Skateboarding craze hits city
AS THE Surfing Association Papua New Guinea Inc (SAPNG) marks 31 years since foundation, another new and exciting chapter in the evolution of its history is being made – with Skateboarding PNG.
Victoria Hudson, a passionate surfer and skateboarder and former Port Moresby International School (Pomis) music teacher joining forces with SAPNG to boost the association’s social impact policies.
Skateboarding PNG recently held a week-long programme of ‘Skate and Create’ with the local youth of Taurama, NCD as well as visiting youth from Life Care PNG at Pyramid Board Riders Club, an affiliated surf club of SAPNG located at Rabesi Beach, Madaii on the western side of Taurama point.
The Pyramid Board Riders Club is one of 11 affiliated surf clubs of the SAPNG and is located at the private property of Pamela Solien.
Victoria Hudson of Skateboarding PNG, said the workshops delivered last week, were based upon the Skate & Create model that pioneered the internationally recognised and celebrated skateboarding charity, ‘Skateistan’. The Skate & Create programme model is accessible to all levels of literacy and ability and aims to build life skills through a balance of social sports and structured learning.
Moreover, Hudson said the programme at Taurama last week involved learning about plastic pollution in our oceans, a clean-up of the beach at Taurama and a recycling project using collected rubbish to create a hanging garden.
Both female and male youth participants were engaged equally in the workshops and approximately 100 youth were engaged throughout the week.
“We hope to expand this skateboarding/education programme throughout Papua New Guinea complimenting SAPNG model and policies through its extensive network in coastal communities,” Hudson said.
SAPNG president and co- founder, Andrew Abel, on behalf of SAPNG secretary Sylvia Pascoe and Hudson emphasised that in addition to the inclusion of the skateboard ramp, they are currently working on the fit-out of a repurposed 20-foot shipping container-turned library, that will support the local community by providing literacy materials and study resources for the local youth to access in line with SAPNG “No School- No Surf” education policy.
The aim is to expand this surfing/skateboarding/resource centre model at all SAPNG affiliated surf clubs throughout Papua New Guinea, thus empowering the young male and female aspiring surfers to not only embrace skateboarding which will enhance their surfing skills, but also take on greater responsibility in embracing SAPNG’s “Pink Nose Revolution Surf Board” policy in addressing gender-based violence and empowerment of women in lieu of access to these facilities.
Abel also stated that SAPNG was rolling out its community social impact policies and facilities around the nation in all its 11 affiliated surf clubs including the latest, Pokpok Surf Club in Central Bougainville.
These will empower surfing communities that have embraced the SAPNG model and policies to, over time, see young people taking on greater responsibilities in their communities to not only improve their own personal lives, but more significantly, contribute to collectively bringing about long term sustainable and equitable change in communities where youth have been left to fend for themselves, thus leading to crime and increase social problems.
More information can be found at www.skatepng.org and www.sapng.com. Visit skatepng.org to donate and/or support the future delivery of programmes to the youth of PNG.
You can also purchase skateboarding apparel that has been designed by the local youth of Taurama through the online store.
Course changes Colman’s thinking
By RESLYNA BENO
UPNG Journalism Student
IT WAS a great experience for Colman Pombre personally to attend one of the major regional universities in Australia.
While studying there, he had a good country experience with great food, affordable accommodation, building personal relationships and had good opportunities of finding casual jobs over semester breaks as well.
“I would advise those who want to study in Australia to choose a regional centre university, if you love living a country-style life, instead of urban life in Sydney or Melbourne.”
Pombre, 35, from Buiyebi, lower Mendi in Southern Highlands comes from a family of five. He grew up a normal village boy.
He recently graduated with master’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales. He is the first person in his tribe, clan and village to obtain such a qualification.
In 2004, he graduated with a Bachelor of Tropical Agriculture from the University of Natural Resources and Environment in East New Brtiain.
In 2010, he lost his father, living the mother and the children confounded as he come from a parents who are sustainable farmers who does not know anything about being educated and earning a living.
However, the absence of his father did not stop the young man, instead he became hero to his mother and siblings; he was a father, brother, a good uncle and a faithful husband.
“Don’t take the absence as a reason not to prosper but instead take it as a stepping stone to be in the next level,” he says after experiencing his loss.
Since then, he worked with New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL) as assistant manager, Technical Service Agronomy until he resigned in 2017 to take up a scholarship to study.
It was an honour for him to attend the first university in Australia to be certified as carbon-neutral. This is being reflected in its energy use efficiency with harnessing of solar energy, paperless online course delivery and sensor activated lighting systems across all its campuses.
Pombre has observed and learned a lot of things towards sustainability practices over the two years of living and studying at the university.
The campus environment and his master’s degree qualification in Sustainable Agriculture (MSA), caused a paradigm shift in his view of the world around him.
“I used to have the reductionist thinking that humans are above the food pyramid, but now after successfully completing my master degree changed my thinking and view of the world more systematically and realised that we are part of web of life,” he said
“There is no any other time than today for every one of us to start thinking systematically and act accordingly.”
The absence of systems thinking by policy makers and decision-makers can be seen in failures in some of the major policies in our country, such as the much-debated free education and health policies.
“For example, if we are interested in health and wellbeing of the population, then we need to focus not only on health services, but also take into account food quality, environmental pollution, stress, poverty and other indicators of wellbeing. When we limit ourselves to fragmented approaches to dealing with systemic problems, it is not surprising that our solutions prove inadequate.
“Today we all need systems thinking approach to devise polices and solving some of the emerging problems in our communities and world at large.
“I am searching for opportunities in both government and private sectors, to contribute towards sustainable development, more specifically in sustainable agricultural practices.
He also mention that his specific area of interest is in sustainable development goals, in particular sustainable agriculture practices as a way towards achieving United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 1,2 and 3.