Books, film & media Feed

Aussie journalists condemn EMTV ‘assault’

MeaaKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Australia’s Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) has condemned the suspension of 24 Papua New Guinean journalists by EMTV, PNG’s largest television station.

The MEAA is Australia’s largest and most established union and industry advocate for creative professionals.

Continue reading "Aussie journalists condemn EMTV ‘assault’" »


EMTV suspends 19 journalists

EMTV newsroom  Port Moresby  before the dispute
An editorial conference in the EMTV newsroom in Port Moresby taken before the dispute occurred

REBECCA KUKU
| The Guardian
| The Pacific Project is supported by the Judith Nielson Institute

PORT MORESBY - Nineteen journalists from Papua New Guinea’s leading television media company, EMTV, have been suspended following a walk-off protest by staff.

The staff walked off the job last week in support of their head of news and current affairs, Sincha Dimara, who was suspended earlier in February for ‘insubordination’.

Continue reading "EMTV suspends 19 journalists" »


EMTV in turmoil after news chief sidelined

The empty EMTV newsroom last night (APN)
The empty EMTV newsroom last night (APN)

NEWS DESK
| Pacific Media Watch | Edited extracts

AUCKLAND - The national news team of Papua New Guinea’s major television channel, EMTV, walked out last night in protest over a decision earlier this month to suspend the head of news, Sincha Dimara, for alleged insubordination.

The news team condemned the “endless intimidation” which has led to the suspension or sacking of three news managers in the past five years.

The team vowed not to return until the “wrongs have been righted” by EMTV management.

Continue reading "EMTV in turmoil after news chief sidelined" »


China alert: ABC wants to revive Pacific service

ABC chief David Anderson says Pacific countries are concerned about Chinese media content (Adriane Reardon)
ABC chief David Anderson says Pacific countries are concerned about Chinese media content (Adriane Reardon)

HENRY BELOT
| Australian Broadcasting Corporation | Edited extracts

CANBERRA - The managing director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation says Pacific public broadcasters have raised concerns about Chinese government pressure to carry state-controlled news content.

As China increases its influence in the region, David Anderson told a Senate committee on Tuesday the ABC is planning to expand its operations in the Pacific and play a greater ‘soft diplomacy’ role.

Continue reading "China alert: ABC wants to revive Pacific service" »


Did Duma's anger trigger suspension of news chief?

Sincha Dimara
Sincha Dimara - EMTV news boss suspended after minister 'displeased' over news team pursuing a story about a hotel owner caught up in a drugs bust

NEWS DESK
| Pacific Media Watch

AUCKLAND – The Paris-based global media freedom watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, has condemned the “unacceptable political meddling” at EMTV News, Papua New Guinea’s main public television news channel.

Sincha Dimara was suspended as head of news and current affairs at EMTV after three news stories annoyed a government minister.

Continue reading "Did Duma's anger trigger suspension of news chief?" »


Travel as it was before Covid cut a swathe

Paul Jan 22
Paul Oates - experiences interesting, educational and humorous

PHILIP FITZPATRICK 

Around the World BC (Before Covid) by Paul Oates, Independently Published, 2022, paperback, lavishly illustrated, 427 pages, AU$50.47. ISBN 979-8413290927. Available here from Amazon Australia

TUMBY BAY - There is little doubt that the world has been irrevocably changed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The forlorn hope that we might return to some sort of pre-pandemic normalcy is at best overly optimistic.

Continue reading "Travel as it was before Covid cut a swathe" »


On the trail of The Phantom's PNG exploits

Use of Tok Pisin established The Phantom as a PNG superstar (Mark Eby)
The production of as Tok Pisin comic book reinforced The Phantom as a PNG superstar (Mark Eby)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - From time to time Slim Kaikai drops me a note from somewhere in Papua New Guinea and we have a brief email swap until the next couple of years pass.

In January Slim sent me his usual “just a quick wan”, asking would I know “where to get a hold of any phantom comics in pidgin”.

