UQ Alumni Book Fair® donates books to PNG

The UQ Alumni Book Fair Book House volunteers, part of the Alumni Friends Society, has donated books to PNG – a demonstration of community engagement.

"Your help will be immeasurable and is very much appreciated", said John Hocknull, Director, International Relations and Engagement for the Hope Institute, a not-for-profit Association based in Papua New Guinea.

The Book Group, based at Long Pocket Campus, has just donated 70 boxes of rescued and recycled books which are bound for a Papua and New Guinea school of 800 students  - the Hope Institute.

Col Lynam (UQ Alumni Book Fair volunteer) John Hocknull (Hope Inst.)
and Del Cole (Someone Who Cares) take delivery of PNG books
(Photo Gary Lambrides)

This successful logistical outcome was a combined community effort by three charity groups, represented by Col Lynam, Book House volunteer, John Hocknull, The Hope Institute and Del Cole, Someone Who Cares. Each charity group has the combined expertise and innovation to make it happen. Del is also the Managing Director of a local bus company and arranges the warehousing and shipping logistics of all donations sent to PNG.

The books selected in the shipment are especially chosen for school aged children and some VET texts plus Bibles, Encyclopedias, National Geographic Magazines, Atlases, classroom reading novels along with Dictionaries, grammar texts and fun reading material.

The Hope Institute School is based at Pai-Tari in the Hela Province in Papua New Guinea, and provides this much needed service to a wide range of people from one of the largest language groups in the country.

The University of Queensland (UQ) has previously provided some support with books and 40 laptop computers. This enabled Hope Institute to set up a computer lab. The facilities at the Hope Institute, accommodates some 800 students in air-conditioned buildings. It is possible that in the future it could potentially be used in UQ’s outreach programs and providing valuable work experience and internships for almost every faculty in UQ.

Del Cole (Someone Who Cares) and Rachel Marape inspect a new
UQ book delivery (Photo J. Hocknull)

Donated publications suitable for pre-school through to first- and second-year University standard are most important to the young adults in this region who have been starved of an education for the past 10-35 years. Major tribal wars have taken place in this region. Hence, the need to start ESL from Prep to Grade 12.

Vocational Education and Training is a major aspect of the Hope Institute as many adults have only been educated to Grades 5 to 10 and therefore were unable to continue on to tertiary studies. They are in need of the trade training  that will help them start their own businesses in plumbing, carpentry, building etc. or perhaps running small enterprises such as shops, market stalls or growing coffee and other cash crops. 

Books are also needed for health extension, in particular, child birth both pre- and post-natal care.

Some primary school classes have also been started for the children who live within a 3km radius as the littlies can manage to walk to school and back home. 

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape and his wife, Rachael, are the major supporters and sponsors of the Hope Institute.

Colin Lynam

Anyone interested in making a ‘morning tea’ visit out to Long Pocket Campus of The University of Queensland, to inspect the volunteer work group that organizes, collects and catalogues books for the annual UQ Alumni Book Fair, is most welcome. We can accept your book donations as well. For more information see https://alumni.uq.edu.au/membership-alumni-friends-donating-books-and-giving or call (Manager) Gary Lambrides (0408 072 022 ).

PNG Prime Minister James Marape (r) and Del Cole (Photo J. Hocknull)

For more information on the Hope Institute; contact John Hocknull, 
Director International Relations and Engagement
Email: director@edoms.com.au  Phone: 0410 225 599