Unrest shapes Hulbert’s future
BY JAMIE HARO
THE 16th president of the United States of America’s 16th Abraham Lincoln once said,” the best way to predict your future is to create it.”
It is a statement indicating that the best way one should know of their future is not only to create it but design it in a way that the result will transform their life and those around them.
For 26-year old Hulbert Maleva studying political science at the University of Papua New Guinea was a never in the books for him until something inspired him.
Originally from Gaire in Central, Hulbert was one among many graduates who recently obtained a bachelor’s degree at the 68th graduation of the University of PNG.
His journey towards achieving this milestone took a turn after the student unrest in 2016.
Hulbert’s education journey started back in his home village where he attended Gaire Primary School before moving to Port Moresby to continue his studies at Gerehu before completing senior year at the Port Moresby Grammar School.
“After completing high school I didn’t receive any college offers so I opted to go into UPNG as a science student through their external mode in 2016.
“Everything went well until it took a drastic turn when the student unrest took place and it made me lose hope so I had to withdraw from external studies and go back home.
“Between 2016 and 2019 a series of events occurred in my life and one of these moments would actually change my career pathway.
“In 2017 I had the privilege of conducting electoral duties during the national general election in central which was an eye opener for me seeing how the politics worked from the community level up. This gave me motivation to reapply and come back to UPNG and study either law or political science.”
As fate would have it, Hulbert re-entered UPNG in 2019 but this time as a freshman student prepared to spend four years studying politics.
“When I entered the gates of UPNG, I knew this was the career pathway I would take once I obtained that bachelor’s degree.
“Like any other student, my four years of studies came with challenges as well as memorable moments. I guess the main challenge was tuition fees and having to meet deadlines.”
One of his memorable moments in UPNG was being given the mandate as student representative council (SRC) male vice president in his final year of studies.
“One of the highlights during my term as a student was being voted as the SRC male vice president last year.
“The UPNG SRC was revived in 2020 after the 2016 unrest. With the experience and knowledge gained, I decided to run for the SRC vice president’s post and did win.
“With only one term, the experience has humbled and placed me in a position to become more inclined to engage with everyone, listen to their opinions and be inclusive and productive as a student leader. It was a good experience.”
As an added bonus he said being part of the UPNG Central Student Union has also taught him life values in what young individuals are able to make if they put their minds together.
“Apart from my duties within the SRC, being part of the Central Students Union has taught me life lessons in the type of power every student has, to come together and develop a platform where we are able to table our concerns, create awareness and advocate. This has been very useful within the communities over the past few years.
“It has also raised the bar for students to become the next crop of leaders who can do better to represent their people in the future. Personally it has been quite a journey and I am grateful to every individual who has been with me every step of the way.”
With the leadership skills and knowledge obtained, Hulbert has a passion and desire to go into politics one day to serve his people.
Henny overcomes to get a degree finally
By PAUL MINGA
MOTHER of three grownup children and grandmother Henny Alo Tunkia, is not one to give up easily. Here recent graduation is proof of that.
Henny hails from Yaibos village, Wapanamenda District in Enga. Henny’s father Kelly Alo is a former correction service officer who had served in the 1970s. Henny started school in 1978 at Yaibos Lutheran Community School and completed Grade 6 in 1983. She passed the exams and went on to St Paul’s Lutheran High School in Wapanamenda, which is now a secondary school.
She was an above average student scoring good marks in her external assessments but her poor grades in the final exams she did not get her an offer for further studies after year 10.
Henny said she had felt devastated but believed that was not the end of her life journey. She believed in herself and that there were a million chances to turn a person from a nobody to somebody.
“You don’t need to be a prominent figure in society or a professional person or a jack of all trades to venture into something. But at times you can do something using your own natural talents or instinct,” Henny said.
Although a school dropout, she brushed aside the word “failure” used most times in her community to refer to students who could not go beyond Grade 10 or 12.