Continue reading "On the trail of The Phantom's PNG exploits" »


Fred Wilson: The boomerang boy of 1PIR

graves
The Taurama Cemetery as Terry Edwinsmith found it in 2011 before it was revamped

TERRY EDWINSMITH

Boomerang Boy by David Wilson,‏ Take A Leaf Publications, October 2021. Available: Kindle (Amazon Australia) $11.99; Paperback (Waterstones, UK) £20

BRISBANE - The book, 'Boomerang Boy', tells the compelling story of Taurama Barracks Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) Frederick Alexander (Fred) Wilson.

This remarkable soldier died suddenly while serving with 1PIR on 27 March 1968 aged 43.

Continue reading "Fred Wilson: The boomerang boy of 1PIR" »


An adventure yarn for a child of any age

Peter top
Peter Comerford amidst the ruins of Panguna, from which he was forced to flee in 1990. An author who has seen the best and the worst of things, but this charming children's book is a delight all round

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

A Survival Story of Michael and Natlik by Peter Comerford, Austin Macauley Publishers, 2022, 146 pages. Available here from Booktopia in Australia, $18.95 paperback, $7.15 ebook

TUMBY BAY - I don’t remember when I learned to read. I know it was before I started school so I must have been fairly young.

I clearly remember a book based on the 1953 Walt Disney film of JM Barrie’s 1904 West End play Peter Pan or the Boy Who Would Not Grow Up. I would have been five at the time.

Continue reading "An adventure yarn for a child of any age" »


Authors benefit from a publishing revolution

SelfPHILIP FITZPATRICK

“I know there's a self-publishing alternative available, but for Luddites such as me that sort of technology stuff would be beyond my comprehension. And how good would those volumes look compared to books prepared by a professional printer” – Richard E Jones

TUMBY BAY – For writers who cannot or don't want to use a major publisher, there are three options available to get your book printed and in front of readers.

Traditional publishers are in the business of making money and – the costs of editing, design, printing and distribution being significant - are very careful about what they publish.

Continue reading "Authors benefit from a publishing revolution" »


Tripping to Tabar & the mystery of Mahur

Mahur Island (Schneider Photography)
Beach scene on Mahur Island (Schneider Photography)

SUSAN R HEMER

Tracing the Melanesian Person: Emotions and Relationships in Lihir by Susan R Helmer, University of Adelaide Press, Adelaide, 2013, 329 pages. ISBN 978-1-922064-45-5. Free download here

KEITH JACKSON WRITES - Dr Susan Hemer lectures in development studies and medical and psychological anthropology at the University of Adelaide and her book, Tracing the Melanesian Person, resulted from a year spent in the Lihir group of islands in Papua New Guinea.

The incident it tells of occurred in May 1998 when Hemer was about halfway through her doctoral fieldwork in Mahur, the northernmost of Lihir.

Continue reading "Tripping to Tabar & the mystery of Mahur" »


A journey into reflection, insight & ennui

Urban-squalor
Nick Brown discovers there's more to the world than himself, but finds he can't fix the corruption and the squalor

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

The Value of Journey: Virtue and reality in Papua New Guinea and Asia by Nicholas C Brown, Mereo Books, Cirencester UK, 2021, 332 pages with illustrations. ISBN 9781861513212. Available here from Amazon Australia, AU$22

TUMBY BAY – Nick Brown's The Value of Journey follows directly from his first book, Better than Rich and Famous, the transition so flawless you could move from one to the other and not notice the physical change.

Continue reading "A journey into reflection, insight & ennui" »


Tok Pisin: A language on history's march

Pisin - imageCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The article by Baka Bina, ‘The Taxing Art of Translation, has recently stimulated much comment and discussion in PNG Attitude.

Accomplished writers like Michael Dom, Daniel Kumbon, Phil Fitzpatrick and others have offered their own insights and perspectives on the problems inherent in translating Tok Pisin into English.

