana ART Shop’.

LESLEY WENGEMBO is among the best portrait artists in the Pacific. His story is remarkable. In 2012, as a seventh grader and without any formal training, the then 15-year-old started painting while following his mother around to craft markets in Port Moresby, where she was a vendor. By the time he was in 12th grade, he was painting fullsized, realistic portraits. His work was so good that he started receiving commissions for his work from high-profile Port Moresby clients, including a series of works depicting PNG prime ministers. Wengembo has been assisted by generous Australian and PNG-based sponsors to take up a three-year study at the National Arts School in Sydney, Australia. He has gravitated toward oil painting and loves capturing the stories in the faces of his subjects. The 23-year-old entered the 2020 Archibald Prize with his piece Malachi’s Soul (pictured). Wengembo is of mixed Southern Highlands and Madang parentage. See more on Facebook at ‘L-Wengembo Art’.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 49


Art & Culture

ANDERSON HABIRI bridges the artistic divide between painting and music, with formal training in both. Like his friend Albert Joseph, who influenced his decision to take up fine arts while he was in the middle of his music study, Habiri has a diploma from the University of Goroka and a degree from the University of PNG. His style comes in three forms – post impressionist, pointillist, and black and white – showing Papua New Guinean cultures and realistic landscapes. While he paints, this artist also plays and engineers music. He hails from Kainantu in Eastern Highlands Province.

JEFFRY FEEGER (pictured left) is one of PNG’s best portraitists. He began his art career in 2003 and has participated in over 50 exhibitions in the Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, US, England, Germany, Italy, China and the Philippines, as well as two art residencies in Auckland and Hawaii. He has received recognition in several international art competitions and performed live in ‘Feather’, a New York musical theatre festival, in 2013. Feeger’s work incorporates abstract impressionist techniques and realism, mostly of contemporary Melanesian people and cultures. He is based in Alotau where he runs an artists’ group called 28Kreativ. He is from Gulf Province.

See more on Facebook at ‘Anderson Habiri’.

See more on Facebook at ‘Jeffry Feeger Art’.

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Music

SONGS FROM THE HEART

ALYSON JOYCE, ADDING VOICE TO SOCIAL ISSUES BY CARMEL PILOTTI | PHOTOGRAPH: DAN MOLLOY

For Papua New Guinean songstress Alyson Joyce, rekindling her musical journey has seen her move into new sounds, styles and themes that are close to the heart. To ’90s kids, Joyce was the beautiful, chic and fresh artist who appeared on the PNG music scene with superstar vocals. After the force of her comeback, it is safe to say that she is singing from the soul. Among her latest projects are what Joyce calls conscious collaborations – working with other Pacific Island artists, she aims to highlight social issues faced in local communities. In production is a collaboration with

52 PNG NOW

Hawaiian artist Jay Keyz based on climate change. “This track speaks about sustainability in our Pacific Islands and how we all need to become more aware of how we are treating Mother Nature,” Joyce tells PNG Now. Giving us a bit of a teaser, she says the film clip also features an incredible visual artist from New Zealand and Fiji and is directed by a talented PNG videographer. “The collaboration comes from more than just one medium, and that’s what I always wanted to achieve – an opportunity to bring artists of all mediums together to share our work for the greater good.” A follow-up on this track will be one based on suicide prevention, with a PNG female artist. Released in late July was a house track, Give in to My Love, a genre Joyce says she’s always loved and one she is moving into more now, along with island reggae. “When I began conscious collaboration, I wanted to find a genre that would be easy to listen to and would relate to Pacific Island audiences,” Joyce says. Her first conscious collaboration with


Justin Wellington and Stino, Into the Light, was released at the start of this year and carried a message about domestic violence on the beats of island reggae. “It’s a beautiful sound and one that is definitive of our South Pacific,” Joyce says. As an artist performing pop, jazz, soul, house, reggae, dance hall and more, Joyce is certainly open to everything and anything. During this exploration, it seems she is going for more with her writing and recording and even says she’d love to record some folk, a favourite genre of her late father. “The one thing I really enjoy about music is its vastness. There are so many genres, so many forms of expression. I have never been able to limit myself to one genre,” Joyce says. “It’s a reflection of who I am also. I very much seek out all of life’s little intricacies that make us all so unique.” Find Alyson Joyce on YouTube and Spotify.

