“I thought all my life that I was destined to great things. Today, faced with the hardship of living in the city, I’m more concerned with being able to survive each day. I don’t dream anymore, I am grounded in the reality. Perhaps there are too many visionaries and no one is there to deal with the reality of life in Papua New Guinea” – Martyn Namorong
I am in Australia to tell people things they perhaps don’t know about my country, Papua New Guinea.
I want to bring the truth to Australia.
I believe that human beings are born with certain inalienable rights.
I believe that Melanesians have inalienable rights conferred upon them by Nature and Kastom – our culture and tradition - at birth.
I am here because I believe that, in defending those rights, we need to take into consideration fundamental questions of governance and the use of land and resources for the benefit of our people and the preservation of our Papua New Guinean ways.
Papua New Guinea is a country of 7 million people. It is a great country and we are a great people. Like Australia, we are also a country of vast natural resources which have the power to transform our lives.
But we do have our problems – problems of governance, problems of equitable wealth distribution and problems of effectiveness in service delivery.
We must build the capacity and create enabling mechanisms to defend and improve the lives of our people as well as to promote and preserve our Papua New Guinean ways.
It is the internet. And, with the comparatively recent deregulation of our telecommunications industry, the so-called Information Superhighway has been opened up to millions of our citizens.
Many Papua New Guineans have seized this opportunity to articulate our hopes and dreams. A national conversation has begun online and - despite ominous rumblings from our government from time to time - it will continue to happen.
Photographs: (1) Martyn and minder Ben Jackson in front of one of the great Sydney icons; (2) Martyn at Circular Quay; (3) Martyn and cameraman Thomas Ybarra at the Rocks; (4) Martyn and a coat hanger; (5) In the Opera House forecourt