Continue reading "Tok Pisin: A language on history's march" »


New book from Highlands holds nothing back

Johannes and Rose Kundal  30th wedding anniversary  2009
Johannes and Rose Kundal,  30th wedding anniversary,  2009

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

‘Legend of the Miok Egg: A True Enga Family Tale’ by Daniel Kumbon and Johannes Kulimbao Kundal, paperback, independently published, $26.24. Available here from Amazon Australia

FOREWORD - As an Australian who has enjoyed a long association with Papua New Guinea I tend to assume that I know a lot about the people and their cultures.

It is only when I read books like this one that I realise my knowledge is limited.

Continue reading "New book from Highlands holds nothing back" »


A true heart-warmer from the pen of Fitz

CaptureJERZEY BROWNING

Just Another Stray by Philip Fitzpatrick, KDP Australia, 279pp, ISBN: 9798782206581, paperback AU$15.40, Kindle AU$1.00. Available here from Amazon Australia

She closed the photo file and stared at the background image on her desktop. It was a photograph of Tom and Sophie in the front paddock with Rosie the dog, Anthony the horse and Pricklebum the sheep.

Sophie was sitting on Anthony’s back and Tom was holding his halter and smiling up at the little girl. 

After several moments she made up her mind. She opened a blank word document and began typing.

“One day my father arrived home with a little girl he had found by the roadside.”

Continue reading "A true heart-warmer from the pen of Fitz" »


Kastom & Kristen can be a perfect match

Johannes & his wife Rose with grandson Victor at the 30th wedding anniversary in 2009
Johannes Kundal and Rose with grandson Victor at their 30th wedding anniversary in 2009

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – In between finishing my latest novel and starting a new one I’ve been proofreading a fascinating autobiography by Johannes Kundal.

Johannes is a member of Enga Writers Association and his book, The Legend of the Miok Egg, is being edited and readied for publication by author Daniel Kumbon, who founded the group.

A few extracts have been published in PNG Attitude over the last year or so.

Continue reading "Kastom & Kristen can be a perfect match" »


Pacific whanau must be honoured

Dr Damon Salesa … We need to honour … and be connected to our whanau around the Pacific (Radio New Zealand)
Dr Damon Salesa - "We need to honour and be connected to our whanau around the Pacific" (Radio New Zealand)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – The new vice-chancellor of Auckland University of Technology (AUT), is keenly aware that he has broken through another glass ceiling.

The son of a factory worker, Dr Damon Salesa made New Zealand history last week as the first Pacific person to be appointed to head a New Zealand university.

Continue reading "Pacific whanau must be honoured" »


Thought provoking ideas in a dark novel

Top
Former patrol officer and academic Anthony English adds to the prolific literary output by PNG kiaps in this intriguing novel

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Death of a Coastwatcher by Anthony English, Monsoon Books, Burrough on the Hill, 2020, 464pp. ASIN ‏B08LR4YGP8. Available here from Amazon Australia: paperback AU$15.75, Kindle AU$9.35

TUMBY BAY - It may be a product of my advanced age but I have developed a distinct aversion to the depiction of violence and other extremes of human behaviour in literature and film.

My preferred recreational reading and viewing nowadays centres mainly on the gentle and whimsical. This is a genre in which the British excel but seems rare in America and Australia.

Continue reading "Thought provoking ideas in a dark novel" »


Nat Whiting's well-merited humanitarian award

Nat with friends at Divine Word Uni
Natalie (Nat) Whiting enjoys a barbecue with friends at Divine Word University in Madang

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - Natalie Whiting, the ABC’s Papua New Guinea correspondent, has won a major media award for her news coverage of the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country.

The annual award is given by the Australian Council for International Development’s (ACFID) to recognise a journalist who reports with skill and understanding on international humanitarian issues.

Continue reading "Nat Whiting's well-merited humanitarian award" »


‘A political act designed to intimidate’

Abc issuesKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - I worked twice for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in my 22-year media career.

