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33 posts from January 2023

Australia has taken 47 years to address issues

Albanese and Marape at Moem Barracks  Wewak (PM’s Office Media)
Anthony Albanese and James Marape at Moem Barracks,  Wewak (PM’s Office Media)

| PNG Business News

PORT MORESBY – Papua New Guinea prime minister James Marape says that, for the first time in the 47 years since independence, an Australian government and prime minister are addressing all outstanding issues between both countries.

Marape was commenting on the visit by Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese in mid-January.

Continue reading "Australia has taken 47 years to address issues" »

Tandem Regina Mortua


QE2porcelain dollR J HAUSER

Tandem Regina Mortua (At Last, the Queen Died)

The frothy surf of media guff is slowly ebbing
on its receding tide of feigned sincerity
leaving a beached society exposed by
the shallow waves of sentimentality.

She looked like a little porcelain statue
in the end, shiny and polished and strained,
the mouth stretched in a painful smile,
her face, pleated with lines, quite drained.

Continue reading "Tandem Regina Mortua" »

Political leaders enabled PNG election flaws

Image from TIPNG 2022 Election ReportEDITED BY KEITH JACKSON

Edited extracts from the TIPNG Domestic Election Observation Report 2022 compiled by Transparency International PNG (TIPNG). The full report can be downloaded here

PORT MORESBY - The accumulated failings in the preparation, conduct, delivery and conclusion of the 2022 national general election resulted in significant issues impacting the quality of the elections.

Many eligible voters could not freely, fairly or safely vote, and consequently their views were not taken into consideration in the formation of the 11th national parliament.

Continue reading "Political leaders enabled PNG election flaws" »

Destiny fulfilled: Fr Rex enters the priesthood

Ordination Fr Rex Dokta speaks
Fr Rex Dokta speaks at his ordination


Leo Noki is CEO of the Mt Hagen City Authority.
This article is derived from the speech Mr Noki
gave on behalf of the KomKui community at
the ordination of Father Rex Andrew Dokta

MT HAGEN - The Catholic Church in the Western Highlands Province conducts its mission under the leadership of Archbishop Douglas Young with the support of the more than 200,000 Catholic congregation.

I should note here that Holy Trinity Cathedral in Mt Hagen was opened and dedicated by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle only in October last year.

Continue reading "Destiny fulfilled: Fr Rex enters the priesthood" »

KomKui people celebrate first Catholic priest

Ordination of Fr Rex Dokta
Archbishop Douglas Young ordains Fr Rex Dokta, the first Catholic priest from the KomKui area

PORT MORESBY – On Thursday last week, at the Tiling ceremonial grounds in Mt Hagen, the people of Moge tribe witnessed the ordination of the KomKui area’s first priest, Father Rex Andrew Dokta SVD.

The KomKui people had made their Covenant with God more than 40 years ago, on 18 December 1980.

Continue reading "KomKui people celebrate first Catholic priest" »

PNG's 6,000 years of sustainable agriculture

Prisilla  FarmersPRISILLA MANOVE
| Prisilla’s Notes

GOROKA - In the remote and rugged highlands of Papua New Guinea, traditional Indigenous communities have practiced sustainable farming techniques for centuries.

Kuk in Western Highlands Province is one of the first places on earth where people started farming.

Continue reading "PNG's 6,000 years of sustainable agriculture" »

The fickle, unsteady history of Radio Australia

RA book receiver
The frequency shown on the receiver dial was used by Radio Australia until its closure when it was quickly grabbed by China Radio International

| ABC Alumni

Australia Calling - The ABC Radio Australia Story by Phil Kafcaloudes, commissioned and published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 2022, paperback, 224 pages $27.75. ISBN 0646852434, 9780646852430. Available here from Booktopia for $27.75

MELBOURNE - Radio Australia was founded in 1939 by prime minister Robert Menzies to project the perspective of Australia during World War II.

At the time propaganda, what we might now call ‘fake news’, was being broadcast in our region by the Japanese, Russians and Germans.

Continue reading "The fickle, unsteady history of Radio Australia" »

Are Australian views about aid changing?

