KEITH migrated with his family from the north of England to Australia in 1949 and grew up on the south coast of New South Wales.
After leaving high school he trained as a teacher at the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA), arriving in the then Territory of Papua and New Guinea in 1963 at age 18.
His first teaching post was at Kundiawa in the Chimbu region, where he also established a local newsletter, Kundiawa News, and freelanced as a reporter for the Australian Broadcasting Commission.
After three years teaching, he was transferred to Port Moresby as editor of school publications, later joining the ABC to write and produce educational broadcasts.
From there, after two years, he moved to the Government Broadcasting Service, managing radio stations in Rabaul and Bougainville.
Around the time of PNG's independence in 1975, Keith was appointed head of policy and planning of the new National Broadcasting Commission.
Leaving PNG in 1976, he worked in a range of communications development roles for UNESCO in Indonesia, Maldives, India, Philippines and Fiji. Back in Australia he established and managed radio stations 2ARM-FM Armidale and 2SER-FM Sydney.
Keith lectured in mass communication at ASOPA's successor, the International Training Institute, and was appointed Acting Principal before rejoining the ABC as its first General Manager of Corporate Relations, responsible for government, media and community affairs.
He moved to public relations firm Mojo in the late 1980s and soon after, in 1991, established his own communications company. For 20 years Jackson Wells Morris was one of Australia’s leading PR firms. Keith retired from the company in 2012.
Keith has academic credentials in education, a BA in economics and political science from the University of Papua New Guinea and a Graduate Diploma in Management from the University of New England.
He received the PNG Independence Medal in 1976 "for outstanding service" and in 2004 was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) "for services to management and training in media, communications, non-commercial broadcasting and public relations".
Keith served as inaugural President of the Public Broadcasting Foundation (1983-85), President of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia (2008-09) and inaugural President of the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society (2009-11).
He was an Adjunct Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Queensland (2010-14) and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management & Leaders (joined 1983), a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts & Commerce (joined 1995) and a Member of the Australian Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (joined 1972).
Keith was the first Australian executive member of the Issue Management Council (USA) in the late 1990s and a member of the Australian National Commission of UNESCO (1983-85).
He launched the PNG Attitude blog in 2006 to enable Australians and Papua New Guineans to engage in public discussion on political, social, economic and literary matters.
The blog spun off the Crocodile Prize literary awards, Pukpuk Publications (which has published over 50 titles), the McKinnon-Paga Hill Fellowships for writers and the Walk to Equality project, publisher of the first collection of writing by PNG women. All were not-for-profit enterprises.
This photograph shows Keith taking a 'whisper ballot' from a voter during the first PNG general (common roll) election in February 1964. The election patrol of which he was a member trekked through mountainous terrain south of Chuave in the Chimbu region of the Highlands as they gathered votes as part of the massive nationwide operation to bring democratic government to the then Australian territory.
Hi Keith - My computer crashed and I lost part of 'The Blatchford Collection'. When I try to download it from your site I get the error message - 'Not Found - The requested URL /asopa_people/files/Blatchford_1962.pdf was not found on this server.'
Can you advise how to access the material
I've been in touch with Loch about this most recently identified loss from PNG Attitude's crash earlier this year, which caused the loss of all images and all links and nearly all textual content - KJ
This note has been added to the site:
"After the devastating crash of the PNG Attitude site in early 2023, The Blatchford Collection, perhaps the largest compilation of archival materials relating to the pre-Independence Papua New Guinea education system ever brought together in the one place, has lost all its content on this page.
"The bulk of the Collection comprised letters and documents from the files of the PNG Department of Education before 1977. These were supplemented by material from other PNG departments and a number of private collections.
"Loch and I are taking what steps we can to remedy this situation."
Posted by: Loch Blatchford | 14 May 2023 at 07:21 AM
A lot has been written about the finding of the wreck of the Montevideo Maru in the last couple of days.
It wouldn't have happened without that first meeting in Keith's office all those years ago.
Lest we forget.
Posted by: Rod Miller | 25 April 2023 at 06:29 AM
Hello Keith - I have been looking for one of my English teachers at school called Peter Kranz.
He was my English teacher, while I was at a school in Watford, England. I did a search of Peter Kranz and a link in Google led me to your blog. I see that a Peter Kranz wrote a short piece on your blog back in 2014.
