Our Volunteers: Kevin Wilson volunteering in Bougainville

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Though this placement is over, Kevin is volunteering again. You can read about his new placement here.

Tunaniya Open Learning Centre, Papua New Guinea

A chief of Tunaniya with Sam and Josie
Tunaniya Open Learning Centre is a new education project aimed at encouraging a culture of life-long learning in Bougainville. Sam and Josie Kauona/Sirivi have established this “grassroots” project in Sam’s home district of Koromira after observing many people are left behind by “traditional” formal education.

The centre will fill a gap in the formal system by catering for people of all ages and education backgrounds, providing practical skills which assist village-based community development. Courses will focus on a variety of areas, including literacy, health, computing, finance, trades and project management.

Due to their involvement in groups such as Bougainville Women for Peace and Freedom and the Arawa women’s training centre, Sam and Josie require a skilled administrator and educator to establish the centre’s programs, train staff and ensure the viability of this important local initiative.

Kevin Wilson

kevinUntil recently, Kevin was working as an Assistant Facilities Manager in an international IT company in Sydney. He has previously worked in the area of Fixed Assets and Security managing.

In these roles, Kevin was responsible for maintenance and implementation works, coordinating and administering programs, staff management and monitoring security programs and systems in place.

A keen adventurer and hiker, Kevin has been twice on the Kokoda track. A member of Amnesty International and various other charities and societies, Kevin is also a chorister, a painter and lover of nature and the arts.

Possessing “highly qualified capabilities” and “a man of integrity who has fair, honest and friendly dealings with others” are just some of the wonderful things his past and present colleagues said about Kevin.

Sam, Josie and Palms Australia believe Kevin is well suited to the task.

Video: Josie Sirivi congratulates Palms Australia on 50 years

January 6, 2011

Josie Sirivi is an inspirational woman who has given much to her people in Bougainville.

She is a founding member of Bougainville Women for Peace and Freedom which played a large role in ensuring the Bougainville crisis could come to an end. She was one of 1000 women nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

Josie, with her husband Sam Kauona, run the Tunaniya Open Learning Centre which provides training in literacy, vocational skills and community leadership as well as supporting various local elementary schools.

Palms Australia was introduced to Tunaniya in 2007 and was able to place Kevin Wilson as a Program Coordinator with Tunaniya.  This short video is an excerpt of an interview with Josie about Kevin’s contributions to Bougainville and includes Josie’s express hope that Palms and Tunaniya can continue to work together.

We hope to celebrate our Golden Jubilee with more videos, so if you would like to record your message for Palms, our volunteers and our supporters, please do so.


Field Trip: Papua New Guinea

December 3, 2010

Margaret, Nathasia and Annette in St Mary's School of Nursing staff room

While large-scale projects – roads, mobile phone towers, mines, etc. – prided by governments and corporations, capture our attention from a distance; the small, local activities are most meaningful to people’s lives.

Click here to read the full article

Letters from PNG: Administration

June 11, 2010

Kevin Wilson in Tunaniya

While in the field, volunteers often have time to ponder a great variety of topics. Here, Kevin Wilson shares his reflections on cultural and national identity.

Click here to read the full article

More articles

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Papua New Guinea

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Population: 7,656,959

Area: 462,840 sq. km.

Median Age: 21.5

Literacy: 57.3 %

Languages: Tok Pisin (New Guinea Pidgin), English, Motu, c.820 indigenous languages

The terrain of Papua New Guinea varies from its rugged mountainous spine to its beautiful beaches to its volcanic islands to one of the world’s largest swamps and the large river systems of the Sepik and Fly rivers. These geographical differences have created a unique country with many diverse cultures. The ties within a family […]

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The future of every community lies in capturing the passion, the imagination and the resources of its people. - Ernesto Sirolli