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The PNG diaspora spreads around the world

Roche  John Kewa from Hagen in Wollongong
John Kewa from Mt Hagen lives in Wollongong, NSW. He works with seafarers, and is seen here carrying a box of goodies for them


MAYNOOTH, IRELAND - Since I left Papua New Guinea in 2017, I’ve been living in Maynooth, not far from Dublin city. 

Dublin has many parks and other green areas. I came across an interesting revealing that Dublin’s inner city has more than 10,000 trees, about 2,500 of these have been surveyed and registered.

And why do I raise this subject?

The main author of the study in which I found this information, ‘An inventory of trees in Dublin city centre’, is Tine Ningal.

Roche     Tine Ningal in Stephens Green in Dublin Ireland
Tine Ningal photographed in Stephens Green, Dublin, where he lives and works

Tine, as you may have already guessed, is originally from Simbu Province in PNG.

I certainly hadn’t expected to find a Simbu man undertaking and publishing research on trees in the Irish capital.

Tine is on the staff of University College Dublin, one of the best and best known of Ireland’s universities.

I have since met Tine, who knows his way around Dublin better than I do.

He told me he will shortly be undertaking a visit to Mozambique in Africa as part of his work.

Meeting Tine got me thinking of the many other PNG people who live and work overseas

I don’t believe there are too many Papua New Guineans living in Ireland.

But I have heard of a married Simbu woman who lives in County Kerry Ireland and who has a legal consultancy.

And I met a married Hagen-Madang woman who works with the police department in Belfast.

At the time of the most recent Australian census in 2021, there were nearly 53,000 Papua New Guinea-born residents and people of PNG descent.

One I know is John Kewa (pictured above) from Mt Hagen who came to prominence not long ago in Wollongong NSW because of his work with seafarers.

The United States, New Zealand, England, Scotland and of course the Pacific Islands also have their fair share of Papua New Guineans who came, liked the place and stayed.

Ila Temu, brother of Sir Puka Temu, spent some time in the mining industry in East Africa, as did Jonathan Kavali, son of Sir Thomas Kavali.

A PNG priest who had worked in Ghana for a number of years told me of his surprise, when he boarded an Emirates flight in Ghana on the first leg of his trip home to PNG, to find the captain was a Papua New Guinean.

There are several PNG pilots with Emirates and another PNG pilot, Captain James Makop, in recent years was flying in China.

I also know of Papua New Guineans living in Argentina, Bolivia, Jamaica, Timor L’Este, Germany, Zimbabwe and the Philippines.

I’d be interested to find out more about Papua New Guineans who have come to reside in other countries, and about the journey that took them there.


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Kindin Ongugo

I might add that the 'brain drain' concept may become irrelevant in a global village of increasing instability.

Paul Waugla Wii

That is an interesting piece. Our world is becoming a truly globalised society.

Philip Fitzpatrick

The chef, Beni, in our local Red Roof hotel in Tumby Bay comes from Daru. His two daughters have Aussie accents.

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