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A significant partnership between Enga Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Woodfordia Inc. the organisation behind one of Australia’s largest gatherings of artists and performers, and the was announced at the recent Woodford Folk Festival (WFF), in Queensland, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

L-R: Mr Sandis Tsaka, Sir Peter Ipatas, Ms Amanda Jackes & Mr Bill Hauritz at the signing of the MOU, Woodfordia 31st December 2023.

Located in the PNG highlands, the Enga Province is known for its unique climate and elevation, and the MoU is a shared commitment to develop tourism initiatives to attract Australian visitors, with a focus on cultural and environmental attractions.

Woodford Folk Festival Director Amanda Jackes said the signing of the MoU, witnessed by dignitaries and members of both communities, is the result of a strong bond between the two groups, built over many years.

“We’re delighted to formalise this partnership aimed at cultural exchange, mutual development, and shared prosperity,” Ms Jackes said.

“Relationships built on mutual trust mean we’ll be better friends, and better neighbours.

“Both the Enga province and Woodfordia have festivals at the heart of what we do, and expanding our cultural expressions and celebrating our volunteer spirit are just two of our shared ideals.

“A festival is the best part of who we are and what better way to share our intentions than through dance, through written word, through song, through craft, and through art.”

As part of the agreement, the Enga Province will send representatives to participate in the Woodford Folk Festival, showcasing Enga's rich culture in dance, craft, and arts.

Representing the Enga Province, Governor of Enga, Chief Sir Peter Ipatas, said today marks the start of what he hopes will be a lasting relationship benefitting both communities culturally, educationally, and economically.

“This MOU is more than just an exchange of culture, it will benefit us in the province by further instilling a feeling of community and enable us to make bigger things happen,” Sir Ipatas said.

“Enga was the last province to be contacted by the outside world in Papua New Guinea and while the culture is really strong and intact, it’s eroding very quickly.

“We recognise a need to create spaces where cultural practices can still be performed and through that we created the Enga Cultural Show.

“It started as a platform to preserve culture and has become a drawcard for tourists, stimulating the local economy and putting money directly into the hands of local land holders.

“We’re developing products that are very community based and the Woodford Folk Festival is also a community based event - we see Woodfordians as the type of people we would love to come and visit our province.”

Education is a high priority for the Governor, who was the first to introduce free education to the province but the rugged landscape faces infrastructure challenges.

Woodfordia, Inc. will contribute to the construction of a school in Enga Province to continue fostering educational growth and development, and both organisations will work together to establish a coffee company, championing the renowned Arabica coffee beans grown in Enga’s unique climate.

Other initiatives highlighted under the MoU include the development of bamboo

agroforestry enterprises to bolster the rural economic development of Enga in line with the sustainability vision at the heart of both groups’ endeavours.

The MoU also encompasses volunteer exchange programs, which will see Enga community members participating in the Woodford Folk Festival setup, and festival volunteers engaging in cultural talks and development projects in Enga.

The signing of the MoU is a testament to the shared vision of uplifting the song, dance, and soul of Enga Province, and enriching the experience of the Woodford Folk Festival and the Enga Cultural Show,



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