Projek Wantok Feed

Pioneering scheme will promote PNG-Australia relationship

Peter Gardiner on the jobPETER GARDINER | Noosa News

NOOSA is forging closer links with Papua New Guinea highlanders thanks to a local whose world spans two rich cultures.

Keith Jackson is delighted Noosa Council has given its blessing to an innovative scheme in which people from the shire will cooperate with people in Papua New Guinea’s Simbu Province on a range of projects.

Mr Jackson, who is the publisher of the widely-read PNG Attitude blog, said the project will involve the elected members of the two governments and representatives with connections to schools, business, the arts, sporting groups, the churches and women’s organisations.

“It is a first for Australia, will be largely conducted over the internet and have no special cost implications for the council,” Mr Jackson said.

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Noosa councillors to participate in innovative Projek Wantok

Letter from Noosa mayor to Simbu governorKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA mayor Tony Wellington, just one year in the job, has strongly endorsed a project initiated by the Simbu provincial government to establish a relationship between the people of Simbu in Papua New Guinea and Noosa Shire in Australia.

Cr Wellington also advised that two of his six councillors expressed enthusiasm about participating personally in Projek Wantok (Project Friendship) and will do so.

He was responding formally to an invitation from Simbu Governor, Hon Noah Kool Yalba MP, to sanction the project at an official level.

“I would like to extend the hand of friendship to yourself and the people of Simbu on behalf of Noosa Council and its residents,” Cr Wellington wrote.

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Details released on how innovative Simbu-Noosa link will work

Simbu Governor's LetterKEITH JACKSON

WITH Noosa Council giving its blessing to a Simbu-initiated scheme in which people in Noosa Shire will cooperate across a range of projects with people in Simbu Province, more details have been released in a draft project document.

The pioneering scheme was proposed by the Simbu provincial government in the Papua New Guinea highlands following a visit to Noosa by a group of PNG writers and journalists last year.

Responding to a letter from provincial governor Noah Kool, a member of the national parliament of PNG, Noosa mayor Tony Wellington said the Simbu people had a reputation for dynamism, resilience and a positive attitude towards blending the benefits of the modern world with the values of their traditional lives.

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Past meets present in joyful & productive return to Simbu

Keith addresses Barengigl students and teachersKEITH JACKSON

REVISITING Simbu after 50 years last week, I was feted with a degree of celebrity I really didn’t merit.

That said, most proceedings were laced with profuse and jocular references to the time I was lost for 24 hours in the Yongomugl caves when my lamp failed and I couldn’t navigate the many branches and faults to find my out.

Yup - had to be rescued.

A few months prior to this drama, I had arrived in Kundiawa (population 200; 80 expatriates) in January 1964 having just turned 19.

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