Indigenous Public Diplomacy
2018 NAIDOC Speaker Series - Papua New Guinea
The Australian High Commission in PNG, supported visits from Indigenous Australian musician, Emily Wurramara and Leila Gurruwiwi, media commentator, television show producer and panel member of NITV's The Marngrook Footy Show. Emily and Leila visited Port Moresby and Lae in July and August as guest's speakers for DFAT's NAIDOC Speaker Series 'Because of Her, We Can'.
Emily's visit produced a creative collaboration between the Indigenous Australian musician and well-known Papua New Guinean performer, Mereani Masani Official. The aim of the collaboration was to create work with a strong gender equality message echoing the NAIDOC Week theme – 'Because Of Her We Can'. The material produced by Emily and Mereani will be used with their permission for public diplomacy events and to enhance activities that communicate positive gender equality messages.
Emily's program included a series of performances for High Commission staff, Papua New Guinean media, and students at the University of Papua New Guinea, as well as a creative workshop for Year 9 students participating in the Moresby Arts Theatre Youth Arts Program. Audiences had the opportunity to hear Emily perform songs in both English and Anindilyakwa (an Indigenous Australian language) and Mereani in English, Tok Pisin and Tolai languages.
Completing Post's 2018 NAIDOC celebrations was a visit from Leila Gurruwiwi host of NITV'S Marngrook Footy Show. During her visit, Leila held a series of roundtables and workshops with Papua New Guinean women leaders and journalists to strengthen capacity and build networks for mutual support and knowledge sharing.
Leila had a successful time networking with young female leaders and journalists in Port Moresby and Lae. She shared her experiences of growing up away from her family, the importance of her education and growing in the TV industry. In return, the young women also shared their stories with Leila, exchanging lessons learnt, and encouraging each other to boldly pursue their careers.
Both Emily and Leila's visits to PNG were successful in encouraging women and youth to pursue their goals as well as strengthening the relationship between Australian and PNG.