The first time was in Papua New Guinea between 1966 and 1970, when I wrote and produced schools broadcasts from the ABC’s studios at Boroko, which are there still, tired by age as I am.

Continue reading "‘A political act designed to intimidate’" »


Mismatched law (& the law bringers who made it fit)

Field justice 1950s
Colonial kiaps brought the law to the people, and often tailored it to align with traditional cultural values and expectations

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Making Law in Papua New Guinea: The Colonial Origins of a Postcolonial Legal System by Bruce L Ottley, Jean G Zorn and David Weisbrot, Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina, June 2021, 526pp. ISBN: 9781531005504. Editions: Kindle AU$68.90; Paperback AU$144.75. Kindle edition available from Amazon here

TUMBY BAY - The period just before and just after independence in Papua New Guinea was a time of optimism and promise.

That Pax Australiana - the institutions built by the colonial Administration - would remain intact, as stable and progressive as they were, was never assumed.

Continue reading "Mismatched law (& the law bringers who made it fit)" »


Where do you get the news?

John Pilger and Julian Assange
John Pilger and Julian Assange at a rally in London, 2011

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - In a recent article by Australian journalist and provocateur John Pilger, there is an interesting observation about the state of the world’s media.

Pilger was writing about the trial of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a piece published on the Counterpunch website:

Continue reading "Where do you get the news?" »


Climate, culture, country: The way forward

JUDITH WHITE

Country: Future Fire, Future Farming by Bill Gammage and Bruce Pascoe, First Knowledges vol 3, Margo Neale (ed), published by Thames & Hudson Aust, 26 October 2021, 224 pages. ISBN-10 ‏1760761559

TWEED COAST, NSW - Worried about the prospects for life on earth? Well, we have just been given a message of hope born out of profound historical knowledge.

On the eve of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, where leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations will spin their climate inaction into a web of words, the newly-released book Country: Future Fire, Future Farming points to a better way of living, drawing on Australian indigenous practices developed over millennia.

Continue reading "Climate, culture, country: The way forward" »


‘Ophir’: B’ville’s epic struggle for freedom

Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet
Filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet - "Ophir is an evocative re-telling of the Bougainville conflict and its legacy over the past two decades"

CATHERINE WILSON
| Pacific Journalism Review

Ophir: Decolonize. Revolutionize, directed by Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet. Arsam International/Fourth World Films/Ulster University. 2020. 97 minutes. Link here to read and see more about 'Ophir'

CANBERRA - In Ophir, a feature length documentary film about the Bougainville civil war of 1989-1998, French filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet analyse the devastating conflict and under-reported repercussions which continue to reverberate in the region today.

Ophir in the Old Testament (Genesis 10; 1 Kings 10:22) is a land of great mineral wealth exploited by King Solomon.

In eastern Papua New Guinea, the people of Bougainville also claim Ophir to be the original name of their remote islands.

Continue reading "‘Ophir’: B’ville’s epic struggle for freedom" »


Journalism Review roars back to life

KEITH JACKSON

AUCKLAND – ‘Pacific Journalism Review: Te Koakoa, a peer-reviewed journal examining media issues and communication in the South Pacific, Asia-Pacific, Australia and New Zealand, has made a welcome return to publication after an enforced absence.

Founded by academic and journalist Dr David Robie in 1994 at the University of Papua New Guinea, it was later published at the University of the South Pacific and from 2007-2020 by the Pacific Media Centre at Auckland University of Technology.

Continue reading "Journalism Review roars back to life" »


A corny novel with some real insights

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Pacific Dash: From Asia Vagabond to Casino King by Chet Nairene, Banana Leaf Books, June 2021. Independently published, paperback, 394 pages. ISBN-13 ‏979-8745977275. 

TUMBY BAY - Although Chet Nairene cites novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux as his inspiration, Pacific Dash is more reminiscent of the pulp fiction that was popular in the 1960s in works like Harold Robbins' 1966 pot boiler, The Adventurers.

