By MALUM NALU
A top Australian radio presenter who has close links with Papua New Guinea is impressed at relations between the two countries.
Radio Australia breakfast show presenter Phillip Kafcaloudes, who is here for the 40th anniversary of National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), said he was surprised at the amount of goodwill Papua New Guineans showed towards Australia.
|Kafcaloudes interviewing PNG’s oldest surviving journalist Biga Lebasi outside The National office on Wednesday.-Picture by MALUM NALU|
“I would have thought that there wasn’t good will towards Australia,” he said.
“Look at sports here - rugby league, rugby union, cricket, netball, even AFL and soccer - all the sports that Australia loves, PNG loves.
“What I hear also is that if Australia is playing some other country, people go for Australia.
“I’m really surprised by that.
“I thought they’d say ‘we were a colony of yours, get out and leave us alone.”
“But everywhere, there seems to be goodwill towards Australia.”
Kafcaloudes said despite all the negativity about PNG, the people were completely different.
“On the surface you see people who are remarkably happy, given all these other issues,” he said.
“I find that very surprising, but that’s probably the perception we get overseas that PNG is dangerous, or that PNG in general has a real corruption issue.
“The fact that people are as happy as they seem to be and are welcoming says a lot about PNG people, despite all the problems they’ve got.”
This is Kafcaloloudes' second time in PNG, having first been here 11 years ago as a journalism trainer at Divine Word University in Madang.
He has joined in celebrations this week at NBC including being a guest presenter and interviewing some of the famous voices like current managing director Memafu Kapera and Justin Kili.
“It’s fascinating to go into the same studios that they had 40 years ago,” Kafcaloudes said,
“Equipment is much newer but the place is the same building: the ABC.
“I was talking to the managing director of the NBC, losing money
“From what I saw, the presenters were very lively, were very interested, I was very impressed.
“And I was very impressed with the entire media organisations.
“I know there are issues with training of journalists, it’s hard, especially when there was so much training 30 years ago or so.
“I’ve been reading the papers and the quality and the freedom of the media is there.
“It’s good, very good.”