“Many students who went through the same situation as I had feel devalued or demoralised upon hearing the word “failure” and simply give up education. They either get married or get involved in doing other things thinking that they have failed and can’t do much anything further.
“But this is the mentality of unproductive and lazy person who only blames the system and does not realise that his/her real potential is yet to be unlocked if he or she thinks outside the box”, the daughter of the pioneer prison officer said.
“As a daughter of one of the first public servants from our village, l wanted to do something worthwhile to maintain my family name and that is to continue my education and find a decent job.”
With determination, a different perspective unlike that of most other school leavers and a “never say die attitude” she grabbed a first job opportunity where she passed an entry test and interview for police reservist recruitment in her home province at the age of 17.
The recent UPNG graduate in human resource management still remembers attending the three-week intensive training conducted by the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.
Henny took up her first job as police reservist or support staff after the training and performed general police duties and at the same time assisting the provincial police commander (PPC) with administrative tasks.
While on that first job and receiving a monthly allowance of K150, Henny enrolled for a short course in secretarial studies and successfully completed the course within six months.
The added qualification enabled her to do job training with the Department of Justice and Attorney General Magisterial Services to gain job experience.
While still on her job training, Henny got married in 1989. By then she was already had a permanent job with the Police Department. Her first child was born in 1990 followed by another in 1992.
Having two kids to take care of them was quite a burden and Henny left her job to become a full-time housewife. As a reward for her faithfulness in bringing up the two children and sacrificing her job for the sake of the family, her supportive husband sponsored her to take up Pre- Employment Technical Training (PETT) for a basic secretarial course at Goroka Technical College in 1996. But her poor Grade 10 marks meant she was selected as a reserve student.
Grabbing such a scarce opportunity, Henny said she committed all her time and effort into her studies and she successfully completed the course to graduate.
This time she was employed by a locally owned retail and wholesale company as personal secretary to the manager in 1997 and at the same time worked as purchasing officer for the company.
Henny said she learned from her boss so many good things regarding good work ethics and how to write job application letters, draft general letters submitting reports on time and getting to know other things that are qualities of a competent employee.
She worked for a short while and left to work as confidential secretary for another firm but that firm wound down operations nine months later.
Henny then found a new job as admin clerk with Coca-Cola Amatil and worked there from1999 to 2002 when she resigned as her family had to move after her husband’s job transfer.
Henny moved to her husband’s home province in East Sepik. She decided to commit her time and resources to do spiritual and advocacy work so she could help people facing difficulties and problems so they would find purpose, hope and meaning in life and live lives that please God.
During her voluntary work as an advocate for almost six years, she committed more of her time on bible study, fellowship, meditation and comforting or praying for the sick. Her advocacy and spiritual work at times led her into doing hospital visitations in the children’s or surgical ward in her praying for those in complications and needed healing, deliverance and restoration.
Having a heart and passion to help those in need, Henny also took upon herself counselling for broken marriages and also provided love, care and counselling to youths who got involved in illegal activities.
The commitment and sacrifice made by Henny of her humanitarian work was rewarded by God in her being offered a job.
While working, Henny still continues her Good Samaritan work – providing food and accommodation to the sick and needy who at times were flown into Boram Hospital from remote places like Teleformin and Frieda River.
Henny also went to an extent in opening up her family home to accommodate the unfortunate young people from the Min areas to lodge so they could continue their education in town. Her family provided accommodation to six male and two female students from the Min area.
Henny also highlighted that she helped many street preachers with food and money to continue their good work in preaching the gospel to believers and unbelievers.
But while that good work was going on, Henny still had her sights on a higher academic achievement.
Her employer, the Department of Works and Highways recommended her to take up a degree programme at UPNG. That enabled the Grade 10 dropout from Yaibos village who never imagined attending the country’s premier institution, to enroll for the Bachelor in Business Management majoring in human resource management.
She successfully completed the course to graduate with a degree on April 24, 2023.