I know this is very unconventional, but I see that you approve messages before they are published, so I'm hopeful that you will read this.
Is there anyway that you could share the email address of Mr Kranz? I'm coming up to my 60th birthday and am trying to track down people who made an impact on who I am today.
Mr Kranz's English lessons influenced my choice of a career in community development and social justice. I would love to be able to tell him 'thanks a million'.
If it is an absolute no-no, please feel free to share my email address with Mr Kranz.
Hi Audrey. I have provided Peter with your email address. I feel sure he'll be in touch with you - KJ
Posted by: Audrey Ahwan | 10 April 2023 at 01:09 AM
Keith, morning - Can I draw you attention to the draft Master Plan for the redevelopment by the the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust of the area around ASOPA.
Released 14 March 2923, information session on site Tuesday 21 March, comments must be submitted by 18 April.
There's not a lot in the plan that suggests an understanding of the significance of ASOPA.
And as a member of the PNGAA can you pass this message on please:
Thanks Bill. Do you know whether the old barracks that were used as ASOPA and ITI lecture rooms are still with us? - KJ
Posted by: Bill Sanders | 16 March 2023 at 09:22 AM
Hi Keith - I have a short story about a Catholic priest who was ordained in the Komkui Tribe in Mt Hagen.
Can I email you the story to go through and possibly publish it?
I've advised Tony that we warmly welcome contributions from readers - KJ
Posted by: Tony Noki | 25 January 2023 at 10:41 PM
I am interested to know more about Tigi Plantation Ltd, WHP, Papua New Guinea and want to get a copy of the book called 'Tigi Adventures' from 1967 to 1986.
Posted by: Lewis Mora | 18 October 2022 at 03:03 PM
I'm looking for Sue Ward, an ex Sogeri colleague. Any information will be appreciated.
Posted by: Heather Hummel | 28 June 2022 at 05:00 PM
Hi Keith - My father was Peter (David Peter Sheekey) and I was just looking to see if you have stories in relation to him or my mother Gwen? Gwen is turning 94 this year.
I did not have the pleasure of meeting Peter or Gwen, David, and I cannot recall them being mentioned on this site (until now). May I pass on our congratulations for Gwen's impending 94th - KJ
Posted by: David Sheekey | 17 May 2022 at 10:02 AM
Hello Keith, I am wanting to gain permission to use a photo of Dr Clarrie Burke published in PNG Attitude after his passing in 2019.
I am writing an article for a newsletter, acknowledging his generous philanthropy to our organisation and would like permission to use the image. I look forward to hearing from you.
I was happy to give permission to Sharon and it is so good to know that Clarrie is remembered and still gaining recognition. He was a fine educator and a fine man - KJ
Posted by: Sharon Johnson | 06 January 2022 at 11:23 AM
Dear Keith Jackson - I am writing following the advice of Peter Franz looking for a picture of one of the cinemas that were operating in Port Moresby during the 1960s and 1970s.
It is for publication in a book I wrote on the life and work of Chris Owen, the filmmaker.
I would be grateful to you if you can tell me where I could find one or if you have one yourself that I could use (with due crediting of course). It should be 300 dpi or higher.
Pascale is a researcher in social anthropology based at CNRS-CREDO at Marseille in France. If anyone can assist with her query, Pascale's email is [email protected]
Posted by: Pascale Bonnemère | 28 December 2021 at 11:00 PM
Hi Keith - My name is Iava Parapa-Falvey and I'm the editor of the Garamut, a newsletter of the Gold Coast PNG Club.
I am writing to seek your permission to reprint the vale you wrote on the late Sir Peter Lus in the PNG Attitude on 3 October 2021.
PNG Attitude is an interesting read.
Hi Iava - You have our permission to republish the obituary with the usual attribution to author and PNG Attitude - KJ
Posted by: Iava Parapa-Falvey | 04 November 2021 at 01:36 PM
Commendable personality and a true friend of Papua New Guinea. Wishing you good health and a peace of mind. God bless.
Thank you Koraea, and best wishes to you and your family - KJ
Posted by: Koraea Kingsley Lore | 07 September 2021 at 08:53 AM
Dear Keith - Greetings again from Chicagoland. Let me again compliment you on your PNG blog, which I enjoy regularly reading.
