Sharing inspiring stories and building new networks in the next Pacific Connect Network Dialogue

In partnership with Community member Sarah Mak and the wonderful team at Folktale, we’re bringing together Community members and new faces from Australia and the Pacific through digital means for our next Virtual Dialogue. The half-day Storytelling and Digital Media Dialogue, to be held this Thursday 25 June, will see the Community learn the ins and outs of storytelling, develop enduring connections, and come together for new opportunities in the Pacific. It’s shaping up to be our biggest and most innovative event ever undertaken, with 108 Community members and change makers already networking online. With Covid-19 restrictions still in place, ICDP is ensuring that the much-loved opportunities to network in-person will remain, with Pacific Islander participants able to attend the Virtual Dialogue in ‘Community Hubs’ – welcoming spaces in Apia, Honiara, Port Moresby, Port Vila, Lae and Suva where they can take in the proceedings and network together. Digital participants are not left out, with virtual networking opportunities available so they, too, can share stories and connect, with the Storytelling Virtual Dialogue the first Pacific Connect event to be livestreamed on Facebook.

This Virtual Dialogue isn’t solely for creatives however, it will include technology enthusiasts, SME owners and entrepreneurs coming together to understand how storytelling and digital media can open up opportunities for Pacific Islanders and their businesses, under the Pacific Connect theme of ‘Australia-Pacific connections for the digital future’. As a platform which develops female leadership in the region, Pacific Connect is welcoming more than 70 women, or 80% of those in attendance, to the Virtual Dialogue.

Through focused and impactful sessions, participants will understand:

  • Why stories are so powerful
  • How to craft memorable and effective stories
  • The importance of stories for keeping cultures alive
  • Why it’s important to share your own story

All the while forming bonds with like-minded change makers in their respective in-country hubs, co-facilitated by our Pacific Connect leaders in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Virtual Dialogue participants will learn from the best in the business – filmmakers, storytellers and digital media experts from Australia and our wider region, during a myriad of presentation and Q&A sessions.

The event started two weeks prior to the Dialogue date via a dedicated Facebook group where participants, presenters and organisers could introduce themselves as well as sharing and viewing inspirational videos and ‘how to’ tips around storytelling.

The first of the presentations for the dialogue day will be delivered by Community member Kalolaine Fainu. Kalo is an emerging female filmmaker and is the Founding Director of Pasifika Film Fest. We were fortunate to have Kalo join us at our Women Entrepreneurs – Technology Influencers Dialogue in Brisbane last year, where she presented the Keynote Address on her film, Between Two Worlds.

With a career spanning community, political, government and entrepreneurial endeavours, Yolonde Entsch will no doubt give our participants a fantastic presentation on women’s advocacy and empowerment through storytelling.

After a brief networking break, participants will enjoy a cooking special with Wame Valentine from Pacific Island Food Revolution before engaging in a presentation and Q&A session. Karen Javati, is the next presenter who is based in Port Moresby, and has an extensive career across communications, public relations and filmmaking, with a great passion for providing the space for people to tell their own stories.

The final speaker for the afternoon will be Joanna Lester, a multi-award-winning journalist and filmmaker. Joanna specialises in the social impact of sport, in particular with rugby league and the Pacific Islands. We can’t wait for Joanna’s and all speakers’ inspiring stories and insights during what will be an action-packed afternoon!

To wrap-up the Storytelling Virtual Dialogue, facilitators will be turning to participants to hear their stories, explore project ideas and network to pair up participants’ needs with others’ offers. All in all, it promises to be a fantastic event with so much to learn and share!

ICDP will be providing live updates from all sessions on our Facebook, Twitter, Linked and Instagram channels. The Virtual Dialogue will also be live streamed via the Facebook group ‘Pacific Connect Virtual Dialogue I Storytelling & Digital Media’. To take part in the conversation don’t forget to use the hashtags #PacificConnect and #DigitalPacific.