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113 posts from July 2013

A letter to Dear Mister Prime Minister….



To our friends in Australia; you have the advantage of a good education and knowledge of world politics and conventions to help you make informed ethical decisions according to your world view.

To me the ethics of a processing centre in Manus and its justification by the Australian and Papua New Guinea governments is secondary compared to the blatant disregard to courtesy and civility that should have been extended to a sovereign and independent nation whose cultural and socio-economic makeup is so very complicated and counter cultural to the Western worlds' understanding.

We cannot be measured by the same standards because we are just not comparable at that level; we have our issues that we have to deal with in order to be accepted by the global in-crowd.

Continue reading "A letter to Dear Mister Prime Minister…." »

Call me hot head … the science of stepping on toes


I HAVE JUST BEEN HONOURED, by persons who will go unmentioned, with the Hot Head Medal - a scintillating award for my views on the Kevin Rudd-sponsored asylum deal. Such are the perils of commentary.

I already had the hunch that I stepped on too many giant toes in the debate and I was expecting direct fire much earlier but it came indirectly and a bit late in a different scene. Nevertheless it came.

Whether my views on the issue are representative of my silent fellow Papua New Guineans or not, I am happy that I have the liberty to express my views freely and frankly, a privilege that most of my fellow PNGean Attitude readers are denied.

Continue reading "Call me hot head … the science of stepping on toes" »

Could there be a Free West Papua on the horizon?

ANDREW DOWDY | Fair Observer

WHILE PAPUA NEW GUINEA is a sovereign nation, few people realise that the western half of the world’s second largest island is Indonesian territory.

This resource-rich island is one of the least publicized places on earth, a place where the fight between modernity and tradition is still being waged — and with bloody consequences.

Although the island is recognised as Indonesian territory, Papuan natives are ethnically and linguistically distinctive.

Continue reading "Could there be a Free West Papua on the horizon?" »

Can extractive industry transparency help save PNG?


PAPUA NEW GUINEA IS RICH IN NATURAL RESOURCES such as oil, gas, timber and mining but tends to underperform economically. It is also inundated with corruption.

People suffer from poor governance because the multinational corporations, politicians, government bureaucrats and leaders of landowner groups conspire to make huge gains by diverting funds elsewhere.

The common people are consequentially suffering and vulnerable to all sorts of socio-economic ills which naive foreign journalists lump together to describe PNG as a ‘shithole’.

Continue reading "Can extractive industry transparency help save PNG?" »

Kovave (how it all began) & poems by familiar names


KovaveTHE FIRST LITERARY MAGAZINE in Papua New Guinea was called Kovave, named after the first stage of the male initiation ceremony in Orokolo.

The journal was pioneered by the indefatigable Ulli Beier and was published by Brian Clouston’s Jacaranda Press in Brisbane.  Ulli paid for the printing costs of the first edition and marketed it through the University of Papua New Guinea bookshop.

The response to Kovave was everywhere positive.  In Australia, Max Harris wrote in his The Australian Book Review of June, 1969: “With the publication of Kovave, indigenous literature in English reaches a new evolutionary stage.”  The New York Library Journal ran a laudatory article in August 1970.  


Continue reading "Kovave (how it all began) & poems by familiar names" »

Asylum and settlement in PNG: who snookered whom?


THE JOINT KEVIN RUDD–PETER O’NEILL announcement that all asylum seekers will be processed and resettled in Papua New Guinea triggered shockwaves through the Australian and PNG public.

It is over a decade since the “Pacific solution” suite of policies was introduced and one thing is clear to the rest of the world – it twists and turns with the Australian election cycle.

On the eve of another Australian election, Rudd’s announcement is viewed as a smart tactical move as he appears, at least for now, to have snookered his adversary Abbott with the ultimate maneuver after a series of failed “stop the boats” policies.

Continue reading "Asylum and settlement in PNG: who snookered whom?" »

Another day in the independent State of Manus


IT IS 30 JUNE 2020 in the Independent State of Manus and Abdul Bin Koziasta has been updating his accounts at the end of the financial year.  He has a frown on his face.

The small Pacific island nation is booming, yet he was almost running in the red for the second year in succession.  He needs to analyse where he is going wrong.

