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Letter from the Connect UK Director, Mr Pablo Ganguli - 17 June 2003

Dear All,
 
I will leave Papua New Guinea on 30 September 2003. It has given me great
pleasure to work for Connect UK, the organisation that connects Papua New
Guinea with Britain through a great number of events and projects every
year. As the founder of Connect UK, I have truly enjoyed building
British-PNG cultural and educational relations and I have loved organising
and managing UK-PNG arts, educational, science and human rights events and
projects in this country. I would like to thank the Foreign and Commonwealth
Office, British Council, PNG Government and also all our sponsors and
partners (too numerous to mention but without them it would have been
impossible to organise our events!) for supporting our organisation and
working with me to help us promote Britain in PNG. A special thanks to all
my colleagues with whom I have had fun working. We will be celebrating our
second anniversary in August this year
 
For your information, the following are our objectives:

* 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, 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

 
My colleague, Carole Grotrian, will take over my job and I sincerely hope
that you will continue supporting (and some of you sponsoring!) Connect UK
in the future. Carole is a dynamic colleague of mine who is currently our
Head of Projects. She is passionate about promoting the face of modern
multicultural Britain in PNG. She enjoys theatre and literature. Her e-mail
address is cgrotrian@online.net.pg      

My e-mail address remains the same so if you would like to stay in touch, you can e-mail me at Pablo.Ganguli@lycos.co.uk

Finally, I hope one day you will visit Papua New Guinea which is a very
beautiful, unique and fascinating country with amazing cultures, 850
different languages, different tribes as well as exquisite islands and
beautiful mountains! The musicians, actors, painters and craftsmen here are
wonderful and their creations excellent! The people of PNG are very friendly
and welcoming
 
With very best wishes,

Pablo Ganguli

******************

Janet Street-Porter and Benjamin Zephaniah were in the country to give talks, visit various provinces and also perform. They enjoyed their visit tremendously.

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The 3rd PNG International Film Festival was successfully held in Port Moresby, UPNG, Goroka, Madang, Alotau, Wewak, Rabaul and Lae. Films from all over the world were shown to audiences who had a wonderful time.

******************

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 will now have 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.

The Director of Connect UK, Mr Pablo Ganguli said "I am delighted to announce that from Papua New Guinea, Pax Jakupa Jr is the proud recipient of the Commonwealth Arts and Craft Award. Pax has received the award for painting. I met Pax last year when Connect UK invited him to take part in the Queens Golden Jubilee exhibition. Pax is a talented artist and his work is brilliant. I hope he enjoys studying in another Commonwealth country and finds it educational as it will give him the opportunity to meet artists of that country and work with them."

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.

The Foundation will be working with the award winners in 2003 as they undertake their residency in other Commonwealth countries. The awards will next be held in 2004.

***************

17/03/2003   The Port Moresby Grammar School received two (2) computers from ANZ Banking Group Limited, Manager Corporate Banking, Mr David Wenham.

The computers will be used to establish a link between Port Moresby Grammar School and Cyfarthfa Castle High in Wales, Europe.

Pablo Ganguli, Director, Connect UK said "These computers will contribute in linking both Port Moresby Grammar School and Cyfarthfa Castle High in Wales work on more creative and educational projects which would help the students in both countries learn a lot more about each other as well as human rights, good governance and science.

The computers have been made available to the Port Moresby Grammar School as a result of ANZ updating its information technology platform in PNG.

***************

Connect UK, the organisation promoting UK cultural, social and educational links with PNG, held a successful Commonwealth Day on 10 March.

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.

*****************

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.

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Connect UK has publicised the Commonwealth Short Story Competition and Photographic Awards in PNG encouraging Commonwealth citizens to take part.

************

Connect UK and the British High Commission have raised K3840 for Jesus Christ Halfway House through the 'British Week' launch party. We will hand over the  proceeds to JC Halfway House Charfiman and also invite members of the press to cover the ceremony on 11 February 2003

*******************

November

Promoted BBCs International Playwriting competition and encouraged PNG writers to take part in it.

British Week in Papua New Guinea - 22 Nov to 11 Dec

*********************

Promoted the Commonwealth Arts and Crafts awards and encouraged PNG artists to apply.

August - Innovation UK Science Exhibition and nationwide Science Essay Competition. Sponsored by Kina Securities

 
********************
 
Connect UK's special Golden Jubilee exhibition entitled ''20 Portraits and Other Works'' opened on June 4 at the Holiday Inn Ballroom in Port Moresby. Two paintings were selected as the winning and runner-up portraits. The winning portrait will be presented to the Queen by the PNG High Commissioner to the UK, Ms Jean Kekedo and the runner-up one will be hung in the PNG High Commission in London.
 
The Governor General of PNG, Sir Silas Atopare opened the exhibition.
 
*********
 
The International Film Festival organised by Connect UK took place in Port Moresby, Goroka, Madang and Lae. The festival was a major event that was successful!
 
*********
 
'Multilingual UK''
An Exhibition organised by Connect UK and sponsored by the British Council (London).

The Multilingual UK exhibition will be held at the National Library (Waigani) from the 8th to the 19th of April 2002. The 'Multilingual UK' video will also be screened at the Library which was first broadcast by the BBC.

