An art gallery over the sea


Tubusereia’s Ward 6 in the Hiri LLG to build a museum and art gallery as part of its 5-year development plan


GIVE some time and call into Tubusereia Village outside Port Moresby and you can walk a causeway to a museum and art gallery over the sea.
Or if you’re a guest at the Loloata Island Resort, a short boat ride away, the museum would be an exciting diversion from the usual hike around the island or snorkeling in the corals.
The museum and art gallery (or sene rumana in Motu) will house a rich history of the village and greater Motuan culture, and a collection of contemporary art. Traditional and historical items of art, crafts, tools and symbols of folklore will be stored in this valuable centre of village life. The museum and art gallery is part of the first phase of the ward development plan of Ward 6 (Lahara) in the Hiri LLG of Central.
The plan was launched on Nov 17 this year and has drawn commendation from government agencies
Major projects in the plan include a court house, bore water supply and waste management.
According to one of the minds behind the ward development plan, accomplished artist Gima Segore, the gallery will also be an avenue for Port Moresby street artists to showcase their work.
The ward development plan is so detailed and comprehensive, it has already drawn funding commitments from Prime Minister James Marape himself and the Department of Provincial and Local Level Government.
In fact, Marape met Ward Councillor Daniel Lohia and his team and pledged to provide K5.5 which will be spent on the road off the Magi Highway into Tubusereia (K3.5 million), the ward water project (K1.5 million) and land mobilisation (K500,000).
The ward cultural committee headed by artist Segore, has already established a relationship with the Royal Queensland Art Society in Brisbane which will in future assist when the sene rumana is established and operational.
There will also be cultural exchanges which will involve art sessions and workshops in the village, Segore said.
Tourism, Art and Culture Minister Isi Henry Leonard has also visited the village and spoken to the ward committee and urged them to proceed quickly with their plans for the art gallery.
Tubusereia is a large Motuan village of about 10,000 people split into two wards (Wards 5 and 6).
Councilor Daniel Lohia is the driving force behind the Ward 6 development plan.
“With an ever-increasing population, modernisation and the influx of western influences, the delegation of most of the responsibilities of a ward councillor has become imperative. Moreover, it is almost impossible for one man to do all the tasks required to develop a ward of this size,” Cr Lohia wrote in the foreword to the ward plan.
“In the Bible (Luke 19:1-10), we read the story of Zacchaeus. When Jesus saw Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree, he tol him to “come down” because Jesus was going to his house for tea. And we all know that having tea can mean lengthy discussions over one or more topics.
“In today’s experience, Jesus would be telling the commissioner-general of the Internal Revenue Commission to come down, since Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector during Biblical time of Jesus Christ. I have asked individuals in my ward who have achieved academic excellence, with vast experience in their given professions to help me develop the Tubusereia West (Lahara) ward plan.
“These professionals occupy managerial and executive positions in the public and private sectors; and drawing from the story of Zacchaeus, these people have “come down” to my level to support the village with their expertise. And (they) will soon be drawing from their networks both in-country and overseas to deliver much-needed and improved services for our people,” the councillor said.
This village ward is 20 minutes out of Port Moresby city limits and it is Lohia’s firm belief that after so many years, it should by now have the same amenities and services found in the city.
“Tubusereia Primary School should be a secondary school at this time, having been founded back in the 1950s. There should be a 24/7 water supply system connected to all homes in the village. There should be a medical doctor attached to the health centre. The Bootless Village Court Area should have its own village courthouse.
“And by now most of my people should be financially independent and operating their own businesses, rather than renting out their premises to people from other provinces to operate trade stores, as is the case right now.”
Having gathered like-minded professionals, Lohia delegated responsibilities to them and the Lahara ward development plan is aa result of this shared endeavour and vision.
“I fully endorse this plan as the way forward to develop my ward step by purposeful step.
“With the cooperation of all the people of Tubusereia West and Tubusereia village, we can echo the call of Prime Minister, James Marape to make 2020 the Year of Implementation,” Clr Lohia wrote then.
“Communities are the body and soul of a nation, connected through a common cause or value. Community development at the village and local level is the ‘process of doing’, working together to identify and develop economic and social opportunities, skills, leadership, confi dence, community bonds and the capacity to act together.
“Overall, the ambition of the community is to progress the quality of its people’s lives and increase their participation in decision making to achieve long-term sustainable improvements in livelihood.
“From a national perspective, community development can help diversify the economy, redistribute resources to those most in need, increase resilience as well as support the achievement of the national development goals set out in our long-term PNG Vision 2050, medium term development goals (MTDP 3) and seek alignment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Community priorities are expressed through bottom-up planning processes at the ward, local-level government (LLG) and the Districts. These should connect to the top-down planning processes as reflected in National and Provincial Government Development Plans.
“Top-down” refers to government-led, development planning, based on national, provincial and/or regional/district-level developmentplans and budget allocations.
“Bottom-up or community-led development planning encompasses the placement of community members in the centre of development planning with a stronger emphasis on community participation to define the development agenda consistent with expressed views, expectations, and plans.
“It is tailored to the local context and directly addresses the needs of comunities. It needs to be participatory, democratic, inclusive, and gender-neutral,” Clr Lohia stated in his foreword to the ward plan.
The plan’s ultimate vision is: Sustainable community development and improved service delivery through economic enablers, principled leadership and greater environmental consciousness.
There are four pillars with a goal under each pillar for delivering this vision. These include: 1. Strengthened culture and ethics for community development; 2. Church and community partnership; 3. Improved service Delivery; and 4: Established protection empowerment pportunities
The museum and art gallery therefore falls under Pillar 1.
There will be totem poles to represent the Lakwaharu identity and the history and significance of the local culture recorded and documented
The ward will also establish a foundation established which will initiate a festival to encourage villagers to maintain the traditional culture and the practice of gardening.
One of the greatest challenges faced by Tubusereia and other coast villagers is the management of waste.
The sene rumana will be a definite tourist attraction so trash disposed into the sea or washed up has to be better controlled and disposed, Clr Lohia says.
The overall goal is to instill strong ethical principles for improved village life.
Other council wards in PNG can take out a leaf of Lahara ward’s book.