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97 posts from September 2019

Contrarians & writers needed more than ever


TUMBY BAY - Bernard Corden, in commenting on Chris Overland’s article about neo-colonialism, made an interesting point about indoctrination as a function of education.

For the ruling classes in any political system - be it democratic, autocratic or totalitarian - inculcating an ideology in the young is an invaluable tool in exercising and retaining power.

Continue reading "Contrarians & writers needed more than ever" »

The festering wounds of Manus and Nauru

Giorgio Licini
Fr Giorgio Licini - "It is outrageous what is being done to refugees in Manus, Port Moresby and Nauru"


PORT MORESBY – Yesterday was World Migrant and Refugee Day and a message from Pope Francis to mark the day was particularly meaningful for our part of the world.

The words of the Pope help uncover a sense of truth about what has been going on for the past six years in Nauru and Manus.

Continue reading "The festering wounds of Manus and Nauru" »

‘World is watching Bougainville’, says Ahern

Referendum commissioner Bertie Ahern and PNG prime minister James Marape. Ahern wants the referendum to be "a joyful celebration"


NOOSA - The chair of the Bougainville Referendum Commission, former Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern, says the “world is watching Bougainville” as it prepares for a referendum on its political future.

And he says he wants the process to be “a joyful celebration”.

“I congratulate the two governments and the people of Bougainville for reaching this historic point,” Ahern said.

Continue reading "‘World is watching Bougainville’, says Ahern" »

Kerema: Dispela lapun i lukim tu

Shortcut through sago swamp in MV Aveta c1970
A shortcut through the sago swamps in MV Aveta, about 1970


ADELAIDE - Daniel Kumbon’s enjoyable article on his visit to Kerema brought memories flooding back to me.

In August 1969, a little over 50 years ago, as a brand new Assistant Patrol Officer, I was posted to the Gulf District (now Province).

In those days, being posted to the Gulf was regarded by many young kiaps as a fate worse than death.

Continue reading "Kerema: Dispela lapun i lukim tu" »

Engan yakait seeds selling like crazy in Moresby

Paul & wheelbarrow load of seedlings
Paul Kastas & his wheelbarrow load of yakait seedlings - just 10 kina each


PORT MORESBY – Just recently I was proud to see Paul Kastas at Waikele Market in Port Moresby.

I knew him because many years ago he used to sell Enga Nius for us on the streets of Wabag. We lived in the same location at Aipus in Wabag town.

Now, here at a market in Moresby, he was selling something very important in Enga society - yakait (also known as tokak) seedlings.

Continue reading "Engan yakait seeds selling like crazy in Moresby" »

Jackson’s deft poetry on new ‘Love Is Love’ album

Simon Jackson (2)
Simon Jackson - on a trajectory to have his music heard by a lot of people

| Indie Band Guru

NEW YORK - Love Is Love (listen to the full album here) is the latest release from Papua New Guinea-born, New Zealand-dwelling songwriter and producer Simon Jackson.

Jackson is a melodic rock specialist with an evocative sound influenced by the Beatles, Elton John, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, Southern and Aussie rock. 

His songs are based around the acoustic guitar and Jackson’s own life experiences here on Planet Earth.

Continue reading "Jackson’s deft poetry on new ‘Love Is Love’ album" »

The story of Belo - Maus Bilong God

Kaiapit bell
The original Kaiapit bell, 1943. Read the story behind the image at end of article (Australian War Memorial)

| An entry in the Crocodile Prize

PORT MORESBY - To tell a classic story that happened nearly 100 years ago is almost impossible to weave together today.

As close as I could get was to discover a source from 20 years after the event. My grand-mama, born around 1939 and who lived through World War II, related to us kids this account that was passed down from her father.

Continue reading "The story of Belo - Maus Bilong God" »

Lessons learned from my mother & my culture

The cultural mandate of the hausman - the elders must instruct young men to learn wisdom and work hard

| An entry in the Crocodile Prize

SONOMA - My mother was my first life coach, teaching me the importance of work for personal success and thriving in a competitive world.

She emphasised the importance of working hard, but I was young, restless and naïve - not ready to listen and pay attention. In one ear and out the other.

