The British Cultural and Public Diplomacy Organisation in the South Pacific - 2nd Anniversary Edition
Photo by Alison Wright
The British Cultural and Public Diplomacy Organisation in the South Pacific - 2nd Anniversary Edition - September 2003
Sir Michael Somare GCMG CH
Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea
"The people of Papua New Guinea have enjoyed getting to know more and learn about Britain through the colourful programmes that the Connect UK Office have organised for the last three years. The work Connect UK does is important as it creates cultural, social and educational ties between PNG and Britain. Papua New Guinea and Britain have a good relationship and I would like to thank the Connect UK Office as well as the British Government for their continuous support and friendship. Connect UK has brought numerous British personalities, exhibitions and events to our shores which have helped connect our island nation with another one - Britain. I wish Connect UK all the best on their second anniversary."
Sir Michael Jay KCMG
Permanent Under-Secretary of State and Head of the Diplomatic Service
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office
"I have been very impressed with Connect UK and the variety and quality of the activities it has organised in Papua New Guinea as part of this project. It has been a real achievement, which has contributed significantly to enhancing the UK's reputation in the region in both education and the arts. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is very grateful for Connect UK's efforts."
David Green CMG
British Council, United Kingdom
"I would like to congratulate Connect UK on their second anniversary and say how much the British Council values its work in Papua New Guinea. UK/South Pacific relations are greatly enhanced by Connect UK's innovative and creative initiatives and activities in this part of the world."
Acting Head Public Diplomacy Policy Department
Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London
"Connect UK celebrates its second anniversary in August so it seems to me that now is a good moment to look back over what the organisation has achieved over the last two years.
The organisation was set up with the aim of helping Papua New Guineans learn about Britain, about what the country has to offer and why the UK is a relevant partner in the 21st century. The energy, imagination and enthusiasm of the team involved in taking forward this agenda is clear to anyone who glances at the list of activities over the last 24 months.
These range from a school link between Port Moresby Grammar School and a multicultural school in the UK, to a theatre workshop, a women's rights conference, a film festival and a demonstration by a British chef. I am based in London, with a global remit to help British Embassies and High Commissions around the world improve the way Britain and British policies are perceived. Whenever I read of the work of Connect UK what emerges from all of this more than anything else is a sense of real engagement and enjoyment. The articles Janet Street-Porter wrote after her visit were a joy to read. I really wish I could come and visit one day and experience at first hand the excellent work of Connect UK and of the British High Commission."
Human Rights and Governance
Indira Patel OBE, Commissioner of the UK’s Women’s National Commission to Visit PNG, Solomon Islands and Fiji in November 2003
Indira Patel will visit the South Pacific to give talks and run workshops on women’s rights. Her voluntary services for women include setting up Ethnic Minority Women’s Organisations in UK. She is a founder member of UK Asian Women’s Conference, and makes sure that the needs of ethnic minority women are brought to the attention of policy makers. She has been a representative at the EU Migrants Forum, Beijing World Women’s Conference, UN Commission on Status of Women in New York, EU Council, World Conference on Racism.
Indira has produced videos, and leaflets and has chaired national projects on breast cancer, HRT, menopause, hysterectomy, heart problems, diabetes, violence against women, women’s human rights, poverty, racism, violence against women, women and environment, and gender discrimination. She has also opened Well Women’s Clinics.
International work includes research on early and forced marriages, female genital mutilation in Kenya and Tanzania, female infanticide in India, HIV Aids in South Africa, widows rights, water projects developing countries, women in armed conflicts on the India/Pakistan border, tribal women in Nilgiri Mountains of India. She also represents the WNC on the Conference on Non-Governmental Organisations (CONGO) at the United Nations.
Indira has spoken at international conferences including the United Nations, on Harmful Traditional Practices affecting Women, Forced Marriages, Traditions of Dowries, FGM, Women’s Sexual and Reproductive rights, Trafficking in Women, Women in Armed Conflicts, Women and HIV Aids, and Human Rights of women.
Current projects include: chair, Task Force of Women’s National Commission UK on World Conference On Racism in Durban, Chair WNC Task Force on Female Genital Mutilation for CSW UN 2000, expert recommendations to UN on Women’s Participation In Peace Building and reconstruction process on Armed Conflicts and resolution 1325, UN working group on women in water management, empowerment of under privileged women in India and Bangladesh, trafficking in women and girls in Asia and Eastern Europe.
She has been a task force member of publications on: European Year Against Racism, WNC- Future Female, Gender and Poverty, Forced and Arranged marriages, Beijing+5 review, Elderly Our Asset, Leaflets on Menopause, HRT, Fitness and Exercise, Hysterectomy, Intersection of Race, Gender and Ethnicity, Widows myths and taboos.
