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106 posts from October 2015

The backbone of PNG’s early years: the forgotten patrol carrier

Star Mountain CarriersPHIL FITZPATRICK

IN 1974 I was out the back of the South Australian Museum loading up a LandRover for a long field trip to Central Australia.

I was off to work with Pitjantatjara and Yankunytjatjara elders recording sacred sites threatened by mining development.

The destination was the Northwest Aboriginal Reserve, now the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands, and I was working for the quaintly named Aboriginal and Historic Relics Preservation Unit.

Just as I was manhandling a couple of heavy patrol boxes into the back of the Landie, a young anthropologist emerged from the back door of the museum.

“They’re neat boxes,” he said, “why are the handles so long?”

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And so, after nearly 10 years, we reach our 10,000th post....


PARDON my indulgence, but we must surely mark this milestone – the 10,000th piece to be published by PNG Attitude since this blog kicked off in February 2006.

And I’ve grabbed the space.

Each of those 10,000 articles, essays, poems, stories, reviews and other writings has been duly archived both here (lower left hand column if you’re interested) and by the National Library of Australia.

Along the way, PNG Attitude has had some great successes and a few failures. Perhaps the highlight has been the achievement of the Crocodile Prize national literary contest, which has just concluded its fifth year.

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Thanks to PNGAA & readers, the Croc reaches out to PNG

Crocodile Prize Anthology coverKEITH JACKSON

FIVE thousand dollars gifted by the PNG Association of Australia Publishing Program has allowed nearly 350 copies of the Crocodile Prize Anthology 2015 to be printed and distributed throughout Papua New Guinea.

As the year goes on, we hope to deploy further funds to this great project and we do seek the assistance of readers with this. (Drop me an email here)

So far we’ve been able to get books to even the remotest part of PNG for an average of $15 a copy, although a languishing Australian dollar hasn’t helped us in recent weeks.

The books are printed in the United States (yes, it’s the cheapest option) and mailed directly to our distributors in PNG – who are all bona fide PNG Attitude readers and often contributors.

In this piece, I’d like to introduce some of them to you and get them to explain where and why the books will end up.

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Something in the blood – the enduring magic of PNG

Something in the BloodCHRIS OVERLAND

LIKE virtually all ex-kiaps I have met or whose writings I have read, neither time nor distance have diminished my fascination with Papua New Guinea.

Even taking into account the inevitable older man's nostalgia for his lost youth, and the associated tendency to re-imagine the past to edit out less appealing memories and replace them with something more acceptable, PNG exerts an unrelenting and unexpectedly strong grip upon me.

The five years spent in PNG remain the undoubted highlight of my life, excluding only the joys and, sometimes, tribulations of marriage, children and grand-children.

The memories of my time as a kiap remain, so it seems, as fresh and vivid as the day they were formed.

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Late PNG police officers focus of Police Remembrance Day

Our boys & girls in bluePETER TURNER

POLICE officers gathered at ceremonies across Australia on Monday to remember colleagues killed on duty.

While thankfully no officers died in the line of duty in Australia over the past 12 months, the focus of this year's Remembrance Day was on five Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary officers who died on duty in Papua New Guinea and also on past fallen colleagues.

Australian Capital Territory chief police officer Rudi Lammers said it was an important day of reflection.

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The first 100 days of the new Bougainville parliament

Bougainville girl and frangipan headressANTHONY KAYBING

IN its first 100 days in office, the Third House of Representatives of the Autonomous Bougainville Government has moved to implement a number of important initiatives.

These have been designed to strengthen public service machinery to deliver goods and services to the people and prepare the autonomous region for its referendum on independence.

Bougainville’s president, Grand Chief Dr John Momis, said the Department of the President and the Bougainville Executive Council have the important responsibility to coordinate the formulation of government policies.

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