Continue reading "Lessons learned from my mother & my culture" »

Missionaries with vision

Joseph Tambure
Joseph Tambure


Missionaries with vision on a mission
People with vision on a mission
To tame and conquer from dark to light
To teach, encourage and impart
From end to end of the world

Missionaries with vision and passion
Nothing so sweet than vision fulfilled
Leaving behind comfort and luxury
Pushing through unknown to reach the goal
Missionaries with vision on a mission

Continue reading "Missionaries with vision" »

Tell Robert Oeka ‘mi go lukim pinis lo Kerema’

Kerema - Daniel and a friend on the mud
Daniel and friend on the mud in K-Town


PORT MORESBY - I have finally satisfied my curiosity to see Kerema, the town about which top musician Robert Oeka penned the words ‘Yu yet kam lukim’ - a sort of challenge for people to visit his part of our beloved country.

I’ve flown over Gulf Province many times since arriving in Port Moresby in early 1975 to attend Form 4 at Idubada Technical College, transferred there after Lae Technical College experienced a shortage of electrical instructors.

Continue reading "Tell Robert Oeka ‘mi go lukim pinis lo Kerema’" »

My journey as a writer: Spreading the word(s)

Evari - Pacific Adventist University Creative Writing Class
The Pacific Adventist University creative writing class


PORT MORESBY – I saw a Facebook post the other day that read “you may never know where your passion can take you, unless you pick it up and run with it”.

Well, since my last article on my journey as a Papua New Guinean author, I’ve been running with it.

In doing this I have visited five schools to talk about writing and hosted a free information session at the National Library on writing and publishing.

Continue reading "My journey as a writer: Spreading the word(s)" »

Coming true: My dream to be an accountant

Anita Simon
Anita Simon - "I confidently sat on my desk, thought deeply and replied, 'I want to be a professionally trained accountant'”


SONOMA - I am from the Mul Baiyer District of the Western Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea.

Baiyer is a fertile place, abundant with food. My parents are original inhabitants. They’re subsistence farmers. I’m their third born, three brothers, one sister. The two elder brothers and my sister are unemployed.

It was exciting being a child in the village but my family migrated to Port Moresby in search of better opportunities. I completed my primary and high school in Port Moresby. In Grade 7, my class matron asked me about my future ambition for when I completed my studies.

Continue reading "Coming true: My dream to be an accountant" »

PNG cash flow crippled says Treasurer

Ian Ling-Stuckey
Ian Ling-Stuckey - "Poor national budgets have distorted development planning and service delivery"


PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea’s treasurer, Ian Ling-Stuckey, has said the O’Neill government’s mismanagement of the economy has crippled the nation’s cash flows.

“There is some bad news coming but this government has already commenced work on solutions,” Mr Ling-Stuckey said in a media release.

Continue reading "PNG cash flow crippled says Treasurer" »

Out of freedom, a project of empowerment

Shila Yukuli Paia
Shila Yukuli Paia - "Paying high school fees for a naïve, immature teenage girl was a big financial risk for the clan"


ADELAIDE - Over coffee with a friend recently, a comment made me rethink everything Papua New Guinea.

My friend said to me that, if anyone wanted to see, feel or experience freedom, they only had to go to PNG.

I was surprised by the statement until I thought of the situation faced by our Melanesian country-people at the West Papua border, the Rohingyas in Myanmar and indigenous Australians.

Continue reading "Out of freedom, a project of empowerment" »

Time for action on family planning is now

Dr David Ayres - "There is an obvious need to improve access to family planning methods in PNG"

Country Director, Marie Stopes PNG

PORT MORESBY - Today is World Contraception Day. Launched in 2007, it seeks to improve awareness of contraception and to enable young people of child-bearing age to make informed choices about fertility choices and sexual and reproductive health.

The use of contraception in Papua New Guinea remains very low.  The most recent ‘Papua New Guinea Demographic and Health Survey 2016-18 Key Indicators Report’ painted an alarming picture of family planning.

Despite 85% of PNG’s population living in rural areas, only 35% of contraceptive users live in rural areas, and lesser educated and poorer women are much less likely to use contraception.

Continue reading "Time for action on family planning is now" »

Pressure on MRDC to come clean on LNG revenue

Isaac Lupari
Isaac Lupari chairs MRDC where "everything it does is shrouded in secrecy"

MP for Moresby North-West and former Prime Minister

PORT MORESBY - The Mineral Resources Development Corporation (MRDC) needs to publish up-to-date audited details of its group finances since PNG LNG gas production began in mid-2014.

MRDC manages landowner equity interests in both mining and petroleum projects and is chaired by chief secretary Isaac Lupari.

Continue reading "Pressure on MRDC to come clean on LNG revenue" »

And a tribute to our web creators & publishers….

