The Future Starts Today
– A Violence Free PNG Starts with Me.
By Lucas Kiak
Rosie Batty recently visited Papua New Guinea, and took time out to speak to students at the University of Papua New Guinea and at the PNG University of Technology. In sharing her story she moved people but also brought to light the challenge of violence, not just being a challenge Papua New Guinean’s faced, but one the world faces right now. The Voice Inc. was privileged to support Femeli PNG in her visits to two of our partner institutions.
Here Lucas Kiak, a Level 3 – Nation Builder in our Leadership Development Program at the PNG University of Technology, gave his thoughts on the challenge, and his pledge to move forward, in his closing speech to Rosie Batty.
On behalf of the the audience, sponsors and students, I would like to take this time to thank Rosie Batty for the wonderful inspirational presentation this afternoon.
You know, coming from a Melanesian Culture with the patrimonial practices, family and sexual violence is taken to be a cultural norm. We don’t always talk about it, you don’t always know about it, but just like you, we are all victims of violence one way or another.
Many a times our own advocacy of the matter has been suppressed by the cultural limitations of the norm and despite our passion and energy for change, as young energetic people we find it easier to be like everyone else and blend in then to speak out for what we believe is right. But I take this time to salute you and other survivors for letting your own light to shine. I believe deep down inside that as you let your own light shine you are unconsciously giving us permission to do the same and as you are liberated from your own fears your presence in the frontier of this battle liberates us all.
As a young man I believe that there is a PNG free from family violence and sexual harassment. A PNG where my sons and daughters carry themselves and walk with dignity and respect for each other. I am convinced and I say this with the utmost conviction that my vision for a violence free PNG is not in the future, not in 10-years time, not in 2050, not tomorrow but today. I believe that we can create this violence free PNG in the everyday things that we do in our lives. Because the future that I believe in is a process its a journey and that it starts today. The future starts today.
I know it’s a lonely road to fight this battle and that it’s scary at times, but we don’t need a spotlight. We just have to shine from within.
In closing, sometimes we are brought to troubled waters not to be drowned but rather to be cleansed because although we are not all raised in a good family, we are all given the opportunity to create an even better one.