Gary ‘GT’ Bustin has a proven track record of making things happen in PNG. He contributed to the passing of The Family Protection Act 2013 and The Lukautim Pikini (Child Welfare) Act 2015, and his involvement in ‘Senisim Pasin’ saw it adopted as part of PNG’s Government’s National Strategy for Responsible and Sustainable Development.

GT says: “Despite its challenges as a developing nation, PNG is one of the most fascinating and culturally diverse places on earth. I have been sharing PNG with international friends and donors for the last twenty years and now with Tribal Ventures we have the ability to safely offer unique experiences across the country to travellers from around the world.”

One of the key aspects of Tribal Ventures is to ensure the beauty, culture and unique diversity of the country is maintained and enhanced. Its potential value to Australian travellers seeking a true frontier cannot be overstated due to its close proximity. Tribal ventures yet untapped knowledge and experiences present great opportunities for collaboration for organisations looking to partner and grow expertise in the region.

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Samina Yip (who from last week has become the project coordinator for “Senisim Pasin”) estimates that of the seven million people, only 20 percent have been ‘urbanised’.  In this context ‘urbanised’ means the nearest bank or hospital might be six hours drive away. Access to medicine, including basics such as anti malarials, is often impossible.

The Enga province, in the remote highlands of New Guinea, has a population 430,000 people. It’s where a lot of sorcery related violence still exists with reports of 7 to 10 cases per week in 2016.

“The campaign was officially launched in December 2016. At the end of the film the villagers get up, ask questions and comment about how the film affects them. Ninty of the people who comment are men and most of them are standing up saying ‘We just didn’t know. We are now re-evaluating the way we view  women’.  They watch the film and realise that something is wrong with past behaviors,” Sam explained.

“Between December and May 2017, there has been only one case of sorcery related violence in Enga.”

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One down from projections of 150 to 200. A massive impact from a mobile movie experience.

“Senisim Pasin” is about education awareness. Education for the local population and awareness for the rest of the world.

But importantly for the travel industry is “Tribal Ventures”;  specially designed philanthro-tourism opportunities for select travellers, established through partnership with PNG’s Department of Tourism Arts & Culture. It goes hand-in-hand as a great way to bring people to the country, educate them, and continue raising funds to pour back into local education and awareness.

“The diving, fishing, and surfing is world class .There are cultural shows, World War II relics and adventures that can only be experienced in PNG,” GT said.

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In a time and place where the “travel tribes” are looking for something unique, raw and real,  ask yourself this; who do you know who has been to PNG?

Stigma generated  by the media means Australians miss out on unique adventures on their doorstep.  With Tribal Ventures, first movers from the tourism industry will unlock opportunities overlooked for decades including opportunities for  helicopter rides to villages where guests dress up in traditional ceremonial outfits,  participate in a tribal dance and  live in village huts on a white sandy beach.

There is also a visit to a traditional salt maker in his village and learn the historical importance of salt trade a get your hands dirty.

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The Tribal Ventures structure and ethos based around  bringing people on adventures and ensuring the money flows back into the right parts of the community. By bringing Westerners to see the real and very raw culture of PNG also increases the chances of education and awareness.

Tribal Ventures has no partners in the local region and are currently investigating opportunities to but with like minded organisations .

Senisim Pasin touches on a very dark subject but maintains focus on the beauty of the people and the country. There are some horrible gut wrenching stories, but there is no violence. It’s a story of hope and dreams.

The question is, who in the Australian travel industry is going to get on board?

Over 10,500 people have seen the documentary and  75 percent have signed up to support change. Senisim Pasin aims for a minimum of 9,000 screenings in mobile theatres around PNG over the next three years. To fund the screenings, Tribal is conducting partner screenings in the US and Australia, with audiences invited to sponsor screenings in the PNG community.

Each PNG screening costs around US$1000. Tribal is aiming for 32 screenings of Senisim Pasin here in Australia.