The statistical nonsense coming out of PNG
Sitrong bilong waitpela misis

New Tasmanian Premier is a Goroka girl


Laragid-story LARA GIDDINGS, the new and first woman Premier of Tasmania, is the daughter of Rick Giddings, well-liked Kiap and long-serving District Magistrate in Goroka and Kundiawa.

Lara was born in Goroka in 1972 and grew up there. Later Rick stayed on in Kundiawa, sending his wife and family off to Tassy for the kids' high school years.

He remained in PNG for many years as the Senior Magistrate, serving until the late eighties, as I recall.

Rick is one of the best: a straight shooter; very competent; liked by all. His wife was a Welfare Officer in Goroka.

Rick was a big supporter of the JK McCarthy Museum in Goroka and used to spend weekends travelling from Kundiawa in a battered little blue car to work in the museum, reconditioning articles and organising displays, leaving early Monday to bump and rattle his way back to Simbu siti.

I have a feeling, but may be quite wrong, that The Australian newspaper’s Tasmania correspondent, Mathew Denholm, may well be the son of the sometime headmaster of Goroka International School, who was around in Rick's Goroka years.

Alongside Rick in Kundiawa for many years after independence was Kiap John Corrigan, who served there until the late eighties, both men putting in about 15 years each after the great abandon ship of senior admin men in 1974-75.

Family1 Those who are so keen to assemble lists of ex-Kiaps and others should make one of all those who stayed on for many years to the great benefit of the struggling ex-colony.

Graham Tuck, ex-kiap and LLG specialist, is still there although he hasn’t been paid yet for most of last year!

Photo: Lara Giddings, left, with her family: sister Sonya de Lacey, brother-in-law Darren de Lacey, mum Lynn Giddings, nephew Nicholas de Lacey, niece Eleanor de Lacey and dad Rick Giddings
[Picture - Sam Rosewarne, Hobart Mercury]


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Spencer Buno Hosapa

Congratulations Lara! (Is she still premier?). Used to hear a lot about your father from my grandfather.

Grandfather has these fond memories, especially about an occasion where 'Masta Giddings' booted him on the buttocks.

I would really love to get in touch with your father. He demarcated my clan's customary land, a map of which is in my possession.

Lara Giddings is no longer premier of Tasmania. I hope she gets in touch with you - KJ

Mathias Kin

The Giddings moved to Kundiawa after Goroka so I could call her Ambai Lara! Congratulations Lara.

Rex Kokove

Australians build PNG from nothing, I wish they were still here. I still remember the Beauty of Goroka in late 70s and early 80s during my childhood days. Today it has completely lost its glory.

Dave Baxter

Well the name sounded familiar, what a small world it is sometimes.

I went to school with you back in 1980-81. Congratulations on your achievements in life mate.

Nelis Tumae

Good on you, nice to hear and well done.

I am from Goroka and was in Goroka High school. I had a teacher from Western Australia at Siokiei primary school. His name was Mr Summers.

It would be neat to get in touch with his family.

Julia Munster

Congratulations Lara! Sonya is right. Ol brata na susa can be proud of this meri bilong Goroka! And congratulations to your family, too.

My good friend Wendy Cooper (nee Bone) and I often comment on the influence of our childhood in Goroka on our subsequent life choices. Best wishes for your premiership from all your wantoks.

Reginald Renagi

Congratulations to susa Lara Giddings for being Tasmania's first woman Premier. She has put Goroka and PNG on the map.

Hope she is an inspiration and a mentor figure to PNG women who aspire to the leadership calling to be in high public office in future.

Ambai Waigl

Congratulations, susa Lara! You are an inspiration to upcoming PNG women leaders. I am proud of you that you do not forget your roots.

Nichson I Piakal

Yes, tru tru. Wanbel stap lo yu kisim dispela het wok. Bai Bikman ken blessim yu na family bilong yu, Lara Giddings.

Lydia Kailap

I also congratulate Lara; but did not make the previous post!

Lydia Iduhung

Congratulations to meri Goroka.

All the best in the coming year, ambai Lara.

David Ulg Ketepa

Congratulations and all the best in her job!

Sonya de Lacey

Monday 25 January was a wonderful day when we as a family witnessed Lara being sworn in as Tasmania’s first female Premier.

Her ‘roots’ were not forgotten, as she shared during her first press conference that she was born in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Lara also acknowledged the presence of her old swimming coach, John Vandenberg (former kiap in the Eastern Highlands Province), who was in the audience.

For those of you who knew our parents, Lynn and Rick, you will understand where Lara has inherited the traits of dedication, integrity, fairness and justice from.

Lara has an enormous task ahead of her, but she will give 100% to her new role and we trust Tasmania will be a better place for her Premiership.

I believe ol brata na susa can be proud of this meri bilong Goroka!

Joe Sine

Well done, Lara. I still remember your dad's residence in Kundiawa, opposite Kundiawa International School.

Best wishes in the years to come.

Phil Fitzpatrick

Your celebrity correspondent is right, there were a lot of kiaps and other public servants who stayed on in PNG and contributed greatly to the country.

It would be very interesting to calculate the numbers. A lot of them also married into the country and became citizens.

There are others, no names no pack drill, who can't seem to stay away and trek up there incessantly.

Then there is the PNG diaspora in places like Cairns and Townsville. And of course those others who are not there but can't get the place out of their minds.

PNG has got a lot of supporters. I wonder if Goroka and Hobart would make good twinned cities?

Peter Kranz

Lara was first elected to parliament in the 1996 election in the electorate of Lyons as the youngest woman elected to an Australian Parliament at the age of 23 years.

Go lady!

Maybe she can become a role model for aspiring PNG female candidates for Parliament.

Ambai Waigl - are you listening?

Jeffrey Febi

Congratulations Susa!

From a proud brother from EHP.

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