Seminar and conferences work includes: Chair, Speaker and keynote speaker at local and international conferences, Violence Against Women, Human Rights are Women’s Rights, Globalisation and Poverty, Smoking Tobacco and Respiratory problems, Forced Marriages, Resolution 1325, Gender and Poverty, Women and Armed conflicts, Trafficking in women, Globalisation and poverty, Intersection of Race, Gender and Ethnicity, Effective lobbying at CSW.
Current Voluntary positions:
Chair, All India Women’s Conference London Branch.
Patron United Nations Year of Culture of Peace, Executive Member UN Women’s Advisory Body of Great Britain,
Executive Member UK Asian Women’s Conference,
Steering Group Member of Women’s National Commission,
Fellow of Business and Professional Women International,
Committee Member of Morning Briefing Sessions at UN Commission On Status Of Women New York.
Women’s Group of Swaminarayan Hindu Temple.
Board member UNIFEM UK
Trustee Widows In Empowerment
Council Member Britain in Europe Campaign.
Trustee Grass Organisation in Gujarat- India.
Awards and recognition for her voluntary services include an OBE in June 1998, Asian Woman of the year 1999 , Special Award by Indian Federation of UK 1999, Guest of Honour, Women Of The Year Lunch and Assembly 2000, Community Award 2002 and World Health Organisation recognition for Mental Health projects.
Message from Baroness Valerie Amos, the British Secretary of State for International Development:
"I was very pleased to hear that the first ever conference on Women’s Rights is taking place in Papua New Guinea. The empowerment of women is an essential precondition for the elimination of poverty and the upholding of human rights. Inequalities between women and men are deeply embedded, and they need to be tackled in economic, political, social and cultural life.
There is compelling evidence that shows that not only do women bear the brunt of poverty but also that women's empowerment is a central precondition for it's elimination.
I wish your conference every success in moving forward this important agenda for gender equality, human rights and empowerment of women."
In September 2003, Connect UK will hold PNG’s first ever Women Rights Conference. Leading speakers from the UK, US, Australia and local speakers, selected for their expertise on key women's rights issues, will be attending the conference to provide a forum for discussion and workshop to explore the options of what should be done to improve the promotion of Womens Rights in Papua New Guinea. The Chairperson of the conference will be Lady Carol Kidu, Minister for Social Welfare and Development.
Dr Purna Sen is a full time lecturer at the Development Studies Institute at the London School of Economics (as well as being a Visiting Research Fellow at the centre for the Study of Global Governance), where she teaches gender and development, social policy and gender studies. Her research and activism interests have been on violence against women (in the UK, India and elsewhere including the Middle East) and on advocacy in international systems, such as the UN human rights mechanisms.
She has written on these subjects also. She has worked with several NGOs focusing on human rights, violence against women and work with refuge and other minority groups. She has worked on Violence Against Women for over ten years and before that she worked especially on issues of race equality in the UK. She is connected to an NGO - Southall Black Sisters a resource centre and black women's group involved in struggles over racism, domestic violence, forced marriages and prisoners.
She will be attending and taking part in the PNG Womens Rights Conference in September 2003.
The Connect UK 'Youth Forum' took place at the Main Lecture Theatre of UPNG on 26 March at 6:00pm. The aim of this forum was to let the voice of young people of PNG be heard.
The topics discussed at the Youth Forum are as follows:
3. Employment Opportunities
4. Crime, Violence, Law and Order
The format involved a panel of guest speakers and advisors who briefly addressed the issues involving youth in their areas of expertise and who were available for questions during the question and answer period. The 'youth forum panel' consisted of young people and leaders from various sectors including the media in Port Moresby who discussed issues of concern to young people. Following the panel discussion, questions from the floor were encouraged. The forum was filmed by EMTV for use in their programming.
Connect UK in association with the British High Commission organised an AIDS Awareness Forum on 11 March 2002. The forum warned of an Africa-like explosion in PNG's HIV/AIDS epidemic without urgent and "aggressive'' government intervention. It was attended by key figures in PNG's fight against AIDS, called for open and direct action "from the top'' to combat the epidemic.
It warned the HIV/AIDS epidemic now was so severe it had the potential to affect every family in the country. Yesterday's packed HIV/ AIDS forum, at the Port Moresby Holiday Inn, heard from several speakers who advocated the AIDS Council's triple virtues of abstinence, faithfulness to one sexual partner and the use of condoms. Lady Roslyn Morauta, wife of the Prime Minister told the forum HIV/AIDS was a disease that had to be treated like any other and HIV/AIDS sufferers like any other people with a disease. "We must break down the stigma of HIV/AIDS,'' she said. "We must help people living with this disease to be healthy and to live long.''
