The Pacific Fashion Festival was held last Saturday at Cloudland, Brisbane City and we made our debut with the Kalem – Warrior Woman clothing and accessories.
Here are some pictures I would like to share. I hope you like them. The arrangement and preparations took me nearly three years and went across a few countries with sampling, but when it all came together, the show was for 30 minutes and we were on stage for maybe 3-5 minutes. It was worth it. I was fortunate one designer could not make the show and I showed extra garments on stage.
If you are interested in our clothing and accessories range, contact email@example.com
I have been writing less and creating art more this year. I’d like to share with you some of my projects I have been working on, apart from my recent art exhibition at the Redland Performing Art Centre (September).
With the art I have been producing, I have launched a new fashion and accessories label called Kalem Warrior Woman. Kalem is my christian name, sometimes used as my middle name. The “warrior woman” part is another story, please read on.
Why fashion label you may ask? Well, back in PNG I had a clothing business called Kalem Kollection for over 20 years before we moved to Australia. I wanted to create something Papua New Guinean and also carry on my passion to promote and protect our cultural designs and cultural heritage. The creative turned into business and before I knew it, I was making corporate wear. When we left PNG, I was unable to pursue this work due to high costs of travel. Now we are, almost 15 years later.
My beautiful niece Marcelle Bucher has graciously modelled in this photoshoot with her aunty. I’m really grateful to her. She has made it so easy for me, and helped show Kalem very well. This is a selection of clothes and accessories that will go into the Pacific Fashion Festival tomorrow in Cloudlands, Brisbane from 1-4pm. Here is a brief history of my brand name Kalem and why our tag line is the Warrior Woman. This blurb was published by the Pacific Fashion Festival.
Pacific Fashion Festival is excited to announce the fierce label ‘Kalem – Warrior Woman’ by Joycelin Kauc Leahy from Papua New Guinea. The label has a deep sense of history and meaning that cannot be overlooked. In the early 1900’s Joycelin’s great-grandmother and her sister fought in court for their land after their father was chased out across the Huon from Salamaua during a tribal fight. In a man’s world, the daughters of their father were regarded as foreigners in their own land because their father was gone. The two sisters battled in court against local landowners, the missionary and colonial government and won! They won not only for themselves but for their people who were eventually settled on a patch called Ambesi.
Eventually, Joycelin’s mother inherited this battle by birth and had to also endure similar battles for her land rights as a woman over the land of which she overcame with victory. It was through her mothers and great grandmothers battles that Joycelin was given the opportunity of a good life, education and a loving upbringing because they were women that fostered her art and talent. She now dedicates her label to her fierce bloodline of women as “warrior women” in the literal sense. All artwork on Kalem textiles is influenced by cultural motifs from Papua New Guinea, created from what Joycelin paints and sometimes partnership work created with PNG artist and former Kalem designer, (Keia Daure). Joycelin is known for her use of watercolour and natural pigments she creates from plants. Joycelin believes in the deeper essence of preserving her culture, stories and history of her people with her art, fashion and designs.
If you wish to purchase any of our dresses, you can do so on Paypal by contacting me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Sinclair OBE, recorder of PNG’s colonial history, dies at 89
Story by Keith Jackson
Noosa – James (Jim) Sinclair OBE, 89, the famed post-war kiap and prolific author of Papua New Guinea’s history, especially that of colonial times since World War II, died just after midnight yesterday at Sunshine Coast University Hospital in Queensland.
He had contracted a severe form of influenza which was subsequently compounded by pneumonia and other complications.
James Patrick Sinclair was born in Dubbo, NSW, on 18 April 1928. He attended Dubbo High School, Sydney Grammar School and the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA) in Sydney.
In November 1947, he joined the Department of District Services and Native Affairs in the Administration of what was then the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.
After attending an orientation course at ASOPA he travelled to PNG in August 1948 as a cadet patrol officer and served on many outposts as he progressed through the field officer ranks.
Between 1969 and 1974, he was the last Australian district commissioner presiding over what is now Eastern Highlands Province.
Sinclair conducted extensive exploratory and pacification patrols in Morobe and the Southern Highlands, opening the Koroba station in 1955, the Lake Kopiago base camp in 1956 and exploring then uncontrolled areas as far as the Strickland River.
In 1959 he married Janece (Jan) Marie McGrath and they had three children. In an important way, Sinclair owed his later career as a successful author to Jan.
Also in 1959, he was appointed as officer in charge of the Wau sub-district, later serving in similar roles in Finschhafen and Lae before moving to the Eastern Highlands in 1968 as district commissioner.
Sinclair retired in 1975 around the time Papua New Guinea’s independence and embarked on his second career as a prolific recorder of PNG history, becoming a full-time author.
His first book, ‘Behind the Ranges’¸ had been published in 1966 and told of his exploratory work in Morobe and the Southern Highlands. His publishing oeuvre ultimately came to comprise nearly 40 books (see bibliography below).
Sinclair was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1992, an honorary doctorate from the Australian National University in 1999 and a Companion in the Order of the Star of Melanesia in 2008.
“Jim Sinclair was our leader….” – still from the 1958 documentary film, ‘New Guinea Patrol’.