The long-running Ex Kiap website is published by Peter Salmon


TUMBY BAY - Many Australians who spent time in Papua New Guinea, and who want to keep in touch with others who were there too or simply want to find out what’s going on, follow three main websites.

These are the Ex-Kiap website, the Papua New Guinea Australia Association (PNGAA) website and, of course, Keith Jackson and Friends PNG Attitude.

Continue reading "And a tribute to our web creators & publishers…." »

Bougainville atolls people given chance to vote

Magalut leaves harbour carrying a 12-person referendum team to Bougainville's remote atolls

| Bougainville Referendum Commission

BUKA – Last Friday a voter enrolment team from the Bougainville Referendum Commission departed for the remote Tasman and Mortlock atolls.

The trip to the atolls had been frustrated for weeks by bad weather and the lack of a suitably sized boat to safely make the often rough crossing to the two isolated communities.

Continue reading "Bougainville atolls people given chance to vote" »

Kiap, broadcaster, author: Graham Taylor dies at 90

Graham Andrea 2015
Graham Taylor with then PNG Association president Andrea Williams in 2015


ADELAIDE – Kiap and broadcaster Graham Taylor died on Sunday at the age of 90 after being afflicted with prostate cancer for more than 20 years.

Graham was a patrol officer in Papua New Guinea in the early post-war period, transferring to the ABC to produce its ‘native people’s program’ and establish 9RB Rabaul before continuing his career in Australia where he reached a senior level in the organisation as general manager for South Australia.

Continue reading "Kiap, broadcaster, author: Graham Taylor dies at 90" »

Hela: Will the people avenge Big Pig LNG?

Prized big pig in the main street of Tari (Albert Tagua)
Prized big pig in the main street of Tari (Albert Tagua)

| An entry in the Crocodile Prize

SONOMA – The highlands province of Hela is host to a multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas project. But operating alongside the wonders of modern technology is a culture full of rich tradition and custom.

Hela functions on the patrilineal system, where the man owns everything: the land, the pigs and he is the heir of the father’s riches, knowledge of the sacred rites and traditional history.

Continue reading "Hela: Will the people avenge Big Pig LNG?" »

Ruth - my remarkable life exemplar

| An entry in the Crocodile Prize

PORT MORESBY – As a child growing up, I observed women with different approaches to life and there is one who excelled amongst them all.

I admire her personality and spend much time with her. Ruth (the name I will give her) is an exceptional woman. She chose God to build her life foundation, is selfless in her approach and is capable.

Continue reading "Ruth - my remarkable life exemplar" »

Neo-colonialism: It’s not personal; it’s just business


ADELAIDE - The sanctions imposed upon Iran by the USA are causing a huge amount of damage to that country’s economy.

The people of Iran, as distinct from the ruling regime, are suffering a great deal as a consequence.

What surprised me was that an apparently quite closed and tightly controlled economy like Iran’s was so susceptible to the influence of the US government’s edicts.

Continue reading "Neo-colonialism: It’s not personal; it’s just business" »

16 useful tips to defeat pay day stress

Diane Mandui Mirio cu
Diane Mandui Mirio

| An entry in the Crocodile Prize

KIMBE - We hear a lot about stress related jobs and events in our lives, but there's one particular stress that gets everyone agitated and it happens frequently in Papua New Guinea.

I call it ‘pay day stress syndrome’.

While it is every parent's hope in PNG to see their child go well in school and proceed to tertiary institution or a paid job, there are insecurities that don't hit the limelight.

Continue reading "16 useful tips to defeat pay day stress" »

The expanding million dollar PNG gold heist

Peter Milton Walker and Jessica Ann Groff arriving at Maroochydore watchhouse in July
Peter Milton Walker and Jessica Ann Groff arriving at Maroochydore watchhouse in July

| Sunshine Coast Daily

MAROOCHYDORE - The value of an alleged family gold heist has skyrocketed from $150,000 up to $1 million “and climbing”, a court has heard.

Peter Milton Walker, 70, and his daughter-in-law, Jessica Ann Groff, 40, were arrested on outstanding warrants and extradited from Ballina to the Sunshine Coast in July this year.

Continue reading "The expanding million dollar PNG gold heist" »

‘We’re an important voice,’ Parkop tells climate summit

Powes Parkop has initiated a Million Trees campaign as part of his program to promote resistance to climate change in Port Moresby and PNG


NEW YORK – Governor Powes Parkop will today address a United Nations climate action summit which is seeking to mobilise collaboration and investment to accelerate and support climate action to combat global climate change.

