Help George Telek in his time of need

Dear Almanackers,


Much loved Papua New Guinean musician, George Telek, has been diagnosed with mouth cancer and is in Brisbane awaiting treatment. Without this, he will never be able to sing again.


George has been the spearhead of the Pacific music scene for the last 40 years. Whilst continuing to live in his village of Raluana, near Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, Telek and his distinctive voice have been acclaimed by some of the biggest names in music on the planet. George makes fresh strong and contemporary music whilst drawing heavily on his Tolais (the people of Rabaul) customs.


Across his illustrious music career, Telek has toured festivals in Europe, USA, UK, the Pacific and Australia; has had his music released internationally including on Peter Gabriel’s Real World UK label; has won ARIA awards; been awarded Best Pop Album by The London Times and received an MBE for services to the development of local PNG music.


George has recently used his huge profile in PNG to support such media campaigns as freedom of the press, village based health and sanitation, justice for West Papua and, with songs such as ‘Akave’, the devastation of PNG’s natural rainforests.


George has been diagnosed with cancer of the mouth

Last month George travelled to WOMADelaide and the Commonwealth Games in Australia to perform the A Bit Na Ta show.


He had a large growth on his bottom lip and inside his mouth. He was taken to doctors and then to hospital in Brisbane for examination.


He has been diagnosed with a malignant and aggressive tumour on his mouth.


George is about to undergo intensive surgery to remove the cancer at Greenslope Private Hospital. The surgery will involve removing the cancerous growth, removing lymph glands in his neck and then reconstruction of his mouth. Due to the nature of the cancer it will also involve radiation therapy to remove any remaining cancerous areas.


He will be given the best medical treatment we can get for him. It is a stressful and emotional time for him and for all of us.


Because George is not an Australian citizen, these medical procedures will be expensive. Although internationally renowned, George is still a grassroots musician who does not have the funds needed to pay for this expensive treatment.


We need to raise $60,000 to cover costs of surgery, radiation therapy, reconstruction of the mouth and speech pathology costs.


George will also not be able to perform for up to six months so any money remaining will go towards supporting George and his family while he is unable to earn an income.




David Bridie of Wantok Musik has shared this with us from their crowdfunding page, please take a second to support it if you are able to here.


Listen to a beautiful track from George and David “Tatabai” here.



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  1. This is rough, George has such a wondrous voice and powerful message. I will share with my own wantoks from Vanuatu, hope the target is reached soon!

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