The Crocodile Prize is the HIGHEST LITERARY AWARD IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Instead of supporting the Crocodile Prize and encouraging Papua New Guineans to be Free Thinkers, The Australian Government would rather have AUSAID Consultants doing the thinking for those “dysfunctional blobs” at Waigani.
The People of Taiwan and Papua New Guinea share a common desire to be truly Independent People. Mi laik tok bikpela tenkyu long luksave long ol pipol blong Taiwan.
The Office is the bureau of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Queensland, and is headed by Director-General Wen-cheng Sung [pictured with me], one of the most experienced diplomats in Australia to specialise in South Pacific affairs.
Also in attendance was an elite group of Australians well known for their support of Papua New Guinea – Sean Dorney, Laurence Quinlivan and Murray Bladwell – and the senior director of TECO in Brisbane, Kuo-Ting Tan.
Director-General Sung was born in the mid 1950s in Quemoy, an island just off the coast of Communist China, but in Taiwanese territory.
His experiences as a young child were of a homeland under siege.
Half a million artillery shells fell on tiny Quemoy in the two wars in the region in the 1950s; so many that today they are dug up and recycled for use in the manufacture of high quality household cutlery.
(Swords shall be ploughshares and all that.)
In receiving the cheque from Mr Sung, I reflected that the donation of funds for the Crocodile Prize was symbolic of the friendship between Taiwan, Papua New Guinea and Australia – all great democracies.
I reciprocated the donation by presenting Mr Sung with a copy of the 2011 Crocodile Prize anthology and assuring him that the $1,000 would be used to print as many as 300 copies of this year’s collection of the best PNG writing which will be published in September.
And, from a personal viewpoint, it was a sheer delight to see the Taiwanese government step in to assist the Prize when the Australian International Cultural Council (a branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs) had turned its back on what is widely regarded as a major cultural initiative in PNG.