The boss of Papua New Guinea's capital will share his experience from Port Moresby and emphasise the serious problems issues that PNG and small island developing nations in the Pacific and elsewhere face with climate change.

Continue reading "‘We’re an important voice,’ Parkop tells climate summit" »

The great twin threats of climate & corruption

| Transparency International

BERLIN - The climate crisis, like corruption, is a matter of life or death.

The evidence is hard and clear. The last five years are the hottest ever recorded in the 139 years that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has tracked global heat.

Continue reading "The great twin threats of climate & corruption" »

We've heard the rhetoric – now plan & execute

Dream plan executeSIMON DAVIDSON

SONOMA - From James Marape’s maiden political discourse emerged two critical enablers for achieving the dream to ‘Take Back PNG’: a workable plan and bold action

Every politician and statesman makes grandiose speeches presenting compelling narratives of an attractive and prosperous future for their nation.

They reveal to the people a vision that looks bright and seems achievable. A vision, of course, is not about the present but the future.

Continue reading "We've heard the rhetoric – now plan & execute" »

A modern tale of technology, love & flawed choices

Christina Manu
Christina Manu

| An entry in the Crocodile Prize

PORT MORESBY - The time on the device read 2:45am as I shoved it feebly aside and tossed restlessly around for the hundredth time.

I forced my reluctant eyelids to shut, shielding my eyeballs from the walls that seem to stare back at me in deadly silence but overhearing my thoughts.

Today is the day of the court hearing. The fate of seven years of marriage lies in the hands of a stranger with a black robe and wooden hammer seated behind a tall desk.

Continue reading "A modern tale of technology, love & flawed choices" »

Listen up! Pre-colonial life can teach us a lot


TUMBY BAY - The response of Papua New Guinea’s intellectuals to the celebration of its 44th year of independence have been very interesting if comments on PNG Attitude are any sort of guide.

On the one hand the response has been low-key and on the other it has generated a questioning of the whole concept of independence and what it means.

Continue reading "Listen up! Pre-colonial life can teach us a lot" »

Unity in diversity: why we’re still together 44 years on

James Marape
James Marape - "Let's show the world that Melanesian consensus can provide answers to PNG's internal problems"

| Edited extract from an address by prime minister Marape to the Bougainville House of Representatives, Wednesday 11 September

BUKA – Forty-four years ago, we claimed independence from colonial rule over our land and resources.

Yet some legacies and shackles we still try to get out of today show that both Papua New Guinea and Bougainville are not truly independent in terms of economic strength.

Continue reading "Unity in diversity: why we’re still together 44 years on" »

Why all the secrecy? What is MRDC hiding?

Sir Mek - "A blatant disregard for the law and for the transparency and accountability required of public bodies"

| Former Prime Minister and Member for Moresby North-West

PORT MORESBY- The lack of transparency and accountability of the Mineral Resources Development Corporation (MRDC) and its subsidiaries may be hiding a multitude of sins.

What has been hidden from the group’s auditors and the auditor-general, incorrectly reported in annual financial statements or simply not reported at all may be a ticking time bomb for landowners and the funds they have entrusted to MRDC.

Continue reading " Why all the secrecy? What is MRDC hiding?" »

Fired B’ville bureaucrat says ‘I was tackling corruption’

Joseph Nobetau - "An orchestrated attack on my character and credibility because I adhered to the government’s direction to tackle corruption"


BUKA – Bougainville’s top public servant has initiated proceedings in Papua New Guinea’s national court seeking a judicial review of his sacking by the Bougainville cabinet.

The decision by chief secretary Joseph Nobetau to contest his dismissal will have enormous repercussions throughout the autonomous province as the referendum on its political future approaches in November.

Continue reading "Fired B’ville bureaucrat says ‘I was tackling corruption’" »

Time to crack down on MPs stealing public funds

Hand-outs to politicians for development purposes are being abused and need to be abolished say Cathoic bishop - and many other people


MICHIGAN, USA - The District Services Improvement Program (DSIP) and Provincial Services Improvement Program (PSIP) are both valued highly by members of parliament in Papua New Guinea because they allow MPs considerable discretion in how the money is used.

For the last several years I’ve been paying particular attention to this DSIP and PSIP spending.

While DSIP and PSIP have great potential for development at the same time both programs can suck MPs into corruption.