But first he needs a strong, sweet coffee.  He rings the bell on his desk.  A few moments later a diminutive Manus islander, her brown eyes peeping out from her burka, pads across the room and bows.

Continue reading "Another day in the independent State of Manus" »

Traditional values, land and the power to be free


IN THE GLOBALISING WORLD, where the First World spreads ideals of a world federation of unequals that function under international law, societies now suffer the friction between indigenous realities and introduced western norms and institutions.

Indigenous people suffer land loss, resource exploitation, civil wars, belittlement, marginalisation, even extinction. Only an insane puppet would accept these experiences as part of global betterment or advancement.

Across Bougainville land disputes are becoming a frequent occurrence between clans, communities, villages and families.

Continue reading "Traditional values, land and the power to be free" »

The literary journal that pioneered PNG writing


New Guinea WritingTHE 1970s WERE WATERSHED YEARS for Papua New Guinean literature.  The publication of Vincent Eri’s first Papua New Guinean novel, The Crocodile, was followed by a flowering of other literary forms, including short stories, plays and poetry.

Literary journals played a big part in encouraging new writers by providing outlets and forums for their work. 

While the University of Papua New Guinea and, later, the Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies produced literary journals the most popular and most widely read was the quarterly, Papua New Guinea Writing, produced by the Literature Bureau of the Department of Information and Extension Services.

Continue reading "The literary journal that pioneered PNG writing" »

PNG welcomes additional cruise ship programs

ETN | Global Travel Industry News

Image - uniquegrouptravel.comCURRENTLY ONE IN EVERY EIGHT package holidays booked in the United Kingdom is a cruise, which makes cruising the fastest growing sector of the holiday trade.

Nowhere is this increase more prevalent than in the waters surrounding Papua New Guinea, which is seeing a steady increase in the number of cruise operators offering expeditions to its magnificent shores.

PNG is rich in cultural and ethnic diversity and boasts incomparable biodiversity in its surrounding waters. Cruise enthusiasts will be rewarded with unforgettable sights and sounds both on-board and when enjoying the various excursions and water sports on offer.

Continue reading "PNG welcomes additional cruise ship programs" »

Genevieve Nelson – a commitment to the Kokoda spirit

GEOFF WINESTOCK | Australian Financial Review

Genevieve NelsonUNTIL A FEW YEARS AGO, Genevieve Nelson, 30, spent several months a year travelling alone in Papua New Guinea overseeing development projects for the Kokoda Track Foundation, the aid agency she helped start a decade ago.

Recently, as the security situation has worsened and after she was held up by thugs on the track, she has started taking a male guide/guard.

But her readiness to accept these risks is one mark of the toughness and determination Nelson has learnt in a career arc which has moved from an undergraduate psychology degree to a PhD in development policy and now a crucial role running one of the few aid agencies focused on Australia’s nearest neighbour.

Continue reading "Genevieve Nelson – a commitment to the Kokoda spirit" »

A perfect addition to the Jackson family


Leilani RoseSOME WONDERFUL PERSONAL news for PNG Attitude this Sunday afternoon.

On Friday, our fourth grandchild, a daughter, Leilani Rose Jackson, was delivered by Caesarian section in the Nambour General Hospital on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.

Leilani's mum and dad are Rebekah (Becky) Finzel and Ben Jackson, who is also co-director of our PNG-orientated public relations company, Jackson PR Associates.

Leilani, at 4.2 kg, is a largish baby and, as you can see, she has entered this life with a most attractive presence.

The grandparents are Karen and Craig Finzel of Pomona and Ingrid and I, now of Noosaville.


Applying Ockham’s razor to political myopia


THE PROPOSED ARRANGEMENT to have asylum seekers who arrive by boat in Australia be processed and if necessary, settled in Papua New Guinea has ramped up the political agenda.

This is reputedly an arrangement that neither Australia nor Papua New Guinea can guarantee will be successful in stopping the flow of boats even if it is fully put into practice.

So why isn’t this proposal merely being viewed as more ‘short sighted’ political hyperbole of the usual kind that is made just prior to a general election? 


Continue reading "Applying Ockham’s razor to political myopia" »

Three new poems for PNG’s turbulent times


THREE OF PAPUA NEW GUINEA’s published poets have questioned what has happened to the country they knew and to the dream that we held as a nation.

