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Major conference will mark PNG-Australia 100 year relationship

Bitapaka wireless stationKEITH JACKSON

The Papua New Guinea Association of Australia
sponsors The Crocodile Prize Publishing Program

WE have previously reported that, in September, the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia (PNGAA) is presenting a ground-breaking symposium reviewing the relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea over the past 100 years.

Entitled From Pacific WW1 battlefield to Pacific powers: A Century of Australia - PNG Relations, the event will be held on 17 and 18 September at NSW Parliament House in Sydney.

This year is the centenary of Australia’s first military engagement of World War I. It took place at Bitapaka on the Gazelle Peninsula when, on 11 September 1914, Australian troops ousted a German garrison defending the most powerful wireless station in the Pacific (pictured).

The PNGAA symposium will look at the subsequent administration of New Guinea as a Mandated Territory, the years of the Pacific War, Australia’s continuing influence until Independence and the commercial, social and cultural relationships since.

The PNGAA has just released the full program of the symposium, which will also look at the present and future challenges facing PNG.

The speakers include PNG High Commissioner Charles Lepani, former Governor-General Major-General Michael Jeffery, Kokoda expeditioner and NSW politician, Charlie Lynn, and government adviser for the Anzac centenary, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.

You can obtain further information by emailing here.

Preliminary Program - Thursday 18 September

Welcome | Dr Jonathan Ritchie

Opening Address | A review of the relationships between Australia and Papua New Guinea over the past hundred years - military, administrative, commercial, social and cultural - before looking to the challenges of now and the future | Major General the Honourable Michael Jeffery, AC, AO (Mil), CVO, MC (Retd); PNGAA Patron

Keynote Address | The significance of World War I for Australia and PNG, and the Battle of Bitapaka | Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, AC, AFC (Ret’d), Special Adviser to the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of Anzac

The loss of Australia’s first submarine, AE1 | Geoff Anderson, President, Submarine Association Australia, NSW

War trophies or curios? The ‘War Museum Collection’ of Museum Victoria |Dr Christine Winter, Visiting Research Fellow, ANU, Senior Research Fellow University of Sydney and Dr Barry Craig, Curator of Foreign Ethnology, South Australian Museum

World War II - The Pacific War: A Lived Experience Phillip Bradley, Australian military historian and author

World War II Oral History Project, PNG | Dr Andrew Moutu, Director, PNG National Museum and Art Gallery, Port Moresby and Dr Jonathan Ritchie, Senior Research Fellow, Alfred Deakin Research Institute

Panel Discussion: The Papua New Guinea Kiap | Chair Ross Johnson | Presenters Bob Cleland, Chris Warrillow, Chris Viner-Smith

Oil Search Health Foundation: The role of the Private Sector in Service Delivery in PNG | Peter Botten, Managing Director, Oil Search

PNG now and the way forward | Jenny Hayward-Jones, Director, Myer Foundation Melanesia Program, The Lowy Institute for International Policy

Leadership transitions: From Somare's generation to O’Neill’s generation to the Kumul Generation | Anthony Smare, Chairman, Nambawan Super Limited

White Australia - Black Melanesia | Hon Charlie Lynn MLC

PNG-Australia: Neighbours within the Pacific | His Excellency Charles Lepani, PNG High Commissioner to Australia


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John Kamen

Hi - Please end me details of the event and location as am interested in attending.

The symposium will be held at the NSW Parliament House in Sydney. For further details use the email link in the article - KJ

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