Everyday People PNG: Isaac Liri

Hi everyone, my name is Isaac Liri, and I come from a mixed parentage of Gulf Province, Autonomous Region of Bougainville and East Sepik.

I grew up in Port Moresby but spent some time also growing up in Bougainville and for my formative years in school, I spent in the city.

After secondary school I got selected to study PNG Studies in International Relations at the Divine Word University graduating with a degree in International Relations.

It was difficult securing employment with government outfits like the Foreign Affairs after university, this led me to venture into the media industry, and this was the beginning of my media career.

My father, Martin Liri, was a sports writer and veteran PNG journalist and I wanted to follow his footstep as I looked to him as a role model in what he did as a writer.

Writing is something I found to be an easier platform for me to connect with as I have adapted it as a passion. Back in high school, I would dive into writing short stories and essays and all types of creative writing that would strike an interest to my world of literature.

My love for writing landed me jobs starting with daily newspaper companies like the Wantok Niuspepa, where I was fortunate to have writers like Anna Solomon, author of the Bougainville crisis experience, Veronica Hatutasi in my journey and the National newspaper.

I started another chapter of my career doing radio journalism with FM100 and it was a privilege being mentored by great radio personalities like Late Roger Hau’ofa and Late Patrick Patu.

I moved to Post Courier’s office in Goroka spending three years there and excelling my position from Acting Bureau Manager to Chief Bureau Manager, a challenging experience but rewarding overall.

My time in Goroka had me travel to remote districts of Eastern Highlands and Chimbu provinces, listening to the people’s stories and writing about them, stories much related to sensitive matters in SARV and the like.

These experiences can be disturbing to write about as a journalist but at the end of the day, we disseminate the information bearing in mind to be ethical while also creating room for more public discussion.

I am back in the city working for a radio company and at the age of 31, I have experienced much in my 8-year career in media and I owe this to working hard, being critical and ethical in media to help avoid the issue of transparency and accountability.

I encourage anyone in whatever field that you pursue or are in, to work hard, be critical and ethical and always be a team player and above all… put God first in all you do.

Carol Kidu