The recent times have been some of the most politically volatile. But perhaps these growing pains are necessary for us to question what we are doing and where we are going as a people.

The youthful years of fumbling along with a happy-go-lucky attitude must give way to careful thought and consideration of how we want to achieve our dreams and ambitions.

Our vision for the future is only as good as the people who believe in it and work together to achieve a better Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Three new poems for PNG’s turbulent times" »

In defence of Kevin Rudd's Papua New Guinea solution

Stephen JonesSTEPHEN JONES MP | The Guardian

FOR THE 12 YEARS that refugee policy has been kicked into the forefront of political contest, the left has said our approach should be driven by compassion.

We should open our hearts and our community to those fleeing persecution. And we should not keep those seeking safe haven interned in Australia or anywhere else.

We understood that our political posturing would have little impact on boat arrivals as it was not our domestic policy but international conflict that drove people to come to Australia.

Continue reading "In defence of Kevin Rudd's Papua New Guinea solution" »

Will the Manus Island deal benefit business in PNG?


PAPUA NEW GUINEA’s prime minister Peter O’Neill is adamant that PNG businesses ‘will directly benefit’ from the asylum-seeker deal signed last week by himself and Australian counterpart Kevin Rudd. But some business leaders are sceptical.

The agreement with the Australian Government will deliver Papua New Guinea a comprehensive package of direct assistance from Australia worth hundreds of millions of kina.

In return, Papua New Guinea will accommodate hundreds, if not thousands, of asylum-seekers while officials decide if they are genuine refugees.

Continue reading "Will the Manus Island deal benefit business in PNG?" »

PNG detective novel is more than plain fiction


Inspector MetauInspector Metau - The Case of the Angry Councillor by Phil Fitzpatrick, 286 pp, Pukpuk Publishing 2013. ISBN-13: 978-0987132123.  Available from Amazon Books, $11.40

I FOUND THE BOOK INTERESTING, and easy and fun to read.

The main character is Inspector Hari Metau - an apt name which literally means Today's Difficulties or Today's Problems in Motu.

He is a flat white drinking, long serving, senior policemen of considerable intellect and integrity, who understands the realities of the changing social structure in PNG.

Continue reading "PNG detective novel is more than plain fiction" »

Musings on refugees & PNG’s readiness-reality gap

ROBYN READ | A Game Old Dame Blog

Tolai buai seller(Photo - Robyn Read)THE EXPATRIATES HERE in Papua New Guinea are philosophical about the dysfunctionality of society. It is just how things are.

I am conflicted. It seemed to run at least as well, if not better, when I was here 40 years ago.

But I am seeing this Melanesian world through the prism of the sophisticated organisational expectations of a mostly efficient, developed society. This is not my world.

Continue reading "Musings on refugees & PNG’s readiness-reality gap" »

Reverse this pernicious, disrespectful asylum deal


KEVIN RUDD’S POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED agenda of dumping the asylum seeking boat people on PNG’s soil should be reversed.

The deal between Rudd and his PNG counterpart Peter O’Neill was done in a dubious manner and driven by the might of the Aussie dollar.

PNG PM Peter O’Neill was suborned by Rudd into blindly shouldering Rudd’s politically motivated ludicrousness under the influence of the Aussie taxpayers’ money without proper assessment of the long term implications on PNG. 


Continue reading "Reverse this pernicious, disrespectful asylum deal " »

A modest proposal to solve all our problems….

Peter and bilasPETER KRANZ

THE BRISBANE COURIER-MAIL RECENTLY splashed a story and a triumphal photo of Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott with the provocative headline, ‘Campbell Newman predicts wave of asylum seekers escaping PNG across Torres Strait to Queensland’.

Newman claimed PNG would become a hopping-off point for asylum seekers seeking to gain entry to Australia.

"The Torres Strait is a porous border right now," Mr Newman said. "It's only 4km from PNG on to the soil of Queensland. You can go from PNG into Queensland across the Strait in a row-boat."

Continue reading "A modest proposal to solve all our problems…." »

Before the lights go out! Reflections on PNG & life

Dave Wall with Graham GreeneDAVID WALL

SOME YEARS AGO, James, a Greek builder, told me he wanted to finish building houses and get among the Spanish women on the island of Majorca before the lights went out.

