Memories of Port Moresby theatre
Hal Holman OL, OAM – honoured by Australia, now by Papua New Guinea

PNG Independence Day - 16 September

Flag & Group

It’s Papua New Guinea Independence Day tomorrow – yes, 33 years since that splendid flag was raised (as Nancy Johnston reminds me, first flown in 1971) over cities and outstations in the newly independent nation.

Arguments still rage about whether Independence came too early – a view I never favoured even before Independence. For all her faults – and point me to the perfect nation state, please – PNG has demonstrated a remarkable propensity to stick together. It wasn’t easy to gather 800 tribes under the one flag and hasn’t been easy to maintain that unity. PNG remains probably the world’s most diverse democracy – and that’s a major claim to fame.

Meanwhile, the Australian Government has this year brokered a new and welcome affiliation with the PNG Government while, coincidentally, the PNG Association of Australia is moving to equip itself to strengthen civil relationships between the two countries. [See PNGAA under ASOPA PEOPLE EXTRA at left for a discussion paper on this]

Outgoing Governor-General and former Army chief in PNG, Major-General Michael Jeffery, has agreed to continue as a Patron of the PNGAA and says he looks forward to playing a more active role in its affairs in the future.

In a recent discussion I had with him, Maj Gen Jeffery commented that the changes being proposed to give the PNGAA a greater role in strengthening the Australia-PNG relationship are “excellent”. He believes that the PNGAA should be taking a more active role in building the relationship and he says he's willing to work in any way he can to assist this goal.

Happy birthday, Papua New Guinea.


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James Hasuma

PNG is an island of gold floating on an ocean of oil. Our democracy is based on justice and egalitarianism with a diverse cultural legacy. We have only 7 million inhabitants yet we are still underdeveloped at our 38th birthday. Why?

I hope the spirit of our motherland PNG will take its natural course to ensure fairness to every inhabitants of our beautiful country.

Do not dream of treasure we can't have
Treasure only what we have and had always
Love your country, our home
PNG is always paradise
Happy political independence!

James Justin Hasuma (Wapux Nyce)

PNG, our jungle justice will still prevails. I love my beautiful country, Papua New Guinea

Happy 38th anniversary!


I thought it was an honest bit of writing. Very fair as well. Like many developing countries, PNG still has a long way to go but I wouldn't want to be anywhere in the world. Its home!

Paul Silel

We are a rich nation, yet we are very poor. Why?

Bev Floyd

Independence was in 1975 I believe.

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