The exhibition is designed by The British Council Design Department


*********

'Pacific Bright on Friday Night' - Royal Commonwealth Society in London (Friday 26th April, 7 for 7.30pm)

From New Zealand to Papua New Guinea, stop-over in Samoa... "if music be the food of love...", so is song, dance and culture from the South Pacific region. Join us on this occasion for a memorable Pacific Experience including popular dishes, deco, games and extra!
Tickets 20 (23 for non-members).

To book tickets contact Gwen White on +44 (0)20 7766 9209 or gwen.white@rcsint.org.

*********

Commonwealth Day 'Family Violence' Discussion

In a capacity-filled lecture hall at the University of Papua New Guinea on 11 March night, 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.



Copyright Post-Courier Online

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Commonwealth Day AIDS Awarness Forum

12 March 2002:

A Port Moresby forum yesterday warned of an Africa-like explosion in PNG's HIV/AIDS epidemic without urgent and "aggressive'' government intervention. The British High Commission and Connect UK-sponsored forum, 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.''


Copyright Post-Courier Online

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Commonwealth Film Festival 2002 - Manchester,UK

A Commonwealth Film Festival is to take place in Manchester, UK, between 28 June and 7 July 2002, in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, 25 July - 4 August 2002. The organisers are inviting submissions from Commonwealth film-makers, especially members of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association. They also aim to make it an annual festival.

Cultural events such as this festival are part of the celebration of HM Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee next year.

Requirements for submissions are as follows:

Films must be from Commonwealth countries; preferably less than two years old, but older titles (including archive) can be considered; title and year of production; running time, director, language and type of subtitles (if applicable); key cast (for dramas); country of source for prints, tapes and rights; brief synopsis and reason for submitting; format - e.g. 35mm/16mm,

Beta SP, digibeta, etc.

Deadline: 28 February 2002

How to send your films to the Festival Director? Please e-mail us for more info. E-mail: pablo@dg.com.pg

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Commonwealth Day 11 March 2002

Activities and events in Port Moresby are being planned and
sponsored by the British High Commission and Connect UK.

'Celebrating Diversity' is the theme for Commonwealth Day 2002, which will be observed on Monday, 11 March. The theme reflects one of the association's basic tenets and its rich diversity in areas such as culture, history, race, religion and ethnicity, reflecting the varied membership of its 54 members. The Day will also celebrate the Golden Jubilee of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth.

The Commonwealth sees its diversity not as a weakness but as a source of strength and a cause for celebration.

For more information, please call the British High Commission on 325 1677 or Connect UK on 321 2259


*********

The Connect UK office donated lots of books, magazines and posters to the National Council of Women office in Gerehu. We hope the books and magazines will help the members and
volunteers of the NCW learn more about various social issues and we also hope that they will enjoy some Christmas reading!

*********

The UNV 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 new 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 Pablo Ganguli and Carole Grotrian of the Connect UK office 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.

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The official EU and Council of Europe website for the 'European Year of Languages (EYL)' - www.eurolang2001.org makes 'EYL in Papua New Guinea' their cover story!


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The UNV office organised the International Volunteers Day event in collaboration with National Volunteer Service, National Events Council and Connect UK on the 5th of December at the Granville Hotel.

The event was opened by Lady Carol Kidu, MP for Moresby South. Speeches were given by Judge Timothy Hinchliffe, Chairman of the National Volunteer Service and the American Ambassador to PNG, HE Ms Susan Jacobs.

Diplomats, Government officials, Volunteers and hundreds of people from all walks of life attended the event to celebrate and support volunteerism. Various singers and dancers from different countries performed too. The event made it to the National TV news and also the two main newspapers of the country. The Connect UK office organised a 'Music Concert' to close the event. The musicians were Papua New Guineans and they all played in different bands.

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EYL Conference and Festival

LANGUAGE opens doors to different cultures, University of PNG Vice Chancellor Professor Les Eastcott has said.

Speaking during the European Year of Languages (EYL) conference yesterday, he said PNG was privileged to have over 700 languages, and it was good that many locals knew more than one language.

"It is, however, not too late to learn a language or other languages and given the number of opportunities that learning a language can bring, young people and children especially should be encouraged to learn new languages," Prof.Eastcott said.

Emphasising the importance of preserving languages, Prof. Eastcott said many of PNG 's languages were down to their last speakers. He encouraged every citizen to take up the challenge to preserve and learn their language.

"It is important to speak and communicate with people around you and those whose cultures are different," he said.

"Once you know a language then you can be able to understand a culture and get to know the important similarities that may exist in your society and other societies."

The EYL conference yesterday attracted academics, diplomats and school children who turned see a variety of cultures promoted through displays housed in more than 30 stalls.

The one-day conference was organised by the British Culture and Education office - Connect UK.

Education Minister Muki Taranupi closed the EYL conference.


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National Film Institute thanks Connect UK

The Director of NFI(PNG), Chris Owen, thanks the Connect UK office for giving donations which helped them buy a new fax machine. Connect UK also raised awareness of the NFI organisation in Port Moresby through the International Film Festival.

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The City Mission of Port Moresby receives donation from the Connect UK office in September 2001.


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Red Cross Special Education Centre receives a donation of K1000 from the Connect UK office. We hope the donation will help the Red Cross staff work on their Sign Language Project.