Continue reading "Time to crack down on MPs stealing public funds" »

'Blackface' at Exxon I-Day event causes storm

The 'blackface' performer at the Exxon Independence Day event. 'Blackface' is considered offensive by many people and this incident has drawn great criticism

| ABC Pacific Mornings | Extract

You can link here to Anthony Stewart’s full story
And here’s an explainer on why ‘blackface’ is offensive

MELBOURNE - A performance at the Port Moresby headquarters of oil giant Exxon Mobil has sparked controversy in Papua New Guinea, with some locals saying the show disrespected their culture.

The video posted on Twitter shows a man painted brown and dressed in the traditional clothing of PNG's Tolai people while dancing around in celebration ahead of Monday's 44th independence day.

Continue reading "'Blackface' at Exxon I-Day event causes storm" »

Independence Day? We were always independent....

Powes Parkop
Governor Powes Parkop fronts an Independence Day crowd in Port Moresby - was the notion of gaining 'independence' ever relevant?


PORT MORESBY - As our 44th independence anniversary drew to a close, I took some time to reflect on the concept of 'independence'.

What are we independent of? And from who are we independent?

Since when did we depend on others, and what did we depend on them for that we don't need to depend on them anymore?

And, anyway, are we really independent in an increasingly interdependent world?

Continue reading "Independence Day? We were always independent...." »

China extends influence as Solomons ditches Taiwan

China makes another significant inroad into the Pacific as the Solomons abandons Taiwan despite strenuous efforts by the USA to persuade it not to

| The Guardian

SYDNEY - The Solomon Islands’ government has voted to sever its longstanding ties with Taiwan and take up diplomatic relations with Beijing.

The move is a huge blow to self-ruled Taiwan, which has lost six allies since 2016, and to Taiwan’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, who is seeking re-election in January amid rising tension with China.

The Solomon Islands, with about 600,000 people, is the latest country to switch allegiance to China since Tsai came to office in 2016, following Burkina Faso, the Dominican Republic, São Tomé and Príncipe, Panama and El Salvador.

Continue reading "China extends influence as Solomons ditches Taiwan" »

Viet detainees return to families thanks to Sr Teresa

Sister Teresa and detainees
Sister Teresa and Vietnamese detainees - ensuring that barriers to freedom  and justice are overcome

| Asia News

PORT MORESBY– Young migrants, refugees and people detained in Papua New Guinea struggle to overcome the barriers of language and culture as they seek to get back to their homeland or a third country.

They experience not just separation from their places of origin but also cultural and religious uprooting.

This is where the Church can serve as a reference point for these people. “The Church has an important role and can bring new life to them” (Christus vivit, Chap 3, par 93).

Continue reading "Viet detainees return to families thanks to Sr Teresa" »

Whatever Bougainville’s future, we need good govt

Momis & Marape sign joint resolution on Bougainville
John Momis and James Marape after their top level meeting in Bougainville last week

| Speaker, Bougainville House of Representatives

BUKA - I want to reflect on the upcoming referendum and the future political path of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.

As a Bougainvillean and a Papua New Guinean, I am less concerned about greater autonomy, independence (or the ‘third choice’ whatever it might be).

The simple fact is that two options are already guaranteed, and it is now for the people to make their choice.

Continue reading "Whatever Bougainville’s future, we need good govt" »

Literature petition update: getting round the roadblock


PORT MORESBY – Here’s a brief update about our bid to petition prime minister James Marape to promote literature in Papua New Guinea.

Since being in the national capital I have met with petition organisers Caroline Evari and Betty Wakia for the first time.

It appears that the petition had reached an anti-climax, if not a full stop.

Betty was told that prime minister James Marape was busy so she left it at that.

Caroline was given a quotation for over K8,000 by one of the national newspapers if the petition was to be published as an advertisement.

Continue reading "Literature petition update: getting round the roadblock" »

Want to blow it all up & get out of here? Harry did


Haven: Harry Flynn's Final Odyssey by Philip Fitzpatrick. Independently published, 457 pages, paperback ISBN-13: 978-1693100352. Available here from Amazon, US$ $15.84

TUMBY BAY - For those poor souls who spend a significant amount of their lives working in one of the caring or service professions there often comes a point when they realise that no matter how noble their intentions what they are doing is ultimately futile in the face of the vested interests arranged against them.

When that moment arrives most people tend to ditch their ethical inclinations and carry on regardless, a wage is, after all, a wage and a prime necessity in modern life. Turning a blind eye becomes an economic imperative.