Continue reading "A corny novel with some real insights" »


Writing’s always been my passion

Phil
Phil Fitzpatrick - "Shedding the jargon, verbosity and density of the bureaucratic writing style required real effort"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Some people like messing about in boats but writing fiction has always been a passion of mine.

Unfortunately it’s very hard to make a living out of writing books in Australia and I’ve had to resort to other means of subsistence.

That’s why reaching retirement age is such a blessing.

Continue reading "Writing’s always been my passion" »


Journalists have a trust problem

Gittins
Ross Gittins' book, 'A life among budgets, bulldust and bastardry', is available from Amazon

ROSS GITTINS
| Economics Editor, Sydney Morning Herald
| Extracts

SYDNEY - As journalists know, but probably try not to think about, polling shows that, as an occupation, we don’t rank highly.

We’re well down the list, held in roughly the same esteem as politicians, real estate agents and people selling used cars.

Continue reading "Journalists have a trust problem" »


Waka Poet Faumuina meets Blunt Bugger Dom

MICHAEL DOM
| Ples Singsing

Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i
Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i

My Grandfather is a Canoe by Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna'i, July 2021, Flying Geese Pro. Order here for $36.52 (post included)

LAE – Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna’i’s first poems appeared in print in ‘Fika – a fictional body of new writing by First Draft Pasefika Writers’ (2008), under the banner of Pacific Arts Creative New Zealand.

Faumuina’s poetry later featured in dried grass over rough-cut logs’, my own collection of 2020, published by the late PNG publisher, poet and essayist, Francis Nii.

Continue reading "Waka Poet Faumuina meets Blunt Bugger Dom" »


Fahim Dashty - pioneer of Afghan press freedom

Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper (Martin Hadlow)
Hand-compiling the Kabul Weekly newspaper (Martin Hadlow)

MARTIN HADLOW

SAMFORD VALLEY – Not long ago in PNG Attitude, this photograph was published alongside my article, ‘Taliban had time & are not so benign’.

It shows the Kabul Weekly newspaper being compiled by hand.

The newspaper was established by an extraordinary journalist, Fahim Dashty. And this is his story.

Continue reading "Fahim Dashty - pioneer of Afghan press freedom" »


‘The Age’ undermines public health

The Age editor
Editor of The Age, Gay Alcorn. Jenny Hocking writes, "The Age failed even to mention that Australia is six months behind the rest of the world in (its) way out of this pandemic"

JENNY HOCKING
| John Menadue’s Pearls & Irritations | Edited

MELBOURNE – Last Thursday, The Age newspaper published a provocative editorial, ‘Victoria cannot go on like this’, which many saw as undermining the Victorian government’s public health response to Covid.

Having done so in the middle of a pandemic, The Age should have expected, and indeed welcomed, a robust response.

Continue reading "‘The Age’ undermines public health" »


Asia (& PNG) are places you fly over

Phil Williams was a highly regarded foreign correspondent for the ABC
Phil Williams was a highly regarded foreign correspondent for the ABC

BRUCE DOVER & IAN MACINTOSH
| Pearls & Irritations

SYDNEY - By ignoring Asia and the Pacific, the Australian media is contributing towards the creation of a more insular and parochial and less understanding country.

Any examination of Australia’s media these days suggests the country’s news editors have adopted an adage attributed to former prime minister Paul Keating – that Asia (or Papua New Guinea) was a place you flew over on the way to Europe – or Washington in our case.

Continue reading "Asia (& PNG) are places you fly over" »


Crippled: Our most trusted news source

PowerPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - The first hint that everything was not well at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) came when the seven o’clock evening television news began to include reports about car crashes and house fires in its line-up.

Not long after that stories about football began to appear in the main bulletin. Suddenly the impact of Covid-19 on the sport, and where the finals would be held, seemed of significant import.