In a capacity-filled lecture hall at the University of Papua New Guinea on 11 March, guest speakers kept emotions running high in a family violence debate organised by Connect UK and the Family Violence Action Committee in conjunction with the British High Commission. Guest speaker Justice Catherine Davani, who described the problem as a cancer destroying families, said: "The present legislation dealing with domestic violence is outdated."
All three speakers, including Member for Moresby South Lady Carol Kidu and visiting guest speaker Indira Jaisingh one of India's leading lawyers, called on the public to play their part in addressing domestic violence. Mrs Jaisingh, who was instrumental in piloting much of the domestic violence legislation through the Indian system, spoke on the problem in India and about the vibrant women's movement that had played a major role in addressing many social issues, including domestic violence.
Director of the Accidents and Emergency section of the Port Moresby General Hospital Dr Luke Tiriau, who was an observer at the debate, confirmed there are ongoing cases of victims of domestic violence being seen regularly at the hospital. Domestic violence is about one person in a relationship using a pattern of behaviour to control the other person. It can happen to people who are married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated, or dating. Domestic violence should not happen to anybody. Ever. But it does, and when it does, there is help.
Publications on 'Human Rights -Family Violence from the UK Perspective' were available at the event. The British High Commission funded a senior Indian lawyer, Indira Jaisingh’s visit to PNG to take part in the event as the guest of honour and talk about the 'family violence/violence against women' situation in India.
Arts and Culture
In September 2003, Connect UK will present top British Mime artist 'Mimbo!' in Papua New Guinea. Mimbo is one of Britain's only remaining white-faced mimes. He invites his audience into a world of silent mimicry. With proven successes at events worldwide he'll either have people watching in disbelief, in stitches of laughter or simply fascinated by his antics. "There is no other - Mimbo! is your man!!" Britain's No.1 rubber-faced mime.
Mimbo! is one of Britain's busiest interactive mix and mingle mime artists. Always initialled by his exclamation mark and accompanied by his little brown case this foppish twit of all twits has been entertaining crowds for the past fifteen years with his buffoonery and silent art. His subtle wit and charm makes him a delight for any age, colour, or creed. He never compromises his humour by ridiculing the individual, (unless of course someone is really asking for it!) but moreover ridicules life itself as seen through only his eyes. He has been fortunate enough to have crowned the future king of England with a balloon hat, made the late Princess Diana laugh, entertain other royal families throughout the world, described by various directors of leading world companies as "the best meet and greet mime around" and described by notable critics of leading newspapers as " Clown Price - a consummate professional".
Mimbo! will perform in Wewak, Lae and Port Moresby between 5-11 September 2003.
To promote a modern face of British theatre, Connect UK invited a small theatre company called ‘Unlimited Theatre’ based in Leeds to visit PNG during British Week and perform their play 'Static'. It was a 40 minute performance consisting of two inter-cut monologues. It was almost purely text based with little if no movement from the performers. It followed the stories of two people in Europe. One, a man who returns home from a days work somewhere in the UK and the other a woman who travels across an eastern European landscape to find the body of her husband who has been killed in a civil war massacre. The denouement occurs when they both confront this final image of the dead husband. The man sees it as part of a television report, the woman is found by a camera looking at her husband. Static won an award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2001.
The two performances at the Port Moresby Grammar school were delivered outside with lights and microphones to an audience of 200. They also delivered two workshops in PNG each within schools. Participants were engaged with the ideas they were trying to explore and took part in everything they asked them to. They found that the focus of their workshops became about introducing themselves and overcoming shyness and cultural differences. The success of the workshops was that at the end of each session they felt as if a definite cultural exchange had been made. The company performed in Bougainville as well. The recent actual experience of civil war in Bougainville and the content of the women's experience touched nerves in a more profound way than the company had ever previously experienced.
Connect UK brought out the world class British pianist Peter Donohoe to PNG to give a special recital. It was a truly musical evening and this was perhaps the first time in years for people here to experience and enjoy such a piano recital. Peter also gave a talk before the recital and the audience asked him questions about music in Britain in the 21st century. Peter gave a recital on 11 December at the Crowne Plaza. This was the closing event for British Week.