“We were so fortunate to have Jim Sinclair among us,” said Peter Salmon, publisher of the Ex Kiap website.
Fellow kiap turned author Phil Fitzpatrick said: “Jim acted as a kind of focus point for kiaps. He was a quiet, gentle man; very humble”.
“Jim was one of nature’s gentlemen,” Peter Brindley, who served under him in the Eastern Highlands in 1970, told the Ex Kiap website. “The world is a lesser place now.”
“One of the old school,” said Ross Johnson. “His passing represents the end of an era. “Rest in peace, my friend, bihain bi mi lukim yu.”
Long time PNG resident Rob Parer CMG OBE observed that “Jim was certainly PNG’s man of letters. He wrote such complete accounts of so many diverse subjects. Thousands of pages.”
And Parer disclosed how close Papua New Guinea and Australia had come to being denied Sinclair’s chronicles. “A short time after she married him, Jan said she saw him tearing up a huge pile of sheets of paper held together by long bolts,” Parer said.
“When she asked him what he was doing, Jim said ‘just some stuff I’ve written and everyone in New Guinea writes stuff.’
“Jan stopped him, and the rest is history,” Parer added.
Behind the Ranges: Patrolling in New Guinea, Melbourne University Press, 1966.
The Outside Man: Jack Hides of Papua, Lansdowne Press, Melbourne, 1969 (reprinted 1971)
Sepik Pilot: Wing Commander Bobby Gibbes DSO, DFC and Bar, Lansdowne Press, Melbourne, 1971 (reprinted 1977)
The Highlanders, Jacaranda Press, Brisbane, 1973 (reprinted 1980)
Wigmen of Papua, Jacaranda Press, Brisbane, 1973
Faces of New Guinea, Jacaranda Press, Brisbane, 1973
The Arts of Papua New Guinea, Robert Brown & Associates, Port Moresby, 1977.
Colourful Papua New Guinea, Robert Brown & Associates, Port Moresby, 1977
Wings of Gold: How the Aeroplane Developed New Guinea, Pacific Publications, Sydney, 1978 (reprinted 1983)
Up From South, by Jack O’Neill with notes and background by James Sinclair. Oxford University Press, 1979
Cape York to Coolangatta, Jacaranda Press, Brisbane, 1981
Kiap: Australia’s Patrol Officers in Papua New Guinea, Pacific Publications, Sydney, 1981 (reprinted 1983
South Pacific Brewery, Robert Brown & Associates, Bathurst, 1983
Uniting a Nation: The Telecommunication and Postal Services of Papua New Guinea, Oxford University Press, Sydney, 1984
Papua New Guinea: The First 100 Years, Robert Brown & Associates, Bathurst, 1985 (reprinted 1989)
Balus: The Aeroplane in Papua New Guinea. Vol One: The Early Years, Robert Brown & Associates, Bathurst, 1986
Balus: The Aeroplane in Papua New Guinea. Vol Two: The Rise of Talair, Robert Brown & Associates, Bathurst, 1988
Balus: The Aeroplane in Papua New Guiea. Vol Three: Wings of a Nation, Robert Brown& Associates, Bathurst, 1990
Last Frontiers: The Explorations of Ivan Champion of Papua, Pacific Press, Gold Coast, 1988
To Find a Path: The Life and Times of the Royal Pacific Islands Regiment. Vol One:
A hot day in Brisbane can be uncomfortable and irritating, but for me, it was an opportunity to see who was visiting the blue waterhole at Bellbowrie. When I got closer, two days ago, I hit a bird jackpot. Ten-twelve birds of four species had come to drink. Photos are ordinary because I had a short lens and had to go behind the tree. And when the birds had drunk and started to fly away, my feathered son caught me behind the tree so he lingered on to say hello.
My afternoon walk passes this tree and many others in Bellbowrie, Brisbane. Yesterday, I was drawn by its brush petals and the low humming of the bees so I entered the lower leaves and stood undercover. The tree is called cadaga or cadaghi gum which the Brisbane City Council has declared a weed. The exhilarating thing about the moment was, the bees were humming all around me without attacking me and enjoying the sweet nectar. Above me the birds were enjoying the same sweetness and singing on top of their voices. I don’t know why we need to cut these trees when so much is dependant on them. These photos were taken by my iPhone, so I hope the quality is enough for you to see the bees.
Music and words from Iyeoka Okoawo, Boston-based Nigerian-American poet and performer. Daughter of Nigerian-American born parents who both hold Doctorate degrees from Boston University, Iyeoka was a practicing pharmacist before launching her career as a poet, singer, activist and educator. Read more
Jenny Campbell my poet friend recently visited me and took pictures of the birds that live on our property. These were the birds present. We have others including Kookaburra, Pheasant Coucal, crows, wild ducks, pigeons, butcher birds, and other parrots. Jenny referred to the birds as “Joyce’s birds”, so I’m agreeing with her and calling them mine.
Some of you know Kaz the lorikeet who is pictured here with his partner and Zack the magpie who grew up with us is also in the photos. Amongst the birds are two silky roosters (black one pictured above and the white below) and our beloved hen “Meri Buka”, who has survived many challenges, and is still well and healthy and laying daily.