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  • Crispin Till

    Email Crispin Till

    TNQ called to help with fundraiser and celebrations for our nearest neighbour

    It’s our closest neighbour and with a large expat community in TNQ, Papua New Guinea Independence Day celebrations are always big events and a cause for celebration.

    Even though PNG’s capital Port Moresby is only about a 90 minute flight from Cairns airport, many in TNQ might not be aware of the rich culture and history of our northern neighbour.

    So, to help celebrate PNG’s independence, raise awareness of the country’s history and culture as well as to raise money to help villagers devastated by a recent fire, Mama Coco café has organised a dinner and fundraiser, with owner Davy O’Rourke saying the event would be a great chance for the people of Cairns to get a taste of PNG’s culture.

    “There's about 10,000 people with PNG heritage living in TNQ,” he said.

    “These events help raise awareness about PNG and we are calling for the community to get involved. They are always good with lot of fun, colour and food.

    "It will be a good event for anybody who is interested in learning a bit more about Australia's closest neighbour.

    “It is a great opportunity for Cairns to get a taste of PNG and to learn about its culture and history.

    “More and more people are discovering just how culturally diverse PNG is and just how beautiful the country is with its diverse flora and fauna."

    PNG was administered by Australia as a single territory from 1945 until September 16, 1975 when in a ceremony officiated by the Prince of Wales, the country was declared independent.

    While the event at Mama Coco will be colourful and fun featuring traditional food, singing and dancing there is also a serious side with Mr O'Rourke saying money is being raised for the Hanuabada Village fire appeal.

    At least 150 villagers were left homeless in August when fire ripped through 15 homes in their village which is just 15 minutes from the centre of Port Moresby.

    “Each PNG Independence Day event we raise money for a specific cause including to help not-for-profit groups that teach literacy and deliver medical supplies and healthcare services in remote areas,” he said.

    “We raised about $5,500 last year and we are hoping to beat that.”

    The event will be held on 16 September from 5.30pm at The German Club, Bungalow. To book tickets, click here.

    For more information about the event at Mama Coco, click here.