Wood   Delivering-ventilators-to-Indonesia
Delivering ventilators to Indonesia in July 2021 (Timothy Tobing, Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade)

| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - Less than 1% of Australian government spending is devoted to aid.

Aid’s effects are felt in other countries, and its impacts are rarely directly noticeable to Australians.

Continue reading "Are Australian views about aid changing?" »

K90m to boost PNG technical & skills training

Business   ADB Director for PNG & Pacific David Hill & PNG Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey ('ADB in the Pacific'  Facebook)
ADB Director for PNG & Pacific David Hill and PNG Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey ('ADB in the Pacific' Facebook)

| PNG Business News

PORT MORESBY - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Papua New Guinea government have signed loan and grant agreements of more than $66 million (K90 million) to help improve PNG’s technical and vocational education and training (TVET) program.

The agreements, part of the Improved Technical and Vocational Education and Training for Employment Project approved on 29 November, were signed by PNG Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey and ADB Country Director for Papua New Guinea David Hill.

Continue reading "K90m to boost PNG technical & skills training" »

Covid's costly lesson: Why elimination should be the default global strategy


| About The Conversation

MELBOURNE - Imagine it is 2030. Doctors in a regional hospital in country X note an expanding cluster of individuals with severe respiratory disease.

Rapid whole-genome sequencing identifies the disease-causing agent as a novel coronavirus. Epidemiological investigations suggest the virus is highly infectious, with most initial cases requiring hospitalisation.

The episode bears a striking resemblance to the Covid outbreak first detected in December 2019.

Continue reading "Covid's costly lesson: Why elimination should be the default global strategy" »

PNG’s fatberg politicians: Keeping the sunshine out

Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash
Photo by Towfiqu Barbhuiya on Unsplash


TUMBY BAY - My next door neighbours are quite elderly, more so than me even, and I occasionally help them with stuff that goes wrong in their house, leaking taps and suchlike.

A recent endeavour involved unblocking the drain beneath their kitchen sink.

Continue reading "PNG’s fatberg politicians: Keeping the sunshine out" »

I’m an Indigenous female entrepreneur: Let me introduce myself

Prisilla Manove
Prisilla Manove

| Prisilla’s Notes*

GOROKA - My father’s father lived in a complete agrarian society. What that means is that everything they ate they grew; everything they needed they made.

All labour and life revolved around both the harvest and ceremonies celebrating the harvest.

For my people, these practices happened up until the mid-21st century in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Fragments of them still happen today.

Continue reading "I’m an Indigenous female entrepreneur: Let me introduce myself" »


Richard Hauser
Richard Hauser


For her birthday, my wife Sylvia was given a huge jigsaw puzzle of more than 13,000 pieces

My life is a jigsaw
its scattered confetti of peace and connection
a love progeny waiting for the final
myriad detritus colourful after the life
with lost purpose searching with meaning
my fitful open tabs for completion components
of wedding and left with longing of little pieces
of a meaningful picture.

My life is a jigsaw
its myriad components
scattered detritus
of colourful confetti
left after the wedding
of a longing life
with lost little pieces
of peace and purpose
searching for connection
with meaning and love
my fitful progeny
waiting with open tabs
for the final completion
of a meaningful picture.

Can onetime ‘greatest of friends’ restore relationship they both desperately need

(PNG Business News)
Papua New Guinea's prime minister James Marape greets his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese (PNG Business News)


NOOSA – It’s always good to see Rowan Callick’s byline in The Australian or anywhere else, and the other day it was a delight to read the commentary that followed.

Callick’s an excellent journalist - a former Australian Journalist of the Year with a couple of Walkley Awards and three books to his credit.

Continue reading "Can onetime ‘greatest of friends’ restore relationship they both desperately need" »

How we got water to flow uphill in Panguna

Roka RAM
Augustine and Fitzkeith with cellphone and repurposed fire extinguisher


PANGUNA - In late 2017 my father-in-law, after seeing what I did in Panguna, asked me to help built a toilet and shower facility.

I was lost. How could I help in a place where there were no hills to provide gravity feed to get water for the facility.

