Rotary partnership aims to build educational centre in PNG - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

Photos: Supplied.


In 2023, a group of people from the East New Britain Community in Queensland (ENBCQ) were having a coffee with Ishbel Taylor, a passionate member of the Rotary Club of Cleveland. That discussion was later shared with both groups, resulting in the two groups formalising an action plan to raise $100,000 within the next 12 months to build an Educational Resource Centre in Kokopo in ENB province in PNG.

The plan is for the partnership to build a centre that will assist the local schools in teaching literacy, utilise recycled sewing machines to help women establish micro industries and set up a computer area to teach computer skills.

Cleveland Rotary Club President Gavin Becker said it’s great to partner with people from ENBCQ because they have a realistic idea of what local needs exist and how best to achieve positive outcomes for the people of ENB. Rotarians Robert Wesener and Bob Neich, retired architect and school principal (respectively), are using their skills to help design the centre.

On Friday, March 20, 90 people attended a successful fundraising and cultural awareness night that raised $9500 for the project. This was raised through the traditional sale of raffle tickets, purchasing one of 50 keys to try to unlock a treasure chest containing $1000, and auctioning a number of valuable donations.

Elsie Baining, President of the ENBCQ, and her members cooked a traditional meal and entertained everyone with dancing and singing. Within the next month, they and other volunteers at RARE (Rotary Australia Repurposing Equipment) at Alexandra Hills will pack a container with equipment to be shipped to Kokopo.

The Rotary Club of Cleveland and ENBCQ thank the Redlands United Football Club for hosting this event for the second year. We also had the opportunity to interview Lee Faunt, a member of the PNG national team currently playing with the RUFC. Ishbel Taylor said it was a great night and looks forward to a bigger and better night in 2025.

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