Head of Delegation of the European Commission, Papua New Guinea
“Peter Donohoe played a varied programme with panache and style responding fully to the different sound worlds inhabited by his four composers: Debussy, Chopin, Beethoven and Liszt. The highlight of the recital was the second half which started with a sterling performance of Beethoven's 'Pathetique' sonata which was truly grand in the first movement, sombre without being over sentimental in the second and had a third movement which answered the questions raised by the first two movements and was not an anti climax. Then there was Liszt's Second Hungarian Rhapsody where the gypsy style was splendidly caught while at the same time you never felt that the thread of the musical argument was getting lost. Mr Donohoe's technical command was extraordinary throughout but he is able to put this technical facility at the service of a keen musical sensibility. He clearly enjoys communicating through the piano and his sense of enjoyment was conveyed unstintingly to his audience. It was a wonderful evening: the audience demanding encore after encore."
Multilingual UK – Celebrating a Multi-linguistic UK
Innovation UK Science Exhibition and nationwide Science Essay Competition.
European Postcards Exhibition
British Modern Design Exhibition – part of the British Week programme
July saw the launch of one of the most remarkable British music programmes ever to hit the Papua New Guinea airwaves. Somethin' Else, the UK's leading independent radio production company produces a weekly radio music show called The Selector, which is on air in PNG for the next twelve months - on NBC Radio Central Station 3290KHZ. Every Saturday 19:15pm to 20:15pm.
Created to reflect the excellence and diversity of British music today, The Selector is a two hour radio show which aims to promote to the world the new sounds, talents and musical culture of modern Britain. Combining an eclectic mix of current British music, including pop, dance, jazz, roots and contemporary classical, each programme in the series also features UK artist interviews as well as features sourced from musicians throughout the world. This is show is currently broadcast in 33 countries by an estimated 30 million listeners. Having won the title of Best Radio Programme as voted for by readers of Wanted music magazine and recently nominated for the prestigious Sony Radio Academy awards, the show's producers are determined to maintain the show's reputation as being challenging and unique.
“Welcome Madam Street-Porter”
One of the most well known and respected media personalities in the UK, Janet Street-Porter was sent to Papua New Guinea by the British Council in May 2003 to see the work Connect UK and the British Council do together to heighten the profile of the UK in PNG as well as other parts of the South Pacific. Janet had a very enjoyable time in PNG where she visited a number of provinces. On her return to London, she wrote an article about her visit to this part of the world in the 'Independent on Sunday'.
In Port Moresby, she presented the Best PNG Film Award at the 3rd PNG International Film Festival opening. Connect UK, with the help of British Council, was able to show more than 12 films from the UK. While in the capital city, Janet gave a talk on modern day Britain and the British media. It was an informative event which the audience found very stimulating. People in PNG were delighted to have been given the opportunity to meet her as she is one of Britain's most active, outspoken, talented and successful women media gurus.
This was Janet's first visit to Papua New Guinea and one she will always remember. Not only was she greeted and warmly welcomed by everyone she met in Goroka, Kavieng, Mansava, Lemus and Moresby but she was also enamoured by this unique and fascinating country with the different cultures, 850 different languages, the different tribes as well as the exquisite islands, beautiful mountains and PNG's rich musical culture! On Mansava Island in the New Ireland province, Janet was given a live pig as a gift from the people of the island. The Governor of the Province invited Janet to have a chat with the local women there. Janet talked to them about her life in the UK, job and many ex-husbands - having married more than three times!
Mr Zephaniah’s Poetry in Goroka!
Acclaimed British poet, author and playwright Benjamin Zephaniah who is also a trustee of the British Council came to PNG to give two very special performances. One of them took place at the University Auditorium in Goroka and the other at the Moresby Arts Theatre in the capital city. In Goroka, about 500 people including little children who had never been to a poetry performance before attended his show and loved what they experienced. It was a highly entertaining performance. We invited Benjamin to give performances because we felt it was important to promote a modern multicultural face of Britain and deliver the message that the UK is a country where everything from curry to pasta, R&B to Arabic tunes and English hats to dupattas are accepted and celebrated!
Hey Mr DJ!
To promote a modern image of Britain and its people, Connect UK invited a British DJ, Crispin Kerr, who played all the latest UK hip-hop, techno and dance music at one of the nightclubs in Port Moresby called the Lamana Gold Club during British Week in November 2002. More than 500 people attended the event and most of them were between 17-35. The DJ proved to be a success with the local crowd. Songs from the South Pacific were also played by the Lamana DJs. It was quite a fusion!
DJ Crispin was back again in July 2003 to play at a new nightclub called ‘The Junction’.
Her Majesty’s Portraits
To celebrate and mark the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a Fine Arts Exhibition, entitled ''20 Portraits and other Works'', was held in June 2002 at the Holiday Inn.
Each of the represented Papua New Guinean Artists displayed a portrait of the Queen, specially done for this exhibition. One of the Portraits was selected to be sent as a gift to the Queen from the artists of Papua New Guinea to commemorate her Golden Jubilee.
