Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Craig Offers Helping Hand

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Craig Offers Helping Hand

Article excerpt

Byline: Rodney Stevens Rodney.Stevens@northernstar.com.au

BREAKING down near the Mai Kussa river in the remote western province of Papua New Guinea in 2008 opened Craig "Crackers" Hand's eyes to the primitive existence of the Sibidiri tribe.

The Lismore adventurer was only the sixth white person to make contact with the tribe since the 1960s, and he quickly fell in love with the people.

"On the way back I thought nobody is ever going to help these people ... I had a good time there and enjoyed sharing tales so I decided to set up a charity to help them out," Mr Hand said.

"Some kids there have got ringworm from head to toe and I asked myself a[approximately]why should they have to live like that?'"

After that life-changing first solo journey in his 4.5 m fibreglass boat, Mr Hand was determined to improve the lives of the tribes people so he founded the charity Friends of Papua New Guinea in 2009.

"When I went back for the second time to the Sibidiri tribe in 2010 with donations they couldn't believe it; I think it took them two days to get over the shock," he said. …

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