Alyson Joyce on … What she’s listening to On my playlist right now are the Gypsy Kings, Jorja Smith, Justin Nozuka and Christopher Cross. So very random! Her favourite PNG musicians I have always been a huge fan of guitarist Michael Tamate; he’s insanely talented. I’m so proud of artists like Mereani Masani who continue to push musical boundaries with regard to social issues. I’ve always been a fan of B-Rad who is an incredible musician and producer and who I believe is an integral part and influence of the new sounds coming out of PNG. I love Ya’Nerl – I think her sound is a breath of fresh air and I’m looking forward to more from her. I also have to mention our greats like Anslom Nakikus, George Telek and Moses Tau who paved the way for our musicians and who weren’t afraid to speak out about social issues in PNG.

SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 53


Sport

ON THE FRONT FOOT THE RISE AND RISE OF PNG CRICKET BY LEMACH LAVARI | PHOTOGRAPHS: PIXELS PERSPECTIVE

On the face of it, Papua New Guinea’s Barramundis men’s cricket team is currently the country’s most outstanding national team. The Barramundis qualified for the 2020 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup that was due to be played in Australia during October and November, however the tournament has been postponed until 2022 because of COVID-19. PNG was one of 16 teams scheduled to play off for the World Cup. The Barramundis would have rubbed shoulders with cricket powerhouses such as Australia, England, India and Pakistan and lesser-known teams such as Scotland and Namibia. PNG’s qualification has been the culmination of many years of hard work and it was a long time coming, with the skilful team just missing qualification in the previous three World Cups. Joe Dawes, a former state-level cricketer in Queensland, was appointed as the team’s national coach and high-performance manager in 2018. He steered the team to a gold medal at the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa, as well as the World Cup qualification. “He has brought a new level of professionalism and attitude to cricket in PNG,” says Cricket PNG manager Lee McDowell. The playing list includes big talents such as captain Assad Vala, Norman Vanua, Charles Amini and Kiplin Doriga. “The skill level of the group is incredible and if they can turn that into consistent performances they will have a great deal of success in all forms,” says Dawes. Through Dawes’ connections, Amini and Vanua have trained with the Adelaide Strikers cricket team in Australia, while Vala and Doriga had a stint with the North Canberra Gungahlin cricket club in Australian Capital Territory’s premier grade. The team’s qualification in the World Cup has sparked huge interest in junior cricket. Cricket PNG has a strong domestic framework for juniors through affiliated associations around 54 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

Above: Assad Vala, the captain of the Barramundi men’s cricket team. Above right: Joe Dawes, the national cricket coach.


The skill level of the group is incredible.

the country. On top of this, it has the international award-winning BSP School Kriket Program, which has been in operation for 11 years. The program had 250,000 participants last year. “However, there are challenges in providing facilities and equipment to make sure kids have the opportunity to participate,” says McDowell. The Australian Government is funding 48 new wickets around the country, which is a huge help. Equipment availability and affordability is another issue that Cricket PNG is trying to solve. Cricket PNG is also developing and implementing systems to find new players through a talent identification program sponsored by Swire Shipping. This program is building a sustainable future for the Barras, as well as the PNG women’s team, the Lewas. Meanwhile, Cricket PNG’s game development department is continuing with its school program and other community initiatives to foster interest in cricket in schools and village communities across the country. SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 55


Sport

LOCKER ROOM CHAT

JUSTIN OLAM RUGBY LEAGUE PLAYER BY GABRIELLA MUNOZ | PHOTOGRAPH: NRL PHOTOS

When he was six years old, rugby league player Justin ‘Juzzy’ Olam watched Melbourne Storm win the 1999 NRL grand final against the St George Illawarra Dragons. Fast forward two decades and 26-year-old Olam is playing centre for the team that inspired him to dream big and work hard when he was a little kid living in Kundiawa, in Chimbu Province. When PNG Now went to press, Olam had played every game for Storm this season and he had signed a contract extension with the team until the end of 2022.