As a shortwave radio hobbyist, I especially enjoy the stories about historic broadcasting in PNG as well as elsewhere in Asia (like your Maldives series).
I am a retired expatriate who lived in SE Asia for about thirty years - Malaysia, Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines and Thailand.
And now, at the youthful age of 70, I have just finished an adventure travel novel following the exploits of a young expat essentially lost in Asia, 'Pacific Dash, From Asia Vagabond to Casino King'. The story is written under my pen name of Chet Nairene (long story there).
In 1968, a sudden job transfer catapults young Dash's family from sleepy rural Illinois to scintillating Hong Kong, a move the teen believes only temporary ... but thus begins his lifelong odyssey meandering between continents and crisscrossing Asia.
Eccentric personalities roll through Dash's vagabond existence as he roams the jungles, beaches, and cities of the Far East.
He makes amazing friendships, falls in love, saves lives, and nearly loses his own. 'Pacific Dash' continually delights with a parade of humorous but sometimes life-threatening West versus East misadventures as young Dash jostles with flamboyant characters in colourful Asian locales.
Please inform your blog readers of this work, since I think they will fit the profile of my targeted readers to a " -anybody who enjoys exotic travel adventure fiction, packed with humour and thrills.
Folk like that simply can’t go wrong with 'Pacific Dash', recently available on Amazon in paperback and ebook.
Ralph is the Publisher of Banana Leaf Books, a new imprint of exotic travel adventure fiction. We wish Ralph well both with his publishing venture and his new book, Pacific Dash. I've just ordered two copies from Amazon - one for me and one for Phil Fitz to review - KJ
Posted by: Ralph Perry | Banana Leaf Books | 13 August 2021 at 02:05 AM
Hi Keith - Thank you for posting Georgina Beier’s obituary. It was nicely done and well researched.
Thanks Sebastian and condolences on your family's loss. Ulli and Georgina contributed greatly to PNG and their places in its history are secured - KJ
Posted by: Sebastian Beier | 18 July 2021 at 05:34 PM
Hi Keith, I am a teacher and currently works as the Curriculum Officer at Flexible Open and Distance Education (FODE).
It is a a government distance learning institution and we are now developing our courses for online delivery. Hence, we are looking for reading resources online that we can provide our students.
In this regard, I would like to ask your permission to use one of the articles to supplement our Grade 11 Personal Development topic on Role Models in Papua New Guinea.
The link to the article is:
Thank you so much and also for creating the PNG Attitude blog. I enjoyed reading the articles.
Go right ahead Geraldine. And thanks for keeping in touch through PNG Attitude - KJ
Posted by: Geraldine Cabañero | 25 May 2021 at 10:57 AM
Re: Phil Fitzpatrick's post last year
I smoked Brus (sp?) in the laundry with the woman who worked in our haus long Waigani. Strong and deliciously aromatic rolled in the SP Post.
Posted by: Louise Inglis | 20 May 2021 at 05:06 PM
In response to Jim (Chuck) Dixon, an Errol George French, aged 73, died in Tamworth on 22 November 2018.
Posted by: Ross Wilkinson | 13 April 2021 at 03:48 PM
Keith - Hope you can help. I am trying to trace Errol (Froggy) French, ex Commonwealth Bank.
Last I heard he went to work for Brian Heagney.
Bit of a long shot after all those years, Chuck, but if any reader can assist they can leave a comment here and I'll put you in touch - KJ
Posted by: Jim (Chuck) Dixon | Goroka 1962-65 | 12 April 2021 at 08:05 PM
Hello Keith - You and your readers may be interested in a new publication in the Documents on Australian Foreign Policy Series, edited by (the late) Bruce Hunt & Stephen Henningham, with the title 'Australia and Papua New Guinea, 1970--1972: the Transition to Self-Government'.
It follows on from the volume edited by Stuart Doran on Australia and Papua New Guinea, 1966--1969.
A further volume, also edited by Hunt and Henningham, and on the period from the end of 1972 to independence in September 1975 is scheduled for publication in 2022.
If you or an associate would be interested in doing a review or short notice on the volume, please send me an email address and a postal address for us to send the volume to.