He spent about eight years building and then suddenly went to earth. For the life of me, I don’t know if the lights had gone out for him, or if indeed he ever got to Majorca. As to the Spanish women, who can say?

Looking at this photograph, you can certainly see that, in my case, the lights have gone out. Reflecting on Graham Greene could perhaps be of some help. Hold your breath!

Continue reading "Before the lights go out! Reflections on PNG & life" »

Beyond pretty: Waiting for Barrick to walk the talk

Alex HarrisALEX HARRIS | Reputation Report

THERE IS A DISTURBING DISCONNECT between the pretty sustainability reports of some corporations in the extractive industries operating in Papua New Guinea, and the reality of their impacts on the environment and human rights.

The disparity raises a red flag for risks pertaining to corporate governance, disclosure, corporate culture and reputation.

Of particular value as a case study in terms of reputational risk is the world’s largest gold miner, Canadian company Barrick Gold Corporation.

Continue reading "Beyond pretty: Waiting for Barrick to walk the talk" »

Rudd must shut down the market for human traffic

ANDREW JAKUBOWICZ | The Conversation

THE EMPIRICAL TEST of the Australian government's refugee resettlement agreement with Papua New Guinea will be whether there is a decline in the numbers of small fishing boats overloaded with desperate asylum seekers setting off from Indonesia for Australia.

Whether the plan, the smuggler bounty, and the other as yet unrevealed components alluded to by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd actually end the people smugglers' business model, and in so doing end the loss of life at sea, remains a different question.

Whether Australia has managed to put in place sturdy parameters for the future of refugee flows, processing and settlement offers raises another, much broader, set of questions.

Continue reading "Rudd must shut down the market for human traffic" »

Bougainville rebel leaders reconcile after 17 years

DON WISEMAN | Radio New Zealand International

THREE KEY FORMER Bougainville Revolutionary Army commanders in Papua New Guinea yesterday set aside their differences at a meeting at Panguna.

It is the latest step as the autonomous Bougainville province moves closer to a decision on whether the controversial mine at Panguna can be re-opened.

The three men - Ishmael Toroama of the BRA, Moses Pipiro from the Me’ekamui Unity Government and Chris Uma from the original Me’ekamui faction - agreed to reconcile after 17 years of enmity.

Continue reading "Bougainville rebel leaders reconcile after 17 years" »

Oil Search encouraged by Gulf gas discovery

ROSS KELLY | Wall Street Journal

OIL SEARCH HAS DISCOVERED modest quantities of natural gas during a new exploration campaign in Papua New Guinea, and the find had encouraged it to continue drilling.

Oil Search began looking for gas in the Gulf of Papua this year as part of a campaign that may help it develop another gas-export plant in PNG.

The Australian company is already a major shareholder in the US$19 billion PNG liquefied natural gas export project led by Exxon Mobil Corp.

Continue reading "Oil Search encouraged by Gulf gas discovery " »

Angel Kokopo

A short story by LEONARD FONG ROKA

THE FIRE WAS CRACKLING with burning heat. In response, the blackened kettle steamed so roughly that it opened its lid. Toton carefully placed a tea-bag in the half-open teapot and whistled a tune as he admired the water turning thick brown. The smell of tea was promising.

After breakfast, he sat grooming himself and singing a local song from his home island of Nissan, back in Bougainville. Over, the refreshing sensation of potent betel-nut mixed with chalky lime and tart pepper fruits, he sang loudly; his old pet, a cat was disturbed in his sleep and carelessly leapt out the window hurting its left ear.

Toton he looked out the window; the road he was to employ was clear of the much hated drunkards that molested him so much on his unlucky Friday nights.

Continue reading "Angel Kokopo" »

An interesting collection of Nagovisi stories


WHEN I WAS CORRESPONDING with Keith Jackson of about old radio tapes a few months ago, I mentioned I was working on a collection of stories set in Nagovisi on Bougainville.

I’m pleased to tell PNG Attitude readers that the collection is now available on Amazon.

What's unusual about this collection of linked stories is that, although the coordinating character of the American anthropologist appears in all of them, he never gets a turn to narrate, except in the final piece, which is set many years later.

Continue reading "An interesting collection of Nagovisi stories" »

Never believe what you read – especially right now


THE ASYLUM SEEKER SITUATION has always been a minor issue.  Australia has been receiving refugees by the thousands for years.  Where on earth do you think all those Poms, Greeks, Eyeties and Vietnamese came from? 

