The pic that should warm all our hearts
A merry Christmas from 1967

When all our roads led to ASOPA

Bill Brown

I saw an advertisement for Cadet Patrol Officers for Papua and New Guinea in the newspaper. I had no idea what New Guinea would be like, or what the job would entail. I thought that if I could get the job I would see the country for six months, and then I would move on.

The Director of District Services, Bert Jones and two Commonwealth Public Servants interviewed me. Two months passed, and I had just about given up, when a letter arrived from the Secretary for External Territories, Canberra. I had been selected. If I accepted, I would have to undertake a five months course. The commencing salary would be Four Hundred and Eight Pounds ($806) a year for adults, but, because I was under twenty-one years of age, I would be paid Three Hundred Pounds ($600).

On the appointed day, 18 July 1949, I made my way to Middle Head to the Australian School of Pacific Administration. That was a journey. From the family home at Coogee, I could catch a bus or tram to the city, and then change to another bus to cross the Harbour Bridge to Mosman. The final part of the journey was by a non-government bus to the Army establishment at the end of Middle Head.

The complete first chapter from Bill Brown’s New Guinea memoir can be read here.

Download bill_brown.pdf

Bill Brown rose steadily through the ranks in PNG's Department of District Administration and was appointed as District Commissioner in Bougainville at a particularly exacting period in the island's affairs. In retirement he lives at Bilgola Beach in Sydney.


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