Thanks indeed for PNG Attitude which I have been reading from time to time with great interest, and from which I have learnt a lot.
Posted by: Stephen Henningham | 25 March 2021 at 05:16 PM
Hi Keith - Could you please help me find out about two brothers, namely Aina Toai Dom and Mirmaul Dom.
Both were right hand men with Jim Taylor during the colonial days in the 1950s and 1960s.
They are brothers and one is my father, Mirmaul Dom, who usually delivered mail from Simbu to Goroka and Hagen by foot to colonial kiaps.
I would really appreciate any information, photo taken during those times.
It will be a treasure to my kids and family whom I am struggling to find and explain to my family tree.
I want to thank you for educating our fathers during those colonial days, and may God bless and long live.
I any reader can assist John with this, you can leave a comment here - KJ
Posted by: John Mirmaul Domial | 15 March 2021 at 03:44 PM
Keith, greetings from snowy Chicago. Bumped into your blog whilst googling around for info on Radio Maldives and enjoyed reading about your days there.
Have you compiled your various blog posts into a more comprehensive memoir? I searched Amazon but found nothing. If not, please consider doing so!
Hi Ralph - Hope you're keeping thawed in the big deep freeze. I have nothing more comprehensive but thanks for asking. A couple of decades ago, diagnosed with an illness that took me pretty much out of action for five years, I began an attack on a longer work of my Radio Days. A five chapter manuscript is mouldering in my PC, incomplete and likely to remain so. Too many diversions. Perhaps if I hit my eighties and the world slows its spin I'll get back into it - KJ
Posted by: Ralph Perry | 22 February 2021 at 02:06 AM
Hi Keith - I am trying to find my biological father who was doing construction work in PNG in the 1960s.
He was working on the Kumusi bridge in Oro Province in the 1967-68 period. His name might be Tom or Thomas, of Irish descent.
Any help would be appreciated.
Bibra's email is [email protected]
Posted by: Bibra Japara | 22 January 2021 at 10:30 AM
Hi Keith, I don't know where I should post this:
Fee-free option for dropouts (The National)
By GYNNIE KERO THE Government has urged parents to enrol their children who have dropped out of school into the Flexible Open and Distance Education (Fode) this year […]
This is a classic example of policy on the run, decision making by politicians and not the professionals. The minister's statement is nonsense.
"The Government has paid the fees" - how could the government have paid the fees when they have no idea how many pupils will enrol? Were funds provided in the recently passed national budget? What's the line item and how much? Given that this decision was made after the budget, probably nothing.
"The Education Department is working on a plan". So, no plan for something that is supposed to be implemented" on February 1st". This involves attaching "Fode centres to high school and nominated primary schools in districts and provinces". Has any school been consulted about or appointed to host one such centre? Unlikely, without a plan.
Has FODE already printed or somehow obtained the massive amount of materials that will be required from February 1st so that "Fode students will study the same contents and they will sit for the same exams"? Dream on, especially as none other than the existing FODE centres are known.
Uguro said teachers would be paid an allowance for teaching Fode. Does this refer to work to be done after a full day teaching, or is there an unemployed cadre of teachers that no-one knows about? How much will they be paid and on what basis, per hour or as a top up to their normal salary? Who will monitor allowance claims? Has this additional expenditure been budgeted?
For at least 2 decades the education system has been greatly harmed by "political brainwaves", with little or no professional input, unplanned and un-budgeted.
Posted by: Daniel Doyle | 13 January 2021 at 08:48 AM
Hi Keith - Could you please advise contact details of any one who can do Tok Pisin to English interpreting over the phone for a medical assessment.
Readers who are competent in Tok Pisin- English translation should contact Sunil here [email protected] - KJ
Posted by: Sunil Chopra | 20 October 2020 at 07:18 PM
Hi Keith, your information is clearly defined and based on facts. I like most of your articles you posted on your web page.
People capture new things and new ways of living as time passes. However, the history of our people is our pride, our culture is our backbone.
Through publishing articles on culture and the past experiences of our people, we can be rooted from generation to generation. Thanks very much for that.
Posted by: Peter Morua | 20 October 2020 at 12:38 PM
Hi Keith, I was just looking at information on Dylup Plantations when I found this article.