The panel of judges (who chose the best portrait) was:
Lady Roslyn Morauta, wife of the PNG Prime Minister
His Excellency Mr Simon Scaddan, the British High Commissioner to PNG
Her Excellency Ms Jean Kekedo, PNG High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
Mr Barleyde Katit, Head of Art, University of Papua New Guinea
Ms Wendy Harris, Head of Visual Arts and Deputy Principal, Port Moresby International School.
The opening night of the exhibition, 4th of June, was a 'private viewing' event (invited guests only) followed by a public viewing on the 5th of June. The exhibition was opened by His Excellency Sir Silas Atopare, Governor General of Papua New Guinea. All works were available for sale. We also exhibited the paintings at the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery later in June. The winning portrait was later presented to Her Majesty by the PNG High Commissioner to the UK. And the runner-up portrait was presented to the PNG High Commission in London by Rio Tinto.
Connect UK invited a British chef, Glen Hall to prepare a special four course English meal at the Cellar restaurant during British Week. The food he cooked was absolutely delicious.
Chef Glen Hall gave demonstration at Boroko Foodworld on 30 December 2002. Boroko Foodworld had special British Food display for the week. On the night of 30 December, a dinner was hosted at the Cellar Restaurant to celebrate St. Andrew's Day. This event brought together the Scottish community and friends of Scotland in Port Moresby.
Connect UK’s International Film Festivals and British Film Festivals in PNG
The 3rd PNG International Film Festival (IFF) was successfully held in Port Moresby, UPNG, Goroka, Madang, Alotau, Wewak, Rabaul and Lae. The 2nd IFF took place in Port Moresby, Goroka, Madang and Lae while the 1st IFF was only held in Port Moresby. More than 5 films from the UK were screened at the festivals each year.
PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare delivers keynote address at IFF 2003 in Wewak
The British Film Festival 2003 was held in Port Moresby in July 2003. More than 18 modern British films were shown at the festival. On 8 December, the first ever British Film Festival was launched at the Divine Word University in Madang as part of the British Week. The Governor of Madang, British High Commissioner, Head of North East Asia and Pacific Department of the Foreign Office, President of Divine World University and Director of Connect UK were all present at the launch. The films were provided by the British Council in London. The following films were shown: 'Charlotte Gray', 'Pandaemonium', 'The Magdalene Sisters', 'Last Orders', 'Large', 'Jump, Tomorrow', 'House', 'The Hole', 'Shiner', 'This Is Not A Love Song', 'Miranda', 'My Brother Tom', 'Like Father', 'Everyone's Happy', 'Born Romantic', 'Bloody Sunday', 'The Warrior'.
British filmmaking has a curious history. We can point to excellent films such as The Third Man, Brief Encounter, Lawrence of Arabia, The Crying Game, Four Weddings And A Funeral, Trainspotting, but to no consistent tradition. To brilliant individuals like Alexander Korda, Alfred Hitchcock, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Robert Bolt, Richard Atenborough, David Puttnam, Stephen Frears, Derek Jarman, Peter Greenaway, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, but to very few successful companies. To excellent studios and technical facilities, but which have a heavy dependence on American investment.
A short history of British cinema would be a story of successive crises underpinned by an extraordinary resilience, and much of that resilience has come from the opportunities given to filmmakers by television companies. Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, two of Britain’s most lauded directors, both perfected their skills on a series of low-budget films for television. Indeed Leigh describes the mid-1970s to mid-1980s as a decade in which ‘the British film industry was alive and well and hiding out in television, mostly at the BBC’. In the early 1980s the new arrival on the television scene, Channel 4, persuaded the cinema industry to join forces with it in the film-making cause, and produced such cinematic gems as Mona Lisa, The Crying Game and Trainspotting.
Twenty years later there is now a possibility not just of stability but sustained growth. The government has got the message about the film industry’s economic potential. The UK Film Council was set up in 2001 with an annual budget of £55m to develop both the industrial and the cultural infrastructure in Britain. It provides training for directors and scriptwriters, invests in challenging and high-quality films and in new talent, and is improving public access to cinemas and to film heritage.
Currently, British cinema appears to be in a healthier state, both economically and artistically, than at any time in its turbulent history. British films such as Notting Hill, East Is East and Billy Elliott command attention, and win prizes, at international festivals. Young directors like Asif Kapadia and Lynne Ramsey continue to emerge and the older generation appear to have taken new heart. Audiences are rising and new cinemas are opening. The For filmmakers, the challenge ahead is how to avoid the danger of the market-place, the temptation to compete for public favour with the lowest means, with sex and violence; and instead to consistently aspire to probing the reality and the central moral issues of our times.
