What does Hiri mean?
It is a word associated with traditional trading voyages in Papua New Guinea.
The hiri trading society — traditional trade voyages that formed a key part of the culture of the Motu people of Papua New Guinea (PNG), is an exciting component of a larger story that joins together New Guinea and Australia. It is part of a maritime social network that’s been coined “The Coral Sea Cultural Interaction Sphere”, linking Southeast Asia and PNG with the Torres Strait Islands and Australia’s northern mainland. See here for more information.
Why choose that name?
These trading voyages were an absolute necessity for villages in Papua New Guinea, where they would travel to other parts of the country to bring back important resources. This voyage is how we see our coral conservation activities - It embodies our mission to bring coral back to the communities that need them most.
A profit for purpose company with a mission to empower communities and benefit coral reefs around the world.
Hiri is a new and innovative company with a mission to bring coral conservation to as many people as possible, spread coral and marine awareness, and to engage with communities.
There is a significant need for coral conservation as reefs are disappearing twice as fast as the rainforest. Currently, we have lost
20% and we will lose another 40% if we don't act now. (WWF, 2019) Many threats to coral reefs are caused by humans. These threats include overfishing and destructive fishing practices and climate change.
Many villages depend on coral for their survival, from fishing to a significant reliance on tourism. Hiri exists to build sustainable rural villages and communities who can build coral gardens to enhance their livelihood. Our mission is to create sustainable ecosystems (We call them Coral Ambassador Villages) that know the importance of coral and can care for their coral reefs.
We have worked with villages in Papua New Guinea and have established a coral nursery with over 500 fragments. By 2020, we want to plant 10,000 fragments in and around the Pacific and work with over 20 villages. We have developed our internship programs which bring interested individuals to the heart of a vibrant rural community to experience not only the local culture but also take part in delivering the education programs. Everyone gets to learn coral planting! How exciting! Here is more information.
Recognition & Community Participation
Team Hiri pitch the rural community coral reef restoration education program at the United Nations
In February 2019, we were invited by the United Nations in Papua New Guinea to present our education program and the success we have had in communities so far. We received great feedback and were invited to many of their own communities.
Hiri is featured on Bond University's News Page
Hiri's co-founders Debora Kocak and Igo Gari are featured on the website, recognised for their efforts to save the world’s coral reefs. The article was published after the team secured a grant from the Mohammed Bin Zayed Conservation Fund in the Middle East. See the article here.
Team Hiri is crowned a winner of the National World's Challenge Challenge UN Competition
In May, Hiri presented at the Bond University finals of the World's Challenge Challenge and succeeded, scoring a chance to pitch coral restoration education programs on a global stage. The team presented in London Ontario at Western University. Catch up on what happened here.
Hiri moves on to BootCamp Pitch @ Palace in Perth October 2019
The companies were chosen from a field of 17 that presented at entrepreneurship contest Pitch@Palace Australia 3.0 On Tour Gold Coast, held at Bond University 19/7/19. Hiri was to go on to Pitch@Palace Australia 3.0 Boot Camp, to be held in Perth in October. We will be joined by Suelo Tech, Freddy Bear Foundation, GoNap, Law on Earth, ModnPods, SensaWeb, and The Nice Coffee Co. See the article here.
Hiri presents innovative coral restoration process at the Australian Coral Reef Society 2019 Conference
ACRS conferences are held annualy, bringing together more than 300 coral reef scientists, managers, policy makers and stakeholders from all around Australia. Hiri was invited to share its story and success working in rural communities.