It was only when John Howard turned these latest unfortunate souls into desperate pawns in his bid for re-election that the issue became prominent.  Since then politicians of all persuasions have been capitalising on the public’s xenophobia.

This latest round of hysteria has uncovered some interesting truths.  Chief among these is to never believe what the media says.

Continue reading "Never believe what you read – especially right now" »

Refugees - PNG’s impossible responsibility & burden


SUCCESSIVE PAPUA NEW GUINEA GOVERNMENTS have neglected to properly look after the thousands of West Papuan refugees (brothers?) who were accepted in the 1980s (and their thousands of children who have been born here).

The Rudd/O'Neill agreement is merely a gamble that the thought of having to live in PNG will be more terrifying to would-be refugees than the fear of persecution from which they have fled.

That any PNG prime minister thinks so badly of his people and his country is unbelievable!  That PM Rudd thinks of anyone else other than himself is unbelievable! 

Continue reading "Refugees - PNG’s impossible responsibility & burden" »

Three debut poets: (3) Jessica Dobb

Melanesian woman (Photo - Forum Biodiversity)Melanesian Woman

Brown smooth skin, tanned by the sun.
Black, brown eyes, blue by none.
A dancing smile with stained teeth.
No way near shoes or boots, she has strong feet.
Frizzy hair with coconut oil.
Tied to the back or combed out tall.
Baskets and bilums are her pride,
in meri blouses she will stride.
Down to the river or up to the hill,
with pots clanging her feet will drill.
A friend to many and mother to all,
despite her struggles,
she stands up tall.

Kevin Rudd, you're not a good friend of PNG

MARTYN NAMORONG | The Interpreter | Lowy Institute

Martyn Namorong, March 2013IN MARCH 2008, KEVIN RUDD made his first official visit to Papua New Guinea to build ties, the first such visit by an Australian prime minister in 11 years.

Out of that visit was forged a special affinity and respect Papua New Guineans had for Kevin Rudd, perhaps best illustrated by the naming of a baby from the highlands after the Australian prime minister.

Papua New Guinean relationships are best defined by the cultural narrative of tribalism. By his special consideration of PNG in 2008, Rudd had made himself a member of the tribe.

Continue reading "Kevin Rudd, you're not a good friend of PNG" »

Understand PNG – and know this plan is disastrous

VICTORIA STEAD | Fairfax Media

Off to PNG (Photo - Australian Immigration Department)THE PLAN TO SEND ALL boat-arriving asylum seekers to Papua New Guinea — and to resettle there all who qualify as genuine refugees — is a cynical abandonment by Australia of its responsibilities under the UN refugee convention, one that can be considered only a ploy for votes in the coming tightly contested federal election.

Some understanding of politics and society in Papua New Guinea goes some way to understanding just how breathtakingly ill-considered the plan is.

Many opponents of the plan have painted Papua New Guinea as impoverished and underdeveloped. The implication here is that sending asylum seekers to Manus Island is cruel because Papua New Guinea is a hellish place to be.

Continue reading "Understand PNG – and know this plan is disastrous" »

Three debut poets: (2) Ephraim Toirima

Ephraim Toirima hears the voices of our ancestors calling to us in the midst of these turbulent times – Michael Dom

The Call of Our Ancestors

Listen closely to the call of our ancestors
the land and the sea as one resounding voice,
crying for our attention.

We live on this land without fear and doubt,
knowing liberty triumphs over all,
ripping the seeds of what they sow irrespective of the outcome.

Continue reading "Three debut poets: (2) Ephraim Toirima" »

PNG government improves disaster preparedness

IRIN | UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

THE GOVERNMENT OF Papua New Guinea has bolstered its funding for disaster preparedness, strengthening the country’s National Disaster Management Centre (NDC) to better respond to crises.

“This is a positive development and one we hope will continue,” said Ruger Kahwa, head of office for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The PNG government allocated K50 million kina to the NDC in 2013, chief government advisor Sir Manasupe Zurenuoc confirmed.

Continue reading "PNG government improves disaster preparedness" »

‘No way’: PNG reaction to the boat people plan


AUSTRALIA’S DECISION TO PERMANENTLY resettle refugees in Papua New Guinea has been met with shock by many locals, quickly followed by anger and a sense of betrayal.