Continue reading "How we got water to flow uphill in Panguna" »

Governor General election: Will parliament give meaning to PNG gender equality goals

Winnie Kiap CBE, PNG’s ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2011-22, and nominee for Governor-General


PORT MORESBY - The position of Governor General in Papua New Guinea becomes vacant in February as Grand Chief Bob Dadae’s six-year tenure comes to an end.

In the history books, Sir Bob will be remembered as the only PNG Governor-General who served under the reign of both Queen Elizabeth ꓲꓲ and King Charles ꓲꓲꓲ.

And on Thursday his successor will be elected by the PNG parliament.

There has been much discussion in PNG recently about which women would qualify to be the first to hold this high office. Winnie Kiap is a leading contender.

Continue reading "Governor General election: Will parliament give meaning to PNG gender equality goals" »

ASOPA: A history which deserves to be told


SYDNEY - In its day the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA) was an important institution, as was the International Training Institute (ITI) which succeeded it.

ASOPA was established after World War II as a place where ‘the right type of people’ could be trained for post-war work in the colonial administration of Papua and New Guinea, later adding teacher training to its functions.

As part of my post-graduate research writing a history of ASOPA, I am compiling the histories of people who were involved in any capacity, whether as staff or trainees.

Continue reading "ASOPA: A history which deserves to be told" »

Was this 1909 Morobe film PNG’s first movie?


Movie Title shotMORRISET – ‘Aus dem Leben der Kate auf Deutsch-Neuguinea’ (‘From the life of the Kate in German New Guinea’ may well be the first moving film made in what is now Papua New Guinea.

It was the creation of Professor Richard Neuhauss (1855-1915), an ethnologist from Berlin on an expedition to German New Guinea in 1909.

I was very excited to find this 114 year old 16mm film about Kate’s life in German New Guinea.

Continue reading "Was this 1909 Morobe film PNG’s first movie?" »

Tracing provenance enhances cultural understanding

Awan body mask
This awan was collected by John Greenshields and gifted to the South Australian Museum. It is pictured here with Sophie Parker of ArtLab in Adelaide (Image: Alice Beale)

| Journal of the Oceanic Art Society

ADELAIDE - This large body-mask, called a tumbuan in Tok Pisin, comes from the Iatmul people of the Middle Sepik River in Papua New Guinea, and played an important role in traditional ritual life.

Initially it was thought to pertain to the naven ceremony of the Iatmul people, when pairs of mwai masks were attached to the backs of the tumbuans and groups of dancers performed each afternoon in front of the men’s house for several months.

Secret ritual names for a multitude of objects, plants and animals were passed down to the young men and a recitation of all the previous Iatmul generations was incantated to the audience.

Continue reading "Tracing provenance enhances cultural understanding" »

Blue Hills


Blue_Hills_dustjacketWe often heard Dad walking the long way home
from heavy farm chores through the winter dusk
clearing his sinuses with a snort and a spit in
the gutter and slipping into a bold hillbilly yodel
his spirits elevated by a day’s exacting labour
and prospects of a family meal and a warm kitchen.

In stifling summer heat no-one wanted to move
but he would drag his unwilling brood and a few
old stagers out into the humid midday glare
to dodge redbacks and snakes in the pumpkin patch
or screw the tops off heads of bleeding beetroots
mouthing maxims of worn wisdom he found there.

Continue reading "Blue Hills" »

The Local Party


The local Party
It’s been brought to my attention,
Now that you’ve liked to mention,
It’s decidedly the time for a clean-up.

For the state of the local Party,
Has become a media ‘Tarty’,
And it’s clearly lost its celebrated way.

So for all those ‘True Believers’,
Who resisted going to the cleaners,
It sure isn’t how it used to be.

And while seeming to be quaint,
In line with Democracy, it ain’t,
No matter the different picture that you paint.

Continue reading "The Local Party" »

Cashless in China as I study for my PhD

Wakia  WeChat and Alipay applications
WeChat and Alipay digital payment applications


PORT MORESBY - In November of 2022, a few months after arriving in China’s Hubei Province, it was with a feeling of excitement that I strolled down the busy streets of Wuhan.

