- Aaron Kearney / ABC Radio
This confronting but ultimately uplifting piece counts down the hours before Papua New Guinea’s historic first women’s rugby league international, between the PNG Orchids and Australian Jillaroos. “Orchids Bloom” gives an international platform to the pioneering women at the centre of this momentous social and sporting change, occurring in one of the toughest places on earth to be a woman. It records the emotional moment children start chanting the names of female sports heroes and shares the stories of sexual and gender violence that almost made this moment impossible. “Orchids Bloom”, produced in challenging physical and technological conditions, is the result of a long-time commitment by Aaron Kearney to the people of Papua New Guinea, especially those involved in women’s sport - allowing for raw, honest and intimate insights. With the deeply personal and brutally honest accounts of those involved leading the narrative; social, cultural and political context is woven into this sports story to give a true sense of the magnitude of the events unfolding.