British Council, London
Britain-South Pacific Museum Management Project
The PDPD Challenge Fund created by the Foreign and Commonwealth funded Connect UK's British-South Pacific Museum Management Workshops that took place in Papua New Guinea, Fiji. Museum staff from Vanuatu went to Fiji to attend the workshop as well. The two UK experts who visited the region to conduct the courses were Tessa Hore from the Victoria and Albert Museum and Vicky Woollard from the City University.
The British High Commission Education and Projects Officer in Suva, Alex Konrote said "The course was definitely a success. The Director of the Fiji Museum could not thank us enough for organising the course and admitted that much of what was taught in the three-day course was more than she could have taught her own staff in a year. The museum staff were also very happy that the British Government and Connect UK had come out to support the museum activities as way too often they are neglected even by their own Government. The course was indeed an excellent idea and similar activities to promote British Ideas and Culture/Arts in the Pacific will definitely receive BHC Suva's support."
In Fiji, the British course facilitators, Vicky and Tessa tried best to relate their teachings to the structure of the Fiji & Vanuatu Museums. They covered important areas such as basic management, exhibition planning, museum project management, understanding the museum audiences, museum sponsorship and marketing, future museum projects, exhibition maintenance, life-long educational programmes, museum evaluation and groupwork on Museum Projects such as – mini exhibition displays, museum education programmes, outreach programmes, access to collections, events to attract new audiences and events to attract more income for the museum.
The British Deputy High Commissioner in Vanuatu, Joel Watson, said "The Course was very well run and covered all of the topics that the ni-Vanuatu participants hoped would be covered. The two members of the National Museum have returned full of ideas and inspiration at how to re-invigorate the displays at the National Museum. They were also struck by the fact that their colleagues from the region faced many of the same challenges that they faced and that the ability to share experiences and best practice was fantastic. From the High Commission's perspective we are most grateful to Connect UK for bringing out to the region the two museum experts. The opportunity to learn, network and problem share with regional colleagues for the two ni-Vanuatu participants is one that will help develop the National Museum and help ensure that Vanuatu's cultural past is preserved and displayed in a way befitting its past."
In Papua New Guinea, the workshop participants were delighted to have been given the opportunity to take part in such a productive and important cultural project. They focussed on a wide range of issues concerning museum management and policies which they found both informative and educational. The Press and Public Affairs Officer of the British High Commission, Ms Hennah Joku should be acknowledged for the work she did on this front with Connect UK to help build new links between UK and PNG galleries as well as museums.
Nick Umney, Director of Collections Services of the Victoria and Albert Museum said "We are delighted to be taking part in the programme. We are all striving to make museum and exhibition management safe, efficient, fun and informative - for our own staff as well as for our visitors. Although the V&A is one of the world's biggest Museums with what must look like unlimited resources, we have the same concerns and issues to grapple with as museums elsewhere. So, as well as sharing her expertise with colleagues there, we are sure Tessa will learn a great deal about museums of the region which she will be able to share with us on her return."
Welsh-PNG School Partnership
In June, two teachers from the Cyfarthfa High School, Wales visited PNG to meet the students and staff of the Port Moresby Grammar School.
“While in Papua New Guinea I was expected to address large audiences and promote the school link. I met the secretary for education, several High commissioners and ambassadors for different countries and many industrialists with interests in PNG and its future. I was expected to run work shops and forums for both staff and pupils. A member of staff and a professional photographer shadowed me for most of my visit. My personal development included an increase in confidence after completing these tasks and representing Wales at all times. Press calls included the presentation of a Welsh flag to the school and a cultural afternoon at the school. This involved pupils and staff wearing traditional tribal costumes and headdresses and performing dances to local music.
The visit strengthened my working relationship with the Head of IT at Cyfarthfa who traveled with me and gave me insight into some IT solutions to problems that may have existed.
The visit highlighted my awareness for a large scale cross curricula project involving initially the heads of department and on average 30 pupils from every age category from 5 – 20 years of age.
It forged new developments in a range of teaching / learning styles e.g. Team teaching through lesson observations in PNG. Set up further e-mail facilities for pupils to become pen pals. Sharing citizenship and internationalism under the banner “Get Global”. Set up e-mail facilities for Heads of Department to share Schemes of Work and resources. Setup structure for PNG staff to visit Wales in October 2003. Investigate possibility of pupil exchanges. It was most rewarding and enlightening to experience of experiences ranging from formal meetings with Government officials, the breathtaking cultural afternoon provided by the pupils of the school and the amazing environment in which our contemporaries live. This has helped me explain to my staff and pupils what lifer really is like in this developing country and the problems faced by their people.”