Continue reading "Crippled: Our most trusted news source" »


Those were the days (just 40 years ago)

BureaucracyPHILIP FITZPATRICK

Bureaucracy and Democracy: A Political Dilemma by Eva Etzioni-Halevy, Routledge, 278 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0415555371. Paperback, $64.71. Available from Amazon - link here

TUMBY BAY - The only textbook I ever kept from my rather eclectic university studies was Eva Etzioni-Halevy’s ‘Bureaucracy and Democracy: A Political Dilemma’.

I came across it recently while rummaging through my bookshelves for something else and decided to dip into it again.

Continue reading "Those were the days (just 40 years ago)" »


Democracy suffers when media languish

MediaKEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – There are many issues holding back the success and prosperity of the resource rich Papua New Guinea and its adept people.

Chief among them are the entrenched corruption and decision-making acumen that somehow seem to have failed the transition of social and political power from clan to country.

Continue reading "Democracy suffers when media languish" »


The book that went missing for 50 years

Marie Reay
Marie Reay wrote the the first, book on women’s lives in the PNG Highlands. It was not discovered for 50 years (Noel Butlin)

FRANCESCA MERLAN

Wives and Wanderers in a New Guinea Highlands Society by Marie Olive Reay. Francesca Merlan (ed). ANU Press 2014. 268 pages. ISBN 97819250212155 (paperback). Link here for free download

Marie Reay (1922-2004) was an Australian anthropologist, best known for work in the New Guinea Highlands. The manuscript for Wives and Wanderers was discovered in 2011, seven years after her death and 50 years after she had made her last amendments to it. Editor Francesca Merlan did a fine job in bringing it to publication and providing a valuable and stimulating Introduction. Some edited extracts follow - KJ

CANBERRA - Wives and Wanderers presents vivid, ethnographically based narrative of the lives of women of the Wahgi Valley in the Central Highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Marie Reay explores the experiences of courting, attraction, love, marriage, and the combination of male dominance and barely restrained female resentment and rebelliousness.

Continue reading "The book that went missing for 50 years" »


A prosateur writes on best prosateurs

Clive James
Clive James

CLIVE JAMES
| Australian Book Review

The late Clive James (1938-2019), born and raised in Sydney, wrote this review of The Best Australian Essays 2002 (edited by Peter Craven and published by Black Inc) for the May 2003 issue of Australian Book Review (ABR). James was a distinguished critic, poet, author, television performer and journalist. He moved to England in 1961 and remained, but with many visits back home. Among his countless publications are nine poetry collections, four novels, a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, five volumes of memoirs (most famously Unreliable Memoirs), and many collections of literary and television criticism. He wrote for ABR 20 times between 2001 and 2015. This review is an exemplar of superb essay writing - KJ

CAMBRIDGE, UK - After only four annual volumes, The Best Australian Essays has reached the point where the law of increasing expectations begins to kick in. By now the series has done so much that we want it to do everything.

Continue reading "A prosateur writes on best prosateurs" »


A brief history of PNG literature, Part 1

BooksPHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Papua New Guinea has a rich tradition of oral literature which exists to this day.

Vincent Eri’s work of 1970, The Crocodile, was the first novel by a Papua New Guinean, but it seems likely that the first book written by a Papua New Guinean came from the pen of the New Ireland writer, Ligeremaluoga (also known as Osea).

Continue reading "A brief history of PNG literature, Part 1" »


Land theft: the old - and, in PNG, neo - colonial project

Image from the cover of Red Nation Rising
Image from the cover of Red Nation Rising

EVE OTTENBERG
| CounterPunch

Red Nation Rising is a new book investigating the violence of border towns: those white-dominated towns located at the borders of Native American reservations, borders which separate the territory of sovereign Native nations from lands claimed by the United States. And the trigger for violence? The desire to steal the land in which Native people have profound roots: an issue which the people of Papua New Guinea will fully understand. Thanks to Phil Fitzpatrick for the referral

Red Nation Rising: From Bordertown Violence to Native Liberation by Nick Estes, Melanie Yazzie, Jennifer Nez Denetdale & others. PM Press. Paperback. 176 pages. Available from Amazon

PETROLIA, CALIFORNIA - The scope of violence against Native people in the United States is truly staggering.