Under Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s plan the developing Pacific island state will resettle an unlimited number of Australia’s asylum seekers who arrive by boat, if they are found to be refugees. In return, PNG will receive extra aid from Australia for hospitals and universities.

A day after Rudd’s announcement, made on Friday, many in PNG were still unaware of the pact. Silence reigned in the mainstream press, which had clearly not been briefed on the development, while social media comments pointed to a lack of consultation in the country.

Continue reading "‘No way’: PNG reaction to the boat people plan" »

Bougainville Manifesto 6 - Armed conflict, 1988-89


In which the hostilities in central Bougainville trigger a Francis Ona - Mathew Kove conflict; the family problems migrate from Guava village to infiltrate the Bougainville Copper Limited executive offices at Panguna; and there is assassination and sabotage.

MATHEW KOVE KNEW he and the old Panguna Landowners Association (PLA) were in trouble because of the establishment of a new landowners’ association; a threat to his prestige and power in Guava village.

Francis Ona had effectively counter-attacked, taking on board the problems created for the people by the mine and the issue of political independence for Bougainville.

These developments also brought BCL and the PNG state into the family feud.

Continue reading "Bougainville Manifesto 6 - Armed conflict, 1988-89" »

PNG solution's twisted genius snookered everyone

CLAIRE HARVEY | The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney)

O'Neill and RuddSNOOKERED. Kevin Rudd has outplayed absolutely everyone.

Not just Julia Gillard, who in attempting to clean up the mess Rudd had left for her came up with a boats solution that should have worked but didn't get the chance - because it needed legislative approval the Greens and Liberals were never going to grant.

Not only Tony Abbott, whose look of chagrin in the past two days has been matched only by that on the face of Scott Morrison (why the hell didn't we think of this, my supposed crack team?).

Continue reading "PNG solution's twisted genius snookered everyone " »

PNG: a country suffering spiralling violence

HELEN DAVIDSON | The Guardian (London)

THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT’S controversial deal with Papua New Guinea will see asylum seekers sent to a country struggling to cope with spiralling rates of violence, particularly against women.

The Australian government currently urges travellers to PNG to “exercise extreme caution” due to high levels of serious crime and dangers of violent clashes, ethnic disputes, carjacking, and endemic levels of cholera, high levels of HIV, and malaria.

Papua New Guinea has recently been labelled one of the worst places for gender-based violence in the world. One hospital in the country’s second biggest city, Lae, recently reported that half of all sexual violence victims they saw were children.

Continue reading "PNG: a country suffering spiralling violence" »

Three debut poets: (1) Diddie Kinamun

Diddie Kinamun writes; “I am a very passionate poet who likes to write about anything and everything. Though I have never been on a certain stage to call myself anything, I believe in myself and always have an open mind to write about anything that gets my attention. I am also a book worm” – As told to Michael Dom

As a writer

I sat and wrote and wrote
Into the moonlight
Upon the hard rock
Writing stories of the dream time
Stories passed down
And so old like time itself
Pondering hard into the dim firelight
Straining my mind
Just to write down everything
To preserve the story
As best I could

Continue reading "Three debut poets: (1) Diddie Kinamun" »

Sonnet 12: A prayer for our times

Michael Dom and PNGMICHAEL DOM

Above these trees towering
Above these deep blue seas
Above these clouds soaring
Above these mortal fears

Beyond these steep mountains
Beyond these battered slopes
Beyond these wasted plains
Beyond these shattered hopes

Through these shifting shadows
Through these darkening days
Through these shuttered windows
Through these dim lit doorways

Triune God, hear me pray
Let my people find their way.

A glimpse inside Laloki Psychiatric Hospital

VICTORIA CRAW | Business Editor |

Jeffrey AlphonseJEFFREY ALPHONSE IS A CLINICAL SUPERVISOR at Laloki Psychiatric Hospital, located on the outskirts of Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

He works mainly in the acute ward dealing with high needs patients and lives on the hospital grounds with his wife Pauline and their four children.

Mr Alphonse has worked as a mental health nurse since 1995. He said the job can be extremely stressful, and in the past he has used alcohol, cigarettes and gambling to calm down.

