YESTERDAY the email pulled a bit of a surprise. Out of the blue a short message arrived. It said simply: “I'd like to make a (modest) contribution to the Crocodile Prize”, and asked how that might be achieved.
This kind and unexpected gift, from a US anthropologist who wishes to remain anonymous, got me thinking.
Each year since 2008, we’ve asked readers to contribute to worthy causes. Last year, for example, we bought therapeutic equipment and nutrients and got paraplegic author Francis Nii out of his hospital bed and back on the new wheels we bought for him. All from readers’ donations.
In 2012, readers sponsored Martyn Namorong’s first overseas trip when he undertook a two-week Take the Truth to Australia tour during which he met prominent politicians and journalists, held seminars and became something of a media celebrity.
Both these projects were successful and had lasting outcomes. Francis is out and about and Martyn took his celebrity status back to PNG where he's become a leading media commentator. Both men are still prolific writers.
This year The Crocodile Prize has launched two significant new initiatives. One – Book of the Year – is generously sponsored by Ok Tedi Mining.
The other – a Writer’s Fellowship to bring eminent Australian writer Trevor Shearston to PNG to facilitate a writers’ workshop – is unfunded and we’re squeezing money from our own strained finances to achieve it.
It occurs to me that this Fellowship ought to be an annual event and made reciprocal – enabling writers from both PNG and Australia to visit their peers.
In short, the idea seems to present a perfect opportunity for readers to contribute to a practical and tangible project that will be run in their – your – name, perhaps intriguingly entitled, the Attitude Readers Writer’s Fellowship.
Anyway let’s kick the ball downfield and see how we go. If you wish to make a donation to get this project flying, you can transfer money to our bank here:
Address: 105 Miller Street, North Sydney 2060
Account: Crocodile Prize
Account No: 39-286-5774
Don’t forget to include your name in the bank transfer then drop me an email here to let me know.
If you can’t transfer funds electronically, contact me and we’ll try to work out an alternative.
PNG Attitude will keep a tally of how we're going at the top of this page. Target? Two thousand dollars would be good for starters.