Justin Olam on … Playing with my friends as a kid I broke my collarbone in my first carry and had to stop. I didn’t play rugby again for two years. I started playing seriously in 2012, when I was 18 and had started my university degree (Olam graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Physics from the PNG University of Technology).

FOR THE RECORD Nicknames: ‘Juzzy’ & ‘The Human Brick’ Team: Melbourne Storm Position: Centre Age: 26 Melbourne Storm says: 2019 was a stunning breakout year for Juzzy, who was called up to first grade in round 15 after a string of impressive performances at feeder level. Plays with seemingly no sense of self-preservation and his fearless style have won him countless fans.

56 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

My favourite players when I was growing up were Billy Slater and Marcus Bai (who is also the first Papua New Guinean to make it to Melbourne Storm). This year with Melbourne Storm I just want to stay healthy and play as many games as I possibly can. My former team the PNG Hunters are doing great. I see a lot of players coming out of clubs and that’s what the team is for; for Papua New Guineans to go and play and keep in the right direction. The Hunters have a new coach, Matt Church, and I know they are going to get so much better. Keeping grounded is something I do by always remembering where I came from. My advice for aspiring Papua New Guinean players is to believe in yourself and follow your dreams; work very, very hard because nothing in this life is easy.




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ON THE MARKET EXECUTIVE APARTMENTS

Real Estate

PROPERTY REPORT

POM’S MOST DESIRABLE SUBURBS The most popular suburbs for people to buy houses in Port Moresby include Waigani, Boroko and Gerehu within the capital, as well as the satellite suburb of 8 Mile. The popularity of these suburbs is fairly similar for renters, according to the recently released 2020 Real Estate Survey by Hausples.com.pg. The survey report notes that outof-town, or satellite, suburbs are increasing in popularity, probably because of cheaper land prices. “Needless to say, these areas are now serviced by better road systems, mobile communications and local shopping centres and, over time, may become integrated suburbs of Port Moresby as the city continues to expand,” the report says. It seems most people in Port Moresby believe that housing in the capital city is unaffordable. Of 2000 people questioned for the survey, 54% said they thought the property market was ‘very unaffordable’ and 27% said it was ‘moderately unaffordable’. However, Tom Snelling, the general manager of Hausples, says most people believe now is a good time to buy and to get on to the property ladder. “Property is perceived to be a good investment and most people believe that the market generally keeps going up,” he says. In this year’s survey, 19% considered the property market to be ‘affordable’, a notable 58 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

WHAT YOUR KINA BUYS IN PORT MORESBY* K100,000 Basic house K200,000 Land in outer suburbs of Port Moresby K300,000 Land with basic housing (bought separately) K450,000 Land with reasonable quality housing (modern materials) K650,000 Inner suburb properties outer suburbs of four bed and larger acreage K850,000+ Brick and mortar houses in inner suburbs

BY NICOLAS ZOUMBOULIS PHOTOGRAPHS: BRIAN BELL GROUP

After years in planning and construction, the latest jewel in the Port Moresby skyline is the Brian Bell Group’s ‘42 on Le Hunte’ executive residences. Overlooking Ela Beach from Le Hunte Road, the 39 apartments are designed to take full advantage of Port Moresby’s sunsets. The apartments have two- or three-bedroom configurations. Residents also have a swimming pool, gymnasium, a barbecue area and a function space. The apartments are furnished with top-of-the-range products, including luxury King Koil mattresses, feather-and-foam lounge suites and Fisher and Paykel kitchen appliances.

