WITH only two months to go before entries close in the 2014 Crocodile Prize, lamps will be shining late in writers’ rooms throughout Papua New Guinea as stories, essays, articles, poetry and books are teased – and sometimes bludgeoned - into existence.
At the Crocodile Prize Organising Group (COG) - a virtual organisation that knows no fixed abode – the pace is also quickening as we seek to ensure that all is in readiness for judging, publishing, award-giving and the many other activities that surround the Prize.
COG has been strengthened recently by the addition of a number of new committee members – all of them from PNG and all of them familiar with the Crocodile Prize– who have joined its ranks.
They are Corney K Alone, Ruth Moiam, Jane Awi (pictured here with me), Steven Ilave Snr and Bernard Yegiora.
Corney K Alone is products and business development manager at Telikom PNG, a senior corporate position. Last year Corney told his life story in spell-binding fashion in a PNG Attitude article, From arse tanget to corporate sales executive – well worth a re-read. Corney first came to the attention of readers in 2010 when the outcome-based education debate was in full swing. Corney was a strenuous opponent of OBE, and his views eventually prevailed when PNG abandoned the flawed reform initiative.
Ruth Moiam, who now works as communications manager for the PNG-Australia Health and HIV Partnership Program, was assigned by the Australian High Commission to provide on-the-ground assistance to the Crocodile Prize when it was first awarded in 2011. Ruth did such a good job that she is still part of the team – a competent and valued person who did much to try to rescue the Society of Writers, Editors and Publishers (SWEP) as it struggled and eventually foundered last year.
Jane Awi is a lecturer at the University of Goroka and managing director of Nikparimawi Publishers. In July she will receive her PhD from Queensland University of Technology, where she has just completed a thesis in the Creative Industries Faculty. Jane also has credentials in leadership training and is now enthusiastically turning her attention to the whole spectrum of communications in PNG, especially to the grassroots of the country.
Steven Ilave Snr is a prominent poet who previously worked as a program officer with AusAID. By training he is a development economist of over 20 years’ experience. Steve has also worked with the PNG government, UN, World Bank, DFAT and World Vision. In addition to poetry, he writes songs. He belongs to the same language group as the late Sir Albert Maore Kiki. He has started work on his first book.
Bernard Yegiora began at Divine Word University in 2012 and lectures in the Department of PNG Studies and International Relations. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Politics (Contemporary International Relations) from Jilin University in China. He graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree with Honours (Political Science) and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History in 2007 from the University of Papua New Guinea. He has published many articles for the Sunday Chronicle newspaper and social media including PNG Attitude. Bernard’s research interests are in PNG and Chinese foreign policy and in Chinese entrepreneurship, investment and aid.
Entries in this year’s Crocodile Prize close on Monday 30 June. Visit the website here.