In fact, it would be safe to say the historical genocide never ended. It is ongoing.

Continue reading "Land theft: the old - and, in PNG, neo - colonial project" »


Contentious book tells what kiaps feel

Mutiny on Patrol
'Mutiny on the 37th Day. We want to go home now. Really?' (Rob Barclay)

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Cannibals, Conflict & First Contact: 21 Years a New Guinea Patrol Officer by Robin Barclay, Independently Published, 2021, 282 pages. ISBN: 9780646839608. Soft-cover $55, hard-cover $150 plus $18 postage (express $22). Contact the author at [email protected] to purchase copies of the book and its artworks

TUMBY BAY - In the literary tradition of controversial  colonial magistrate CAW Monckton (1872-1936), Rob Barclay’s new book is a politically incorrect version of the kiap experience in pre-independence Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Contentious book tells what kiaps feel" »


Landmark novel from a distinguished writer

Daniel Kumbon and grandson Clinton.  Kundiawa   2021
Daniel Kumbon and grandson Clinton. Kundiawa,   2021

KEITH JACKSON

The reviews will come but this is not one of them. Daniel Kumbon’s first novel, The Old Man’s Dilemma, was published this week and here I offer the Foreword I wrote accompanied by Daniel’s Preface. The book is now on sale.

The Old Man's Dilemma by Daniel Kumbon, Love, Grief, Happiness & Rebellion: A Modern Day Novel From Papua New Guinea. Independently published, June 2021. Paperback, 188 pages. ISBN-13:‎ 979-8526508247. Link here to purchase from Amazon. Paper $11.39. Kindle $1

NOOSA – Daniel Kumbon is one of Papua New Guinea’s most prominent modern day authors and he has accumulated a substantial collection of non-fiction writing – all of it offering a Melanesian worldview.

Continue reading "Landmark novel from a distinguished writer" »


Savage assassination of Pacific media jewel

David Robie
Dr David Robie - "I have never experienced something as blatant, destructive and lacking in transparency as this"

DAVID ROBIE
| Café Pacific | Edited extract

Link here to read the complete illustrated chronicle of the Pacific Media Centre by its founding director Dr Robie

AUCKLAND - It really is bizarre. After 26 months of wrangling, stakeholder representations and appeals by Pacific Media Centre (PMC) to Auckland University of Technology, in the end the innovative unit remains in limbo.

In fact, sadly, it seems like a dead end.

Continue reading "Savage assassination of Pacific media jewel" »


A most readable novel connects two worlds

John Kuri and daughters
John Kuri (Kamnguru Nem) and daughters. A novel that takes the reader into the complex world of Melanesians before the arrival of Western influence

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Porugl: Son of the Underworld by Kamnguru Nem, Independently published, 183 pages. ISBN: 9798520442332. Available from Amazon Australia, ebook $25.94, paperback $42.83

TUMBY BAY - A gigl ambu is a female spirit who lives in the underworld and travels at night into the outerworld, where humans live, to secretly forage for food.

The underworld is ruled by an ancient serpent, Kerwanba. Among her subjects are spirits, dwarfs and the mysterious smoking makan nem who act as landlords.

Continue reading "A most readable novel connects two worlds" »


A beautiful book, long in the making

Mutiny on the 37th (Rob Barclay)
Mutiny on the 37th - an illustration from 'Cannibals, Conflict and First Contact' by Rob Barclay

ROB BARCLAY

BLACKBURN, VIC - Cannibals, Conflict and First Contact is my illustrated adventure memoir of a New Guinea patrol officer spanning 21 years from 1958 to 1979.