(Note: The First Home Ownership Scheme (FHOS) loan through BSP is up to K400,000.) *Estimates only

TOP SUBURBS FOR BUYERS 01 Waigani 02 8 Mile 03 Boroko 04 Gerehu 05 9 Mile

18.69% 17.93% 16.87% 15.96% 13.68%

improvement from last year’s 12%. “The confidence in the market may be due to more affordable housing projects, which are set to complete in 2020 and beyond,” the report says. “Similarly, planned developments will soon kick off for the Kennedy, Iagamaga and North Lakes estates, as well as rumours of a major development in 7 Mile within the next couple of years.” Most real estate agencies consider a 400,000 kina property or less to be affordable.

The residences were designed by Planpac architects and constructed by L&A constructions. “This partnership with local PNG companies was a key priority,” says Chairman of the Brian Bell Group, Ian Clough. “The design and construction teams that helped us turn this vision into a reality have done a fantastic job and should be as proud as we are with the outcome.”


Business

THE INSIDER

PNG BUSINESS AT A GLANCE

Papua New Guinea is racing into a new world of ecommerce due to a confluence of factors, including the arrival of the Coral Sea Cable, the Kumul Submarine Cable and the pandemic, which has forced more businesses to go online. The cables will speed up the internet and make it cheaper in a country where cash has traditionally been king. Tapioca Delight, a company that makes cakes and offers corporate catering, is at the forefront of the move towards ecommerce, becoming the first small-to-medium business (SME) to accept online credit and debit card payments. Bank South Pacific’s Belinda Manning says that the main challenge lies in bringing people in from the fringes of the economy who may never have used ecommerce before.

The World Bank expects PNG’s economy to contract this year, says the bank’s PNG country economist Ilyas Sarsenov. “Overall, we expect that the real GDP growth will decline by about four percentage points to a negative area this year,” he says. Sarsenov says both the resource and non-resource sectors of the economy have been hit. The bank’s forecast is partly based on domestic factors, especially disputes around licence expansion for Porgera gold mine. Global factors (due to COVID-19) will also have a significant effect on PNG’s economy for the rest of this year. 60 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

Ok Tedi Mining has announced strong profits and dividends – important because it accounts for over four per cent of PNG’s economy. The company generated 754 million kina in after-tax profit, which was 288 million kina higher than in 2018/19. The company paid 400 million kina in dividends, and says it contributed 4.1 per cent of PNG’s GDP.

Invest In Me (invest-in-me. org) is the first crowdfunding platform developed by Papua New Guineans for Papua New Guineans. It’s the brainchild of Christopher Vagalia, an accountant and entrepreneur, who says he has often seen projects fail to get off the ground due to a lack of capital. Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or business venture by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people. It has seen the emergence of international crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter and Go Fund Me. But PNG has lacked a platform of its own, until now.


Pepsi is flowing again in PNG with Pacific Industries winning the franchise earlier this year for the soft drink. The Pepsi brand now sits alongside Pacific Industries’ local offerings such as GoGoCola and Gold Spot Cola. Pacific Industries director, Everett Chue, says: “We were negotiating the contract for almost a year and, in order to become Pepsiapproved, all our facilities had to be audited. That was an eight-month process of Pepsi reviewing our factory (in Rabaul), making recommendations and then us having to upgrade to international standards.” Pacific Industries is not just manufacturing soft drinks. Under a new kiosk program, it is helping

