Kuk, who left Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a 10-year-old, has represented both her birth country and Australia in the sport. 

Unlike Australia where pathways have been developed for young girls, the island nation just north had none of this and their first national women's team only came to fruition two years ago.

It was during the PNG Orchids first international match in September 2017 that the 23-year-old stood in front of her home country wearing the green and gold.

"It was very emotional," Kuk said. 

"When the moment finally came when we were just standing there waiting for the national anthem that's when it really hit me with the PNG national anthem went up and I realised that I was actually going to war against my sisters.


This is by far one of the most emotional adventures I've ever had. Standing in front of my home crowd singing the Aussie national anthem and bursting into tears when the PNG Anthem went up. An unbelievable experience playing in front of the best crowd in the world. A great day to showcase women's footy in PNG and change the mindset of people by spreading the message of "Strongpla Man respectim Meri". Thank you to the PNG orchids for creating history and paving the pathway for the future generation of women in the country. To get a standing ovation from my people after the game really topped it off. My heart is full. I love you Papua New Guinea. I will forever carry your name with pride and do the best that I can to bring good name back to you, you will always have my heart! I will remember this historical day forever ❤️❤️ #CreatingHistory #PNGVsAUS #Jillaroos #PNGOrchids #StrongMenRespectWomen

A post shared by Amelia Kuk 🇵🇬 (@ameliakukk) on

"I am so blessed to be calling Australia and Papua New Guinea my two homes and to be able to do that was really emotional. I remember just crying when the national anthem and the flag went up but at the end of the day it was about the jersey I was wearing."

Australia would go on to win the match 42–4 with PNG's only try coming late in the match courtesy of prop Maima Wei.

However, after missing out on selection for the Jillaroos World Cup squad later that year, Kuk was recruited to the Orchids by head coach David Westley. 

As the Orchids continued their preparations for their first Women's Rugby League World Cup appearances, a crew of film markers were following the team's journey.

The documentary called 'Power Meri' reached Australian shores last month and follows how the Orchids navigated through intense sexism, lack of funding and national prejudice. 


With just two games under their belts, the Orchids took to Southern Cross Group Stadium in Sydney for their maiden World Cup match but went down 22-8 to Canada. 

They would go on to be defeated by England and New Zealand in their remaining two games.