For Carol Vale, co-founder of Game Enough? – an Indigenous Australian bush foods and game meat company based in Brisbane, Australia – the Laikim Sister pilot program has deepened her connections with Papua New Guinea (PNG) both professionally and personally.
Game Enough? creates foods and beverages that adopt the flavours of the Australian bush.
The company has long imported crocodile from PNG, however, the Laikim Sister program has opened opportunities for Vale to export to Australia’s closest neighbour.
“We’re looking to export our products particularly Kangaroo and Emu to international markets, and this program has given me the opportunities and the connections to export to PNG which I hadn’t considered previously,” said Vale.
Laikim Sister is an Australian Government supported pilot program under the PNG-Australia Partnership that connects Indigenous Australian and PNG women entrepreneurs. TDi is privileged to be the implementation partner for this great program.
The program highlights that there are deeply embedded and long-standing connections between Papua New Guinea and Australia, and when highlighted, they create opportunity for business and industry growth.
“My first week [in the program was] absolutely amazing on so many levels. For me, [I got to experience] a 75-year-old story in my family that is very much a part of my father’s bloodline – our family’s service men and women’s cultural identity came alive for me here in PNG,” said Vale.
Vale’s great uncle, Private Frank Richard Archibald, fought in the Second World War, and was killed on the Owen Stanley ranges of PNG. Before he died, he wrote home to his mother (Vale’s great grandmother) and asked that if his sister Hazel (Vale’s grandmother) had a son, to name him Richard, after him.
Vale’s grandmother did have a son (Vale’s father) and named him Richard Owen Stanley.
“To go out and visit my great uncle’s grave site, to sit there and talk to him with my father and grandmother’s photos in front of me and remember the amazing story that comes from that is just something that I will be forever grateful for,” Vale said.
Through the Laikim Sisters program, Vale met Nellie Varmari, who runs a coffee wholesale business, Central Mamina Fresh Coffee.
Varmari sells coffee throughout PNG, which she sources from the Owen Stanley ranges. Varmari, who has worked in the coffee industry for many years, built Central Mamina Fresh Coffee 18 months ago.