Continue reading "Want to blow it all up & get out of here? Harry did" »

At the dawn of independence, 1975....

Post Courier Independence Day
The front page of the Post-Courier of Tuesday, 16 September 1975. The newspaper in my archive is now brown and showing its age but it still radiates the excitement and joy of that remarkable day when Papua New Guinea set out on its own journey as a united and sovereign nation - KJ

And in this special Independence Day edition of PNG Attitude....
I have reason to celebrate this Independence Day, an essay by Francis Nii
Flying the new flag: It was the kiap's duty, a memoir by Robert Forster
Airwaves struggles: Broadcasting back then, history by Keith Jackson
Sgt Kasari Aru - recollections of independence, extract from a new novel by Philip Fitzpatrick
Today is our country's birthday, poetry by Porap Gai
Why we should celebrate Independence Day, article by Lucy Kopana
Take Back PNG, poetry by Joseph Tambure


I have reason to celebrate this Independence Day

Francis Nii
Francis Nii and the green hills of Kundiawa


KUNDIAWA - In the last eight years, when other Papua New Guineans celebrated their country’s independence anniversary on 16 September each year, to me it was just like any other day.

I didn’t feel anything special about the occasion. Independence was meaningless and unimportant to me.

Although 2016 had been a special year, in that I spent one week in Australia and attended the Brisbane Writers Festival, and in 2018, PNG hosted the historic APEC meeting in Port Moresby, when it came to 16 September there wasn’t any special feeling in me.

Continue reading "I have reason to celebrate this Independence Day" »

Flying the new flag: It was a kiap’s duty

The new flag is raised in a remote community  PNG Highlands  1974  (Graham Forster)
The new 'Kumul' flag of Papua New Guinea is raised in a remote Highlands  community in 1974 (Graham Forster)


NORTHUMBRIA, UK - On Independence Day in September 1975 few, if any, Papua New Guineans had not already seen their new flag flown formally or the respect with which it had been presented.

This was the result of a carefully planned operation that began well before the introduction of self-government in December 1973.

It was aimed at building familiarity with the flag itself as well as softening the mental jolt faced by villagers, especially in the Highlands, who were being asked to abandon the form of government with which they were familiar.

At the core of this successful story of hurried preparation for independence was a Port Moresby-led central bureaucracy, the kiap system, through which direct government contact with villagers throughout PNG was regularly maintained no matter how remote the location.

Continue reading "Flying the new flag: It was a kiap’s duty" »

Airwaves struggles: Broadcasting back then

NBC radio stations in 1984
NBC radio stations operating at independence in 1975. Vanimo and Wabag had begun transmission by 1984


NOOSA - I arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1963 as a school teacher and left in 1976 as a broadcaster and journalist with 10 years under my belt.

This was to be my first substantive career, and – after many adventures in Asia-Pacific - it culminated in my appointment as a senior executive in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), before I turned my communications activities to public relations in 1988.

Continue reading "Airwaves struggles: Broadcasting back then" »

Sgt Kasari Aru – recollections of independence

Tambul warrior
Tambul warrior, 1970


PORT MORESBY - I can still remember Independence Day on 16 September 1975 as if it had happened yesterday.

I had been transferred from Mount Hagen to the high and chilly patrol post at Tambul. The local kiap was from Finschhafen and he felt the cold like me but Temi and my children seemed to enjoy it.

Roland was about five years old by then and our new daughter, Dinah, was about 18 months old. To all intents and purposes they were little highlanders.

Continue reading "Sgt Kasari Aru – recollections of independence" »

Today Is Our Country’s Birthday

Gai - Independence DayPORAP GAI

Today is our country’s birthday
Now is the time for fireworks and fun
But we shouldn’t forget its reason
This is one of the most important days
To mark the freedom of our people

Today’s the day the nation became our own
It’s the date of our country’s birth
For many years under Australia’s rule
And now a governance of our own
Give thanks to the good Lord above

Continue reading "Today Is Our Country’s Birthday" »

Why we should celebrate independence day

Flags a flutterLUCY KOPANA | My Land, My Country

LAE - Today Papua New Guinea celebrates 44 years of independence.

I’ve heard people ask questions about why we celebrate independence when our government systems are corrupt, when our service delivery is inefficient, when 80% of the people in rural areas still struggle with access to basic services, when our roads keep deteriorating, when there are so many other problems.

Continue reading "Why we should celebrate independence day" »