Head of Geography
Cyfarthfa High School, Wales
On 28 February, Connect UK organised a welsh event at Port Moresby Grammar school. It was attended by about 600 students as well as the teaching staff. The welsh flag was flown and the Welsh National anthem was played. We had two speakers, both from Wales. One spoke (Ms Barbara Yates) about some of the cultural aspects of life in Wales including dress – the daughter of a local Welshman dressed up in national dress described as her "sunday best", she also spoke about love spoons and several were on display. The other speaker (Dr Simon Davies) spoke about Wales and how it had changed over the years and provided an insight into subjects such as rugby and choral singing, both particularly appreciated by the local audience as there is a strong tradition of both rugby and singing in PNG.
The High Commissioner Simon Scaddan delivered the Welsh First Minister's speech in English and the Welsh speaker read excerpts from the First Minister's speech in Welsh.As part of the school twinning programme, a number of students then read out St David's Day messages sent from the pupils of Cyfartha High School in Merthyr Tydfil to their counterparts in Port Moresby Grammar school. These were well received. The event took place in the inner quadrangle of the Grammar school.
A link between Port Moresby Grammar in PNG and Cyfarthfa High Schools in Wales was launched on 25 November at the Port Moresby Grammar School as part of the British Week programme.
Connect UK wanted people of all ages to be part of the British Week and thought it would be a good idea to encourage young people between the age group 12-19 to learn more about Britain and read some first class books written by UK authors. The UK Books Galore exhibition took place at the National Library in Waigani on 27 November and more than hundred British books were donated to the Library by the Friends of the Library Association, British Community and the staff of both Connect UK and the British High Commission. The books were contemporary and they were selected specially with young readers in mind. The Library staff said the titles that had been selected were excellent. They thought this was a good way of promoting UK literature amongst PNG youths. These books really promoted a multicultural image of Britain.
Mini-Book Writing Workshop
The United Nation Volunteers in collaboration with the Connect UK office in PNG organised a special writing workshop on the 'importance of volunteerism'. More than 30 youths from Port Moresby were told to share the knowledge and skills they learn from a mini writing workshop during the week. The Commissioner for the National Youth Commission (NYC), Bruno Kakalave said this during the official opening ceremony yesterday. He told the youths that after the completion of the weeklong workshop they should at least feel that they have achieved what they would be taught.
The Curriculum Development Coordinator for NYC, Mrs Winnie Safkaur said the aim of the workshop was to teach youths about writing skills so that they can draft a booklet called the 'Importance of Volunteerism' in Papua New Guinea. She said they have the capacity to write but they need the skills to confidently write. "Papua New Guinea must have a heart to write their books," she said. "The youths participating are from Pom Youth Training, PNG Youth Care, Niu Look in PNG Youth, PNG Youth Movement, YWCA, Cross Road Shelter Youth Group and Lutheran Church," she added.
Mrs Safkaur said more than K2,000 was jointly set aside for the workshop by Nelson Anciano of the United Nation Volunteer office. The National Youth Commission thanked Connect UK for organising it and bringing up the idea. Mrs Safkaur and the Commissioner appreciated and thanked the donors and the NYC officers for their contributions towards the workshop.
We are delighted to announce that the Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2003 ‘Pacific Region’ winner is from Papua New Guinea! The winner will receive 500GBP. In addition, three other Papua New Guineans will be given 100GBP each as prize money. Connect UK promoted the competition in PNG in the hope that aspiring writers would take part. Winners will be announced by Connect UK and the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association on 28 October 2003.
Connect UK held a successful Commonwealth Day on 10 March 2003. Sir Rabbie Namaliu, Foreign Minister, at Connect UK's invitation, delivered a Commonwealth Day address on PNG's links with the Commonwealth to an invited audience and the media. His speech received good media coverage and was reported in the daily press as well as on television. He also read out the Queens' Commonwealth Day message.
The Connect UK Office in PNG publicised and promoted the Commonwealth Arts and Crafts Award last year encouraging artists and craftspeople to take part. Thirteen young artists have received the 2002 Commonwealth Arts and Crafts Award and they had the opportunity to travel and study in another Commonwealth country. The 2002 award recipients represent a diverse range of cultures, experiences, ages and artistic media, ranging from printmaking and sculpture to jewellery and painting. Connect UK was delighted to announce that from Papua New Guinea, Pax Jakupa Jr was the proud Papua New Guinean recipient of the Commonwealth Arts and Craft Award. Pax has received the award for painting.