Continue reading "A glimpse inside Laloki Psychiatric Hospital " »

The mortaring of the market - An October to remember


THE DAY BEFORE THE PNGDF troops landed at Tunuru Catholic Mission, I came into town from Kupe and planned to return the next morning for market.

Early next morning the others left for market but I decided to stay back.

We lost our girls, who we would meet at the market for nothing but admiration. They were scattered like litter by the rain of bombs from Tunuru.

Continue reading "The mortaring of the market - An October to remember" »

Corruption busting task force clarifies prosecution role


PAPUA NEW GUINEA’s anti-corruption body, Task Force Sweep, has clarified that its role only goes as far as the committal stage of the prosecution process.

The taskforce was set up by the government to investigate and prosecute white collar crimes, especially corruption in government departments where millions of dollars have been misused.

Questions have been raised in parliament as to why no one has been convicted as a result of the 59 arrests the team has initiated.

Continue reading "Corruption busting task force clarifies prosecution role " »

Bishops condemn ban on non-Christian religions


THE SPOKESMAN FOR Papua New Guinea’s bishops has condemned a proposal, introduced in parliament by the governor of one of the nation’s 22 provinces, to ban non-Christian religions.

“It is not by banning other faiths that we become more Christian,” Father Giorgio Licini said in a statement posted on the bishops’ website.

“Christianity may well define some sort of cultural identity for modern Papua New Guinea and its 850 tribes; but never forget that true faith is something much beyond constitutional provisions, legal books, and even daily practices.

Continue reading "Bishops condemn ban on non-Christian religions" »

Challenges for Pacific youth in the 21st Century


FINDING SOLUTIONS TO THE CHALLENGES facing the youth of Papua New Guinea and the South Pacific does not lie in words and more words but in solidarity in word and deed.

The most compelling witness to the strength of young people in PNG and South Pacific is to be seen as tomorrow’s leaders. To ensure this we must demonstrate an understanding of today’s issues.

Here’s my take on some of them.

Continue reading "Challenges for Pacific youth in the 21st Century" »

Australian university researches Ross River Fever


SYNTHETIC VACCINE TECHNOLOGY to combat Ross River Fever and new anti-cancer molecules are the focus of new research projects by students from Charles Sturt University's (CSU) clinical science program.

The projects will assist in the development of synthetic vaccine research and contribute to drug discovery work, which could form the basis of a new approach to the chemotherapy of several cancer types.

Microbiology lecturer in the school of biomedical sciences at Orange, Dr Peter Anderson said Ross River virus was found in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands and caused fever, severe joint pain and swelling that could disable a person for up to eight weeks.

Continue reading "Australian university researches Ross River Fever" »

Australia out: Asylum boat people will be sent to PNG

JONATHAN SWAN | Sydney Morning Herald

ANY ASYLUM SEEKER who arrives by boat without a visa will have no chance of being resettled in Australia as a refugee, Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has announced.

Mr Rudd declared his much-anticipated asylum seeker policy, with the major change being a new resettlement arrangement between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

At a Brisbane press conference, flanked by PNG prime minister Peter O'Neill and Australian immigration minister Tony Burke, Mr Rudd declared he would "combat the scourge of people smuggling".

Continue reading "Australia out: Asylum boat people will be sent to PNG " »

Men evolve from women but act otherwise


INTERNATIONAL AND NATIONAL NON-GOVERNMENT organisations (INGOs/NGOs) are struggling to provide social services to the interior of the central cordillera and the countless islands and atolls while the Papua New Guinea government cannot diligently facilitate basic infrastructure development.

The PNG public service has only been able to deliver one year’s worth of work over the past ten years. That must be one of the highest scores ever for inefficiency.

The incompetence of the public service has resulted in worsening health indicators impacting mostly on women.

Continue reading "Men evolve from women but act otherwise " »

New Oz online visa scheme clicks with PNG


Visa stampNEW ONLINE VISA lodgement arrangements have been implemented to benefit Papua New Guinea visitors to Australia.

The PNG online visitor initiative will mean visitor visa applicants may apply online from their home or office, or alternatively authorise a third-party agent to lodge an application on their behalf.

Supporting documents that are required with an application, such as a passport, may also be scanned and lodged online directly to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Continue reading "New Oz online visa scheme clicks with PNG" »