From the early 1900s to Independence in 1975, New Guinea was Australia’s only colonial experience.

Australia was determined to ‘do it right’, evolving initiatives that were widely copied by other colonial powers as a textbook study of how to bring primitive peoples into the modern world with a minimum of trauma.

Continue reading "A beautiful book, long in the making" »


Epic years in march to nationhood unveiled

John Gorton -
Australian prime minister John Gorton Gorton decided to proceed to self-government in PNG despite the economic implications for Australia"

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Documents on Australian Foreign Policy: Australia and Papua New Guinea: The Transition to Self-Government 1970-1972, Bruce Hunt and Stephen Henningham (eds.), Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, UNSW Press, 2020, 932 pp, eBook (ISBN: 9781742249681), AU$55.51, hardback (ISBN: 9781742237176) AU$89.99, available from New South Books

TUMBY BAY - This impressive volume is the second in a series of three. The first volume published in 2006 covered the period 1966-1969*. The third volume, covering the period 1973-1975, is scheduled for publication in 2022.

The three volumes will no doubt become an important primary source for historians and other professionals but should also be of interest to the readers of PNG Attitude who wish to understand what happened in those formative years.

Continue reading "Epic years in march to nationhood unveiled" »


How colonial radio came to PNG

Nellie Exon (Lawrence)
Radio Rabaul's Nellie Exon, the first Tolai woman broadcaster

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - The first government broadcasting station in Papua New Guinea, Radio Rabaul, was opened in a hurry in October 1961.

There were no adequate production, transmission and office facilities – a demonstration that there had been little planning behind the bold decision of the colonial Administration to enter the broadcasting field.

Continue reading "How colonial radio came to PNG" »


Patrolling with kiaps in remote PNG

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

Stethoscopes, Kiaps and the Law of the Jungle by Dr Malcolm Dunjey, Ark House Press, 2021, 162 pages, ISBN 9780645103168, US$22.99 from Ark House Press.

TUMBY BAY - This short book describes three patrols conducted in the Western District between 1966 and 1967 that were accompanied by Dr Malcolm Dunjey, who was the District Medical Officer based in Daru.

My particular interest stems from the fact that I led patrols into the same areas a few years later when I was based at Olsobip and then Nomad River.

The usual way in which a book like this is written is to gather together primary and secondary sources of information, noting key events and issues, and then develop a narrative into which those elements fit.

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A new children’s storybook from PNG

Evari - When I grow up topCAROLINE EVARI

When I Grow Up by Caroline Evari, illustrated by Clarisa Alu. Independently published, May 2021. Paperback, 24 pages. ISBN-13: 979-8740768373. Available here from Amazon Australia $17.14 (shipped)

PORT MORESBY - My new children’s story book, ‘When I Grow Up’, has just been published and is available.

The book is a Papua New Guinean collaboration between me, artist Clarisa Alu and poet Bradley Gewa.

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Another PNG book publisher emerges

Baiva  publisher  author and speaker
Shane Baiva - trying to get inspirational books to market

SHANE BAIVA
| Ples Singsing

PORT MORESBY - Young Papua New Guinean authors like Glen Burua, Edward E Isouve, Gerard William Ivalaoa and Nigel V Sine are rising to leave a mark for this generation & generations to come.

I am excited, blessed and so humbled to see these young people doing what they love doing – writing and getting published.

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A record explained, or rationalised?

Chan
Julius Chan brought in the mercenaries, devalued the kina and hated the Ombudsman Commission

MICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

Sir Julius Chan: Playing the Game: Life and Politics in Papua New Guinea

PORT MORESBY – As MP for Namatanai, Julius Chan was one of the founding fathers of Papua New Guinea, twice serving as prime minister (1980– 82 and 1994-97) and currently governor of New Ireland Province.

Unlike Michael Somare in ‘Sana’, who focused much on the principles and traditions that underpinned his statesmanship, ‘Playing the Game’ admits from the outset that it is a book about politics.

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