I was very interested as my husband worked on Dylup in 1971 for three years. He eventually became the Livestock Manager, and we were sad when we had to leave, because we loved our time at Dylup.
Our eldest daughter was nearly 5 so we had to come south for the kids to go to school.
I also know you name from Montevideo Maru society as I was very interested in that group, my uncle Keith Morden ‘Jim’ Smith was one of the members of ‘Lark Force’ who went down when the ship was torpedoed. Although I had never known my Uncle as he died a couple of years before I was born.
Sadly my mother died before the monument was dedicated in 2012, but she was alive at the time that mention was made in Parliament. I feel that she felt that something was being done to bring attention to the loss of her adored brother, and all his mates, so that she could ‘rest in peace’.
Posted by: Judy Ireland | 21 September 2020 at 07:26 PM
Muruk was a twist tobacco (trade tobacco) produced like a normal cigarette in a flip top box.
Bloody awful and eventually a flop. People preferred rolling in in newspaper.
Posted by: Phil Fitzpatrick | 01 September 2020 at 08:26 PM
Hi Mr Jackson! My sister and I were among the 10-15 students in your one room, all ages school in Kundiawa during 1963-67.
It was - by far - the best educational experience of my life.
I have a photo of you and the entire school and would love to send it to you. And, of course, reminisce a little about the old days! We are Robert Johnston MD and Sindi Johnston.
With much love and appreciation!
PS: Until their dying days, our Mum and Dad - Jack and Una Johnston - would sing the chorus of your song at the Christmas Show: "Marook Marook Marook, we always smoke Marook / Marook Marook Marook... the tobacco that makes you crook!" (Can't remember how to spell Marook.)
Great to hear from you Robert. I remember those days (and you guys) as clearly as yesterday. I'm sad to learn Jack and Una are no longer with us. They were wonderful people and so very supportive of the young teacher (I was 19) foisted upon the community to run the A School. I'd love to see the photo (PO Box 1688, Noosa Heads QLD 4567) and, given the memories you've triggered, will soon write more about that little school - KJ
Posted by: Robert Johnston | 01 September 2020 at 03:19 PM
Francis extensively revised 'Fitman, Raitman and Cooks: Paradise in Peril' a couple of years ago and we published a 2nd edition under the shorter, original title 'Paradise in Peril'.
This newer 2nd edition is available on Amazon by following this link:
Posted by: Philip Fitzpatrick | 04 August 2020 at 07:26 AM
Hi Keith - I'm interested in buying a copy of 'Fitman, Raitman & Cooks: Paradise in Peril' but its out of stock on Amazon.
Any suggestions where I can get a copy?
Hi Robert - I'm sure Phil Fitzpatrick can provide more information on this - KJ
Posted by: Robert Butcher | 03 August 2020 at 07:51 PM
Dear Keith, I am a German journalist and I am looking for a contact of Michael Dom. How can I send him something - we want to invite him for a contribution to our magazine.
I have provided Timo with Michael's contact email - KJ
Posted by: Timo Berger | 16 July 2020 at 08:44 PM
I thought to write you having just read a note on your page where you give your experience of Uriel Porter, a bass singing Seventh-day Adventist who was given accommodation in the 1960s by your father. I knew Mr Porter from my childhood days until he died when I was a teenager as we attended the same church. I have a photograph of Mr Porter and others listening to a pianist singing after one of our services at The New Gallery Centre, Regent Street, London in the 1960s and wondered if you would like to see it?
It would be good to hear from you, take care until then and all the best.
Posted by: JANICE | 24 June 2020 at 12:05 AM
I've recently read Philip Fitzpatrick's excellent 'Dingo Trapper' book. I'm doing extensive family research and thought Philip may be able to assist with some queries I have about remote South Australia. Could you please forward his email address or alternatively send him mine: [email protected]
Brendan Watkins M: 0417385929
Posted by: Brendan Watkins | 17 January 2020 at 04:11 PM
As a Technical Officer in the Department of Commerce in the early 1970s I’m interested to know about others who were involved in business development in those days.
There was an extensive network of Business Development Officers, many of whom I met and I would like to know how their work has progressed.
Posted by: Nicholas Brown | Ex-Handcrafts Marketing Officer | 11 November 2019 at 08:25 PM