Under the Arts and Crafts Awards, funded by the Commonwealth Foundation in London, a group of artists and craftspeople aged 22-35 are selected every two years from over 250 applicants to receive an award for travel and study in another Commonwealth country. The winners are chosen after a long and rigorous judging process, passing through two panels of judges. The aim of the award is to encourage the sharing of artistic experience and traditions within the Commonwealth. The award gives craftspeople and artists a chance to share their skills, exchange ideas, develop their talents and create a network of artists around the Commonwealth.
Connect UK was delighted to announce that the Commonwealth Essay Competition 2002 winner from Papua New Guinea was a young girl called Susie Kutato. Susie received a special certificate from the Royal Commonwealth Society of which Her Majesty The Queen is patron. The certificate stated that she had taken part in the 2002 Commonwealth Essay Competition and has won a prize for the essay she had written.
The prize for Susie was 50 British pounds which was given to her by Connect UK. Susie is currently studying at the Koiari Park Community School. Susie is 11 years old.
To promote science and to encourage young people and students to write about the importance of science and innovation in the 21st century, Connect UK, held an essay competition in 2002. Three winners were selected from different parts of Papua New Guinea who received a cheque each.
Connect UK also held a science exhibition called ‘ Innovation UK’ which was opened by the former Deputy Commonwealth Secretary General, Sir Anthony Siaguru. Dr Cecilia Nembou of the University of PNG gave a lecture on ‘How Science and Technology Can Help Develop PNG’.
UK-South Pacific Cultural and Public Diplomacy
Connect UK set up an e-mail club called the ‘UK-South Pacific Cultural and Public Diplomacy E-Club’ with the primary aim of working ever closer with our colleagues in the region to increase cultural and public diplomacy co-operation between UK and other countries in the Pacific, maximising the cost-effectiveness of UK performers and experts visiting the region.
The UK-South Pacific Museum Management Course was the first such project Connect UK managed that involved other SP countries. Indira Patel’s visit in November will be our second effort in taking forward this agenda. In March 2004, Connect UK will bring a well know media personality/world affairs specialist to visit the South Pacific to promote a modern face of Britain and the UK media.
Connect UK : Background and Aims
Connect UK was created by Pablo Ganguli and the organisation started its operation in Papua New Guinea in 2001. Connect UK’s mission is to promote and celebrate British Values, Arts, Culture, Literature, Films, Design, Education, Science and Technology in Papua New Guinea. Connect UK's aim is to help Papua New Guineans learn about Britain and the opportunities it offers and also to enhance the UK's reputation as a valued partner in PNG. Connect UK has already heightened the UK's profile in PNG.
We would like to keep on encouraging young Papua New Guineans to learn about modern Britain and its values and indirectly the Commonwealth. Connect UK has re-affirmed Britain's interest in PNG and it may stimulate more interest in trade. Connect UK is here to create mutually beneficial partnerships between the UK and PNG.
- Strengthening cultural and educational relations between the United Kingdom and Papua New Guinea
- Gaining positive perceptions of the UK
- Increasing awareness and building appreciation of Britain and its values
- Gaining recognition of the excellence of British arts, literature, culture, science, education, design and creative industries
- Promoting Britain’s Human Rights policies and supporting local projects which have a social focus (governance and HR)
- Creating greater understanding and improving foreign perceptions of modern multi-cultural Britain in PNG. Heightening Britain’s profile in PNG and enhancing the UK’s reputation as a valued partner.
- Creating long-lasting partnerships and increasing links between PNG and UK institutions such as schools, museums, cultural groups and business houses.
- Increasing educational, scientific and cultural co-operation between Britain and PNG.
- Increasing UK cultural co-operation between PNG and other posts in the Pacific, maximising the cost-effectiveness of our UK performers and experts visiting the South Pacific region.
Connect UK Sponsors:
Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British Council, Rio Tinto, Mabey and Johnson, Steamships, ChevronTexaco, Victoria and Albert Museum, Australian High Commission PNG, US Embassy PNG, French Embassy PNG, Japanese Embassy PNG, PriceWaterHouse Coopers, Kina Securities, Courts, DHL, BP, Brian Bell, Air Niugini, Crowne Plaza, Hertz, Qantas, Lamana Hotel, Design Council, BBC, Friends of the PNG Library, Bank of South Pacific, Bank of PNG, Post Courier, Divine Word University, University of PNG, Boroko Foodworld, Port Moresby Grammar School, The Cellar Restaurant, Datec, Arnotts, European Commission PNG, PNG FM, Institute of National Affairs, Coca Cola, EMTV, ANZ Bank, British Film Institute
Connect UK People:
Pablo Ganguli, Founding Director
Carole Grotrian, Head of Projects
Judi Davies, Arts and Events Manager
Anne Briggs, Secretary