I wanted to see how Wuhan had changed since I lived there in 2011.

Eleven years later, I was returning to the place where I had started my journey in higher education.

Continue reading "Cashless in China as I study for my PhD" »

The Dancing Waves


On the surface of the mysterious blue
Unseen wind kissing saltwater surface
Curving white clouds of rumbling bubbles
Forcing the waves to follow in a curve
Like morning fog on the tree tops

A dancing queen with a glistening crown
Smiling and swinging in magic rhythm
Like Motu frangipani petals swaying
Stalked on soft frizzy and kinky hair
Waving steadily in ceaseless cadence

Continue reading "The Dancing Waves" »

Grandfather’s Day


I’ve been suggesting to my grandchildren that we ought to celebrate Grandfather’s Day

In my grandfather’s day life was grim
enduring the Depression and the Wars,
it seemed as if the hard times wrung him out|
and squeezed his life force slowly through his pores

I’ve been a grandfather myself for twenty years.
I’ve learned the rules of family push and shove,
and how my times have proved quite opportune
to demonstrate strong service acts of love.

Continue reading "Grandfather’s Day" »

The honest experts guide to managing Covid


NOOSA – OzSAGE is a large group of Australian scientists (infectious disease specialists and immunologists), medical researchers, public health authorities and related professionals.

Its goal is to formulate independent advice on public health, health systems and other policy matters relevant to Covid control.

Continue reading "The honest experts guide to managing Covid" »

A virus of evil assisted by men of stupidity


“It’s almost like there’s a political will for Covid to go away, and it hasn’t gone away. So we’re just not going to really talk about it anymore” - Independent federal MP, Rebekha Sharkie

NOOSA - The pandemic has to be getting worse. It has to be getting worse because there are no serious public health steps being taken to halt its progress.

On the contrary, public health measures have been diminished. 'You Do You' is the new, trite, slogan of how our leaders see Australians' health being managed.

Even the much vaunted vaccines are waning in their ability to protect. If you can get them in the first place. The federal government seems to have lost interest.

Continue reading "A virus of evil assisted by men of stupidity" »

Worst public health disaster since World War II


 "The nurses would spend hours sitting with their dying patients holding their hands
ensuring they weren’t alone in their final minutes of life" - Emma Reardon

MELBOURNE - The arrival just over a year ago of the new and different-looking Omicron variant of Covid-19 brought much hope that this would usher in the end of the pandemic.

That hope was based on two assumptions: that Omicron led to milder disease than earlier variants, and that its extraordinary capacity to spread fast would mean that the wider population would rapidly be exposed to this ‘milder’ virus and further boost the immunity that 95% of Australian adults already had through two doses of the vaccine.

Continue reading "Worst public health disaster since World War II" »

Birth of a Papuan Tragedy


Psychopathology of the coloniser and colonised

They taught me how to celebrate Christmas and New Year,
but they did not teach me how to honour and celebrate my humanity.
I was taught how to get to heaven and how to avoid hell,
but I was never taught how to live on this planet
as a human being – the only place I know.
I was taught to see myself in God’s image,
but they never respected that image.
They taught me how to be religious,
but they did not teach me how to be a human being.
They preached the gospel of progress and development to me,
but they did not tell me how these gospels would destroy me.

Continue reading "Birth of a Papuan Tragedy" »

Getting Old


I turned seventy-six in August

I sometimes wonder about the trajectory of getting old
which is less like a steady ascent to a bright summit
than it is the awkward stumbling down a slope
to a dark vale where visions pale and hopes plummet.

Not that keen on the encouragement you get from others
whose words are meant to comfort themselves, not you,
self-assurances they won’t be called on that soon to help
and their own last years will merge with a gentle twilight too.

Continue reading "Getting Old" »

Another innocent victim of a very cruel crime


LAE - He may have been hungry and desperate. He may have been dying to drink alcohol. He may have been just looking for luck.

He may have planned my day for this. Perhaps hiding in the thick grass, or behind the trees. Ready to pounce.

As I walked past, the street was quite empty.

Continue reading "Another innocent victim of a very cruel crime" »