Gary Juffa is the real hero stopping illegal logging
Sapos yu bin tok

PNG Attitude - let’s celebrate a fine achievement


AS I’ve gotten older and my short-term memory weakens I find it increasingly difficult to multitask, that is, do more than one thing at a time.

To combat this inevitable development I somewhat reluctantly adopted the need for a routine to manage it.

Routine doesn’t come easily because until recently I operated on the principle of spontaneity. I do things based on my gut feeling rather than logic. When I write I don’t worry about grammar, for instance. If it looks right and sounds right I’m happy. This attitude, I think, adds spice to life.

My routine for the last few years now involves getting up with the sun, putting the kettle on and letting the chooks out to forage in the garden. On the way back and at this time of the year I chuck all the half-chewed mangos left on the ground by the fruit bats into a nearby garden bed.

After my cup of tea I eat a breakfast of rolled oats, cut up fruit and soy milk. With that done I help my wife make the bed and sweep the floor.

Then we load Bobby Magee, the old cocker spaniel, into the little red Suzuki Jimny and potter down the esplanade to buy the Sydney Morning Herald from Laurie and Kay at the Torquay Newsagent.

At home I read the paper while drinking another cup of tea and sharing half a dozen milk arrowroot biscuits with the dog. Once that’s done I go inside and turn on the computer.

I check the emails first and then PNG Attitude, the Ex-kiap website and the local weather map in that order.

In the afternoon I adjourn to the verandah and write or edit. Later in the afternoon I might cut the grass or water the vegies.

I’m not a great fan of television but I usually catch the ABC News and the 7.30 Report. Then I settle down on the settee and read.

The only time I might vary this routine is when I’m out with the local Butchulla men recording heritage sites, travelling south to visit relatives or having a coffee with visitors on the esplanade. Interspersed with all this are things like looking after the grandchildren and pottering in the shed with multiple little projects.

Pretty boring stuff but it gets me through the day.

Which brings me to the point of all this waffle. With the demise of PNG Attitude in February a big chunk of my routine will go too. I’m guessing that quite a few people will experience the same sense of loss.

However, I’m sure something will come along to fill the void. During 2016 I’ll be helping Baka Bina with the Crocodile Prize so that will keep me busy. And he really needs the help I might add; he’s certainly not getting it from many of the talk big, promise lots but do nothing brigade in Papua New Guinea.

And I suspect that this latter point has had a lot do with Keith’s decision to terminate PNG Attitude; that and the incredible and wearing commitment of time it takes and the vicissitudes of aging and failing health.

There is also the fact that something good like PNG Attitude necessarily has a limited life. If you run a good idea for too long it tends to become stale. New ideas need to come into play.

So, contrary to my comments above I don’t think we should be mourning the loss of PNG Attitude. Rather, we should be celebrating it and lauding its outstanding achievements.

I don’t know whether Keith would agree but PNG Attitude is a singular achievement that will be long remembered by many people, especially in Papua New Guinea.

It is now a significant and historical fact that should go down in the annals of the Australian and Papua New Guinea relationship.

And so should the man who created it.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Johnny Blades

Phil, you nailed it.

Massive thanks to you for all the great work you're doing as a literary figure, on various fronts.

`Robin Lillicrapp

Phil,You have it right, I think.

Michael Dom

Well said Phil.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)