YOU’VE GOT TO HAND IT to our readers – they have done it again.
With donations ranging from $20 to $250, in a little over 24 hours they raised $1,000 to make sure Martyn Namorong could deliver a paper on leadership to a Melbourne conference - Leadership for the next generation: 2013 Papua New Guinea Symposium.
As I’ve mentioned more than once previously, Deakin University’s Alfred Deakin Research Institute keeps inviting Papua New Guineans to its annual PNG talk fest (sponsored by AusAID and apparently an initiative of Labor politician Richard Marles) without providing travel or accommodation.
OK if you’re an academic or public servant whose institution picks up the tab, but tough for a Melanesian trying to rub two toea together.
Invited to present for the second year running (conference, 4-5 April; program still unavailable), Martyn Namorong (just commended by Telikom PNG as playing “a significant role in shaping the national discourse”) fixed up free accommodation with a friend and managed to squirrel away $750 for the airfare but realised with growing anxiety that he only had half the money required.
He contacted me earlier this week and readers (honoured below) quickly came to the rescue.
I reported to you two-and–a half years back about how Richard Marles, new in his job, held out great promise for enhancing the people-to-people relationships between Australia and PNG.
Despite trying to get the Port Moresby weather on one of the Aussie TV channels and pumping a short-lived enthusiasm into sporting contacts between the two nations, there hasn’t really been much to show for this promise.
Anyway, enough of politics.
We need to thank, for getting Martyn Namorong to Melbourne, in alphabetical order:
Duncan & Elizabeth James