The Orchids of P.N.G. prove sport is a gender equality tool.
In some Pacific Islands, the roles of women are still restricted to the home, and their social mobility is limited. But sport might be the solution to that, both for uplifting women, and for changing societal attitudes about them.
Recent release Power Meri is a documentary following the first Papua New Guinea rugby league team from its inception to their first ever World Cup in Australia. And with rugby league nines added to the Pacific Games schedule in January this year, some of those players are in Samoa this week.
"Screen Without Borders" to Manus.
The cinema returned to Manus Island for the first time in 40 years with the support of the Paladin group.
Local communities on Manus Island have experienced the magic of cinema for the first time since the 1970s thanks to an initiative by Australia-based not-for-profit Screens Without Borders (SWB).
Several hundred members of the community attended the screenings of Power Meri, a film that follows the first PNG national women's rugby team's journey to the 2017 World Cup which took place in remote locations such as Lugos, Rossun, and Loniu.
Prejudice, injury, tragedy: How PNG’s women are overcoming obstacles
For a country of more than eight million people, 800 languages and 500 islands, the one thing which unites Papua New Guinea is rugby league.
It is fitting, therefore, that its national team encompasses such variety.
PNG’s women’s side — the Orchids — take on Fiji at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday night and their squad includes a mix of faces with backgrounds to match.
In PNG, footy challenges beliefs about 'what a woman’s role should be'
As a woman in sport, I know exactly how it feels to be trolled on social media. It happens to a lot of us. When I saw what AFLW player Tayla Harris was going through with the comments on that photo last month, it resonated.
Unfortunately, whatever your code, being harassed by strangers online is something a lot of us can all relate to in women’s footy.
The women’s game is not a short term PR exercise.
You only have to watch Power Meri, Joanna Lester’s superb documentary detailing the Papua New Guinea women’s team’s course to the 2017 World Cup and the barriers they faced, to get an insight into the positive social impact the game can offer.
‘We are using rugby league to drive change’: Meet PNG Orchids star Amelia Kuk.
Power Meri is a new documentary that follows Papua New Guinea’s first national women’s rugby league team on their journey to the 2017 World Cup. Power Meri also sadly reveals just how rampant online abuse is in the female sporting world, unsurprising given the Tayla Harris photo incident.
How rugby league improved 'one of the worst places in the world to be a woman'.
London-born journalist Joanna Lester moved to Papua New Guinea in search of the deeper meaning of sport. She ended up making a documentary film about the country’s first national women’s rugby league team, which has its UK premiere in London tonight (Monday 8 April).
A POWERFUL new documentary film featuring the story of the Papua New Guinea women’s rugby league team is coming to Warrington Odeon this month.
With the new women’s rugby league season, featuring Warrington Wolves for the first time, set to kick-off later this month, it’s a great time to show support for the game at 6pm on Tuesday 16 April.
Eye-opening documentary on Papua New Guinea Orchids to be released.
A new film on Papua New Guinea’s women’s team is set to be released, which highlights the bridging of the gender gap in the country.
Power Meri has proved to be a great hit in the Pacific and is set to reach Australian shores for screening in March.
We can make a difference': New film captures PNG Orchids' road to World Cup.
Behind the emotion of Papua New Guinea's inclusion for the 2017 women's Rugby League World Cup, a far greater story was being told.
Power Meri has taken the Pacific by storm and is set to reach Australian shores for screening in March.
PNG women’s sport stories receive global acclaim.
A documentary film and radio story about Papua New Guinea’s first national women’s rugby league team, the Orchids, are receiving international recognition for shining a light on the social impact of women’s sport and fostering community discussion about gender-based violence and female leadership.
Power Meri: Bringing power to women’s Rugby League in Papua New Guinea
Directed by Joanna Lester and featuring the voices of several players and coaches, Power Meri showcases the power of Rugby League in bringing positive change to a country, and has recently been officially selected for the Oceania International Documentary Film Festival 2019 in Tahiti.
I never set out to make a film. But, as many filmmakers seem to discover, the story found me.
I have always been interested in the power of sport, and in 2014 I moved to Papua New Guinea to work in media and communications for the NRL-run, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-funded League Bilong Laif (League for Life) program, which uses rugby league in schools and communities to deliver key social messages.
Outstanding turn up at PNG's film festival.
Over five hundred people attended the four-day 9th annual PNG Human Rights Film Festival in Port Moresby from Thursday, 11 October until Sunday, 14 October, at the Moresby Arts Theatre.
The Public flooded the Festival for the opening night film Power Meri, a documentary on the PNG Orchids journey to the 2017 Women's Rugby League World Cup.
A powerful and inspiring film Power Meri follows the journey of the PNG Orchids from inception to the world stage. Through the voices of pioneering players from the inaugural 2017 squad, viewers will get an in-depth look at these women's humble beginning, their passion in the game of rugby league and challenges faced as female athletes in a male-dominated sport.
A new rugby league documentary film that follows the journey of the PNG Orchids inception to the world stage will premiere at the PNG Human Rights Film Festival this month, before being released at Paradise Cinema in Port Moresby and screened in communities across the country.
Game changer: Paving the way for PNG women on and off field.
The women’s game in PNG is not entirely new. Filmmaker Joanna Lester’s new documentary Power Meri (‘Powerful Women’) charts the rise of the Orchids and the origins of PNG women’s rugby league. ‘‘There was a six-team league in Port Moresby in 1976, but it ended,’’ says Lester, who interviewed some of the women who played, ‘‘because of mixed opinions about how appropriate it was for women to be playing rugby league.’’
'League has a power to give every woman a voice'
"This is more than just a game."
That was the clear message from Queensland and Papua New Guinea rugby league star Amelia Kuk after the premiere screening of a documentary in which she plays a starring role.
Power Meri is a confrontingly emotive film which documents the remarkable journey of PNG's first female rugby league side, the Orchids, in the face of sexism, poverty, doubters and their own personal demons.
Some of you may remember the Papua New Guinea Orchids who came to Australia to participate in the Women’s Rugby League World Cup last November.
In the lead up to and during the Rugby League World Cup, the journey of this phenomenal group of women was filmed with the intention of turning the footage into a film.