Speech By the Goilala Foundation Inc – Interim President – Mr. Thomas EME
Thank you Master of Ceremony. Let me take this opportunity to acknowledge the presence of: The Governor of Central Province, Honourable Alphonse Moroi; The Governor of NCD, Honourable Powes Parkop; The Member for Goilala, Honourable Mathew Poia; LLG Presidents from Guari, Tapini and Woitape; Acting Administrator of Central Province, Mr. Michael Uaiz; Deputy Provincial Administrator of Central Province, Mr. Gei Raga; Goilala District Administrator, Mr. Titus Girau; PPC Central, Mr. John Maru and his station commander at Tapini; CEO Digicel Foundation, Ms Marina van der Vlies; the famous PNG Gardner himself, Mr. Justin Thachencko; CEO PNG Sustainable Development, Mr. David Sode; CPDC Managing Director, Mr. David Jeram; Representatives from Petromin and TGM; Board Chairman Tapini High School, Fr. Brian Cahill; Representatives from AusAid, NZAid and JICA; Students and Women’s Representatives; Chiefs from Gunimaipa, Tauade and Fuyuge; Representatives from the Media; Invited Guests; Goilala Friends and Supporters and people of Goilala. On behalf of the Goilala Foundation Interim Executive and Core Team, I thank you all for coming and I welcome you all to this historic occasion, THE LAUNCHING OF THE GOILALA FOUNDATION and the GOILALA DISTRICT WEBSITE.
Little deeds go a long way and my thank you on behalf of the Interim Executive and Core Team is not worth it for the invaluable assistance you all have given to the Goilala Foundation in your own ways to make this occasion possible.
Your acceptance of our invitation to attend this historic occasion as well as your initial support morally, spiritually and financially of our efforts to form the Goilala Foundation is a real blessing and I believe it is no accident but rather God’s providence. We all share a common dream. Our dream is a bright and prosperous GOILALA tomorrow, contributing positively to the development of Central Province and Papua New Guinea.
One of our Interim Executives, Mr. Michael Atuai, sent us an email in one of our discussions regarding the formation of the Goilala Foundation and the website initiative, by quoting from Martin Luther King Jnr. He said that Martin Luther King Jnr gave his great ‘I HAVE A DREAM’ speech to a packed crowd of 200,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. The line that Mr. Atuai quoted goes like this: “I have a dream that one day my little children will not be judged by the color of their skin, rather by the content of their character”. Forty Five (45) years later, Barrack Obama, who was 2 years and 24 days old on that day, became the first Afro American President of the United States of America.
Fellow Goilalas. We are all here today because we also have a dream. Our dream is that even after we are gone, anyone with a Goilala origin will not be judged by the background of their origin, rather by the content of their character. The Goilala Foundation, ladies and gentlemen, will be the vehicle to drive 3 that dream and make it become a reality. People of Goilala, The Goilala Foundation, is you and me. Because of our common dream, we will work together to manifest that dream. Dreams will just be dreams if we don’t take positive action to accomplish those dreams.
Honourable Governor for Central, Let me take this opportunity to thank you on behalf of the Goilala Foundation Interim Executive and Core Team, for being the first person to support the initiative financially and making this official launching possible. Just like every Goilala, you share that dream and you proved to us all that it is possible to realise our dream by becoming the first Goilala to be the Governor of Central Province for two consecutive terms. Because of your strong conviction and faith in THE GOILALA DREAM, you have come forward to help us establish THE GOILALA FOUNDATION. To recognise your contribution, the Interim Executive has unanimously agreed to make you a lifetime member of THE GOILALA FOUNDATION.
The realisation of our dream is a mammoth task but it’s something that every Goilala must undertake. The fruits of our work will be reaped not by us but by our children and future generations. Our grandchildren and their children will be born in an era where stigmatization of Goilalas will be something of the past and they will be proud to call themselves Goilalas. Thank you Mr. Moroi, for taking the lead in this change process. You are making history for our people once again.
With your support we can drive this initiative to produce many more Goilalas like you and me. If there is something sustainable and lasting that you can look back and be proud of achieving during your tenure as the first Governor from Goilala, let it be THE GOILALA FOUNDATION. It is one of the accomplishments that will go down in the history books of Goilala and you will be remembered forever.
Fellow Goilalas. Many of you are asking why The Goilala Foundation is only starting now. Is it because the elections are just around the corner and this is one of those propagandas to lure your support? The simple answer is NO IT’S NOT.
Personally for me, this is a lifetime dream starting to come into reality. I can also echo this statement for the rest of the Interim Executive and Core Team. The majority of you are with us on this initiative and have already committed your time, resources, moral support and prayers. This shows that we all have been preparing and waiting for this moment. We all have realised that Goilala is now at the threshold. We have reached a point, my fellow Goilalas, where we make that critical decision which will affect the lives of our children and grandchildren. Do we set a foundation now so that future Goilalas will be in par with the rest of Papua New Guinea or do we allow them to dwindle to the lowest form of poverty and human existence? The Goilala Foundation is not about me and those in my Executive. It is about our children and their children because unfortunately after thirty six (36) years of political independence, Goilala has not progressed. Should we continue to wait and hope that our political leaders will deliver services to improve the livelihood of our people? Or should we as educated elites and citizens of Goilala, work with our leaders to develop our district?
