Pacific Islands Trade & Invest 2016 Goroka Bilum Festival, Goroka

Image: Pacific Islands Trade & Invest
From: 14/09/16 - 10:00 am
To: 15/09/16 - 8:00 pm
Location: Bird of Paradise Hotel, Airport Road, Goroka District, Papua New Guinea

The annual Pacific Islands Trade & Invest Goroka Bilum Festival will be held at the Bird of Paradise Hotel in Goroka, Papua New Guinea on 14 and 15 September 2016.

Launched in 2009 by the Managing Director of Jaukae Bilum Products and founder of the Goroka Bilum Weavers Cooperative, Florence Jaukae Kamel, the Festival showcases the creative arts of Papua New Guinea (PNG) to global markets. It was also the first major cultural event in PNG dedicated solely to female artisans.

Now in it’s eighth year, the Festival which is sponsored by Pacific Islands Trade & Invest has grown into a significant cultural event, both domestically and internationally.

On the domestic front, the event has become a focal point for women weavers outside the immediate Highland area with three bilum producing groups from neighbouring island and coastal provinces planning to travel to Goroka to participate in the 2016 Bilum Festival.

Internationally, the Festival has attracted growing interest from fashion designers, retailers and stores. As an example, in 2014, Australian fashion and textile designer, Caroline Sherman, attended the Festival which resulted in the launch of AmongEquals – a social enterprise aimed at empowering women bilum weavers in the Highlands of PNG.

“We believe the Goroka Bilum Festival is important ­not only in terms of providing international exposure, profile and sales for bilum weavers, but also in protecting the traditional knowledge of indigenous communities in PNG and empowering women to participate in the formal economy,” said Creative Arts Manager for Pacific Islands Trade & Invest’s Sydney office, Ruth Choulai.

This year, for the first time in the history of the Festival, all of the bilum bags entered into the competition will be available for sale on Thursday 15 September.

Event details:
Venue: Bird of Paradise Hotel, Airport Road, Goroka District
Wednesday 14 September 2016: Presentation of Competition Bilum Bags (10am-1pm – limited space)
Thursday 15 September 2016: Presentation of the Pacific Islands Trade & Invest Bilum Bag Competition & Bilum Festival wall sales (10am-8pm – free and open entry) 

For further information about the Festival visit:


For further information about PT&I’s Creative Arts Programme contact:

Ruth Choulai, Creative Arts Manager

Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (Sydney)


Phone: +61 2 9290 2133