Ministerial press secretary joins Crocodile Prize organisers

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THE Crocodile Prize Organisation has been boosted in 2014-15 by the appointment of Oala Moi as its media director.

Oala, from Port Moresby, is press secretary to Boka Kondra, Papua New Guinea’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

He was educated at the University of Papua New Guinea from where he graduated with a degree in public administration in 2002.

After leaving university, Oala spent nine years working in PNG’s National Disaster Centre where he rose to a senior role specialising in disaster response.

He was a team member on the 2007 Cyclone Guba and flood disaster in Oro Province and the 2008 king tide disaster in PNG’s maritime provinces. Continue reading


What does The Crocodile Prize mean for our writers and poets?

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‘IN perpetuity’, this legal term has a welcome sound to it. Perpetual, permanent, unending, eternal, and that’s just the start of it.

At the tail-end of the fourth pukpuk prize presentations, I would like us each to reflect about the future of The Crocodile Prize, and this word; perpetuity.

It is a big part of what writers and poets wish to see for their literary contributions, no matter how small the work.

I was recently honoured to receive a request from the Commonwealth Education Trust, based in London England, to have a poem placed in their anthology A River of Stories, Tales and Poems from across the Commonwealth.

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Jimmy Drekore appointed chairman of Crocodile Prize Organisation

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AWARD winning Papua New Guinean writer and founder of the Simbu Children Foundation, Jimmy Drekore BSc, has been appointed inaugural Chairman of the Crocodile Prize Organisation, COG.

Jimmy, 38, from Kundiawa, is an industrial chemist by profession who retired from Newcrest Mining’s Lihir gold mine in 2013 after 14 years with the company.

He returned home to work with the Simbu Children Foundation, one of PNG’s most successful home grown charities which he had founded in 2004.

He is also Chairman of the Kundiawa-based company, Organic Mountain Produce (OMP), which was established this year.

Jimmy will be supported in his leadership role at COG by Phil Fitzpatrick as Publishing Director and by me as Executive Director as well as by a revamped COG committee.

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Boka Kondra announces tourism, arts & culture writing award

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WINNERS of this year’s Crocodile Prize awards—promoted as Papua New Guinea’s national writing contest—will be officially announced this evening in a ceremony at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.

Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Boka Kondra will be present to announce the creation of a new award: the Tourism, Arts & Culture Writing Award. The award will not be presented this year as it commences next year.

The award addresses one program objective under the Tourism Arts & Culture sector plan framework 2015-2018.

This plan is the O’Neill-Dion government’s tourism arts and culture sector plan and will go before the National Executive Council this month for endorsement as an official government policy document.

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Write for peace & harmony: Rivers Prize enters 2nd year

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THE Crocodile Prize has just experienced its most bountiful year – more than 600 entries from 130 writers. And, in December, we’ll be calling for entries for the 2015 Crocodile Prize.

But to keep writers busy over the next few months, we’re running the second year of the Rivers Peace and Harmony Prize.

The award, sponsored by colonial days expatriate teacher Val Rivers, offers K1,700 in prizes: K1,000 first prize and two K350 prizes for the runners up.

This year we’re asking contestants to provide no more than 1,500 words (they may take the form of article, story, essay or poem) on the theme of ‘Peace & Harmony in PNG – Past & Present’.

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A full wrap of the great fourth Crocodile Prize Awards

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Crocodile Prize Awards - Charles AbelKEITH JACKSON

THE warm reception from the Papua New Guineans brought home to me the importance of the Prize in preserving stories and building a literary tradition,” a senior diplomat told me, in what was a common reaction to Thursday’s Crocodile Prize literary awards in Port Moresby.

The main purpose of the event was to recognise and award seven Papua New Guineans for their writing.

But the evening turned into much more than the presentation of awards.

The day had begun with a writers’ workshop in the American Corner of the National Library – where there had been no power and water for a fortnight due to electricity bills not being paid.

The United States Embassy had offered the facility for the workshop and made various commitments to support the event, but its organisation was sadly lacking. Continue reading


Crocodile awards an outstanding success; Simbu here we come

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ALL expectations were surpassed last night at the 2014 Crocodile Prize awards at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby.

The ceremony and reception celebrated the literary achievements of award winning writers Arnold Mundua, Iriani Wanma, Diddie Kinamun Jackson, Leonard Fong Roka, Agnes Maineke, Sil Bolkin and Sir Paulias Matane.Hon Charles Abel at the Crocodile prize

In a magnificent act of dedication to Papua New Guinean literature and culture, PNG Planning Minister Charles Abel (right) and Oro Governor Gary Juffa each pledged K10,000 to the 2015 Crocodile Prize.

And, as announced in PNG Attitude yesterday afternoon, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Boka Kondra handed over more than K5,000 for a new writing award in the area covered by his portfolio.

In another major development, it was also announced – to loud applause – that next year’s Crocodile Prize awards will, for the first time, be hosted outside Port Moresby, when they move to Kundiawa in Simbu Province. Continue reading


Simbu Writers Association accomplishes its first literary mission

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THE first major milestone of the Simbu mission for literacy was reached as all secondary and high schools students in Simbu Province convened and celebrated Literacy Day last Friday with a quiz and a debate.

The celebration of ‘Simbu for Literary Excellence’ commenced at Ku High School at 8:00 am, although most remote schools arrived earlier.

The first schools at the scene were Don Bosco Technical Institute and Kewamugl and Neragaima High Schools.

The stage had been well prepared by the host school as Mathias Kin and Jimmy Drekore gave housekeeping reminders to the visiting schools and the general public. Continue reading


Ware Mukale and team: Driving Simbu towards literary excellence

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IN any successful organisation or event there are many players, but few stand out as shining stars.

When the Simbu Writers Association came up with the idea of hosting a literary contest for secondary schools in the province to coincide with National Literacy Week, SWA had no money.

But after selecting the best competition entries this week and readying the prizes to award today, we reflect on how amazing it has been that SWA has been able to execute one activity after another relative ease and simplicity.

This is all because someone foresaw the value of the concept and had the heart to sacrifice whatever small resources he had to assist. And this person is Ware Mukale, head teacher of Ku High School. Continue reading


The perfect emotion & pride of engaging with your own literature

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MORE than 800 copies of the Crocodile Prize Anthology costing over $8,000 are now being distributed free of charge throughout Papua New Guinea, mainly to schools and libraries but also to tertiary institutions and members of parliament.

This is fulfilling the second leg of the Prize’s ‘contract’ with the people of PNG – which is not only to encourage and reward writers but to ensure their work is published and made available to readers throughout the country.

But, that said, we now need help from PNG Attitudereaders.

The Crocodile Prize Organising Group, COG, received $5,000 from the PNG Association of Australia and the Australian High Commission in PNG contributed a grant of $3,000.

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Literary Awards of Papua New Guinea