To answer these two questions let us look at where Goilala is now after thirty six (36) years of political independence. I am not a political analyst to discuss this in detail nor is it proper for me to do so here. But with due respect to the Honourable Governor for Central and the Honourable Member for Goilala who are both doing their best for the district, I can say that after thirty six (36) years of political independence, the service delivery system has failed in Goilala. It is common knowledge that the current service delivery system is not working effectively and efficiently. The challenge for all our political 5 leaders and bureaucrats therefore, is to come up with practical interventions to transform the service delivery system to be efficient and effective. People of Goilala. Should we wait for another thirty six (36) years for this to happen? Before you answer this question just remember that Goilala is now at the threshold. Can we afford to wait that long?
The Goilala Foundation was established because we believe that time is running out. Our challenge as leaders and educated elites from Goilala is to “transform and empower our people so that they become a powerful force in the development of the district”. Fundamental to achieving this is a paradigm shift in the way Goilalas think and do their normal day to day business, whether you are a professional worker, student, villager or a settler on the streets of Port Moresby. We need to move forward and the time is now. Albert Einstein, the father of modern science and inventor of the Theory of Relativity said: “The definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing whilst expecting a different result”.
We can look at Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity from two perspectives:
(1) From the perspective of Goilala as a people; and
(2) From a development perspective.
As a people we need to change our mindset and have the right attitude to live our lives meaningfully and set a foundation for our future generations. We all cannot be politicians and bureaucrats but we all can do something positive for our people. The Goilala Foundation is the vehicle through which we all can help educate and change the mindset of our people.
From a development perspective we can see that our development performance over the last three decades has 6 been one of the lowest in the country and therefore, our people and our future generations will demand a very different and better outcome. We therefore, have no choice but to do things differently, if we are to realize our common dream and our own individual aspirations for a better Goilala in the future. It is up to our elected leaders and the bureaucrats to come up with development mechanisms that are profoundly different than what we have today. But as individual Goilalas we can contribute for our district and our people through the Goilala Foundation.
As stated earlier, this calls for nothing less than a major transformation in the way we think, interact with one another and do business in the future. This is a big challenge and a very high calling. In fact the challenge is as daunting today than it was thirty six (36) years ago. However, to succeed we need a major shift in the mindset of every Goilala now and in the future.
Honourable Governors, Member for Goilala, Acting Provincial Administrator, Dignitaries, Visitors and people of Goilala. Before I conclude, let me highlight the objectives of THE GOILALA FOUNDATION.
The Goilala Foundation was established with the following objectives:
1. Creating an avenue where intellectual Goilalas and likeminded people come together to develop the human resources of Goilala District in terms of intellectual capacity, empowerment, leadership skills and entrepreneurial skills;
2. Creating an avenue to generate information and disseminate for the development of Goilala District and its people; 7
3. Drawing all Goilalas together to support each other to identify sustainable and prosperous livelihoods in their communities, thus erasing the negative perception of Goilala in the minds of people in PNG and abroad;
4. Managing the website for the Goilala District (www.goilala.com) which is an initiative of the Goilala Foundation;
5. Promoting through its website, the untapped economic potential of the Goilala District in the areas of tourism, small scale mining, agriculture and human resources development and in doing so attract potential investors into the district;
6. Developing, managing and marketing of Goilala human resources and intellectual property to PNG and the outside world by assisting students with potential through scholarships and training programs;
7. Educating the Goilala people living in Port Moresby and elsewhere in PNG to participate in meaningful economic activities and live responsible lives in a global village where people from various ethnic origins live in harmony;
8. Empowering the rural Goilala population by promoting economic activities in Goilala District and minimizing outmigration to Port Moresby and other urban areas; and
9. Managing funds raised through various self help initiatives and donations.
To conclude, let me state once again that Goilala is currently at the threshold in its development and existence. We need to change now and change for the better. The desire for change is in the form of a common dream, THE GOILALA DREAM, that 8 each and every one of us shares. This is the reason why we are all gathered here today to witness the launching of THE GOILALA FOUNDATION and Goilala District website. Through the Foundation “Our dream that even after we are gone, anyone with a Goilala origin will not be judged by the background of their origin but rather by the content of their character”, will be realised throughout future generations of Goilalas in Goilala, PNG and the world at large.
Let me finish off by quoting from a German Poet, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who said: “Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men”. Another way to say this is: “Dream big dreams, only big dreams have the power to move men’s hearts and souls”.
Yes Goilalas, be proud that you are a Goilala and dream big dreams for yourself and for Goilala and together we can move Goilala and PNG forward in the years ahead.