Welcome to the land of the unexpected! I have set up this pickletastic blog to share positive, inspiring, and interesting stories from Papua New Guinea (PNG). In 2013, I ignored the sensational stories and disregarded the narrow minded reporting on PNG and started a 15 month placement with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). I’ve been in PNG ever since and it has had a profound effect on me, shaping the course of my future.
I started working with VSO as a Multi-Media Producer for the education team, filming videos and taking photographs to support the work done by the innovative Language Support Programme. This 15 month role took me from the highlands to the islands, filming contextual PNG teaching resources; it was a placement of a lifetime where I took in some of the most incredibly diverse landscapes on earth. At this time, I was also the first VSO Development Advocate working to change the perception of international development, using positive storytelling to shift public perception about the invaluable work being done by NGOs. This reignited my passion for storytelling from my journalistic background and a seed was sewn for my future direction.
From my Multi-Media Producer role, I returned to the country office in Madang for my second, 15 month placement, as a Communications Advisor. In this role I worked with the staff team, building their capacity, as well as revising the volunteer journey. It was a diverse and busy role, working with the superb and friendly PNG staff. It’s VSO’s unique approach to international development, putting skilled individuals at the heart of developing countries to share their experience and empower local people to help bring them out of poverty, which has encouraged me to volunteer with them. I’d recommend taking the leap to do something amazing to anyone, you’ll learn so much and it will change you more than you’ll know.
Through my quest to tell positive stories and redress the balance, I’ve set up Asia and the Pacific based business Positive Media, to continue telling stories in creative ways for international development organisations with warmth and integrity. This is the future for me, hopefully I can support organisations sharing their good work and continuing to change perceptions about development.
So welcome to where it all started, A lil’ bit of pickle in PNG. This blog is a mixture of my own feelings and experiences of living and working in PNG, I hope that you find it inspiring.
“All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.” (Edmund Burk)