History & colonialism Feed

Indigenous treaties worth all the problems

Legislation will need to spell out the terms of Indigenous Treaties to ensure consistency with Australia's constitution and laws relating to land and access rights. This is not impossible but is bound to be complex and contentious

Invasion
CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - The history of Australian governments in dealing with Australia’s Indigenous peoples is very dismal indeed.

The now departed and unlamented Liberal-National Party government continued this tradition whereby weasel words were deemed an adequate substitute for meaningful action.

Continue reading "Indigenous treaties worth all the problems" »


The unvirtuous circle of SA's Blackfella affairs

The ‘designed to fail’ policies that glisten with promises come to nought in delivery because the Whitefella wants to be able to control, constrain and interfere with the Blackfella’s interests

Police engaging Aboriginal people,1838
New South Wales Mounted Police attack Aboriginal people, Waterloo Creek, 1838

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY – I’m currently writing a history of the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Branch, based in Adelaide, where I was employed between 1974 and 1994.

It’s tentatively called ‘Full Circle’ – the title describing a 20-year trajectory in which the Branch went from virtually nothing to journey through a period of high productivity and public recognition before finally looping back to irrelevance and obscurity, buried in a high rise city building.

Continue reading "The unvirtuous circle of SA's Blackfella affairs" »


Solomons melting pot: The Honiara story

The Solomons both lost and found its way politically and economically. Part of its journey were mismanagement and corruption, and the ‘tension years’, when the nation came to the brink of anarchy

Honiara
Honiara is a corruption of the Malaitan word, nahona`ara, meaning facing the place where the southeast winds meet the land (Jenny Scott)

CLIVE MOORE
| DevPolicy Blog

Honiara: Village-City of Solomon Islands by Clive Moore, ANU Press, May 2022. More information here. ISBN 9781760465070 (