Papua New Guinea’s business community is getting behind the fight to eradicate violence against women, which has spiked in PNG and the rest of the world since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Gianluca Rampolla, UN Coordinator in PNG, says: “Violence against women and children is a scourge. It is the underbelly of the coronavirus pandemic.” The issue was brought to a head a few months ago when hundreds of people rallied against gender-based violence in Port Moresby following the murder of mother-of-two, Jenelyn Kennedy, 19. “There has never been a more pressing time for addressing FSV (family and sexual violence)

a generation of Papua New Guineans launch their own small businesses. The company is building three-metre by three-metre kiosks: they are secure, lockable mini-canteens, with power, lights, fridges and freezers so that people can start their own roadside businesses. “First, we identify an entrepreneur; someone who is interested in starting their own business. Then we help them find a location that will have high traffic and be viable, then we lease this kiosk to them for free, essentially, as long as they adhere to certain terms like not selling directly competing products,” Chue says. So far, the program has produced 60-plus kiosks in the Port Moresby area.

than right now in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic,” says Lesieli Taviri, chair of the Business Coalition For Women (BCFW) and Origin Energy’s CEO. A survey by the BCFW and the World Bank found that 94% of business leaders in PNG believe their staff have experienced family and sexual violence. It is estimated that 10% of a company’s payroll is lost to family and sexual violence in PNG. Following Jenelyn Kennedy’s murder, the business community in PNG has taken action including

organising vigils, wearing black in support of those who suffer from gender-based violence, sharing messages on social media, pledging commitments and signing online petitions. Bank South Pacific (BSP) launched a #BlackThursdays campaign to spread awareness of gender-based violence and to generate a change in attitudes. Many other companies, including Oil Search, have been involved with BCFW and/or have developed initiatives against gender-based violence. Earlier this year, Pacific Towing, a division of the Steamships Group, implemented Gender Smart Safety, a workplace program developed by the BCFW, and also subscribed to Bel isi PNG. SEPTEMBER 2020 PNG NOW 61


CV

AT WORK WITH

MUSJE WERROR CEO, OK TEDI PHOTOGRAPH: OK TEDI MINING LIMITED

After 30 years with Ok Tedi Mining Limited, Musje Werror has taken over as managing director/CEO of the huge gold and copper mining company. Werror, who is from Madang where he studied at Divine Word University, took over the no. 1 post on June 1 and is the first Papua New Guinean to rise to the top job in the resources sector. He initially joined Ok Tedi through its graduate development scheme.

Musje Werror on ‌ The recent appointment It is an honour and privilege to head a company that has been contributing significantly to the development of Papua New Guinea. I am humbled by this opportunity. I want Ok Tedi to be the model PNG miner that all our stakeholders can be proud of. The prospects for more Papua New Guineans to occupy senior roles in the PNG resources sector are great. We have some of the most highly skilled mining engineers, geologists and technical experts working in the country and abroad. Currently at Ok Tedi, over 50% of our manager and executive positions are filled by national employees. My strategy is to have the remaining manager positions localised over the next few years. Overall, Ok Tedi already has a 96% national workforce. We will still require the international experience of expatriates who will provide support, guidance and training for our national managers. The main challenge to deliver increased production and cash generation from 2023 is the 62 PNG NOW SEPTEMBER 2020

commissioning of the 800-millionkina Crusher Replacement Project (CRP) in September and the removal of the old crusher by the end of 2020 to allow mining to commence on the East Wall in 2021. Any significant delay of the CRP will begin to erode value. The mid-term challenge is to identify opportunities to extend mine life beyond the currently forecast 2028. Our exploration program has identified potential underground prospects. The PNG Government should be commended for recognising the Western Province communities by providing 33% free equity in Ok Tedi. This is unprecedented and has changed the relationship between the people of Western Province and Ok Tedi. They are no longer simply interested parties but are now shareholders receiving dividends. Over the next eight years the people of Western Province are going to receive an estimated 27 billion kina in total benefits from Ok Tedi. We will continue to look at ways to maximise opportunities for

the people through our social and economic programs and ensure the benefits are converted into tangible outcomes in health, education, infrastructure, human resource development and income-generating activities.


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Profile for Business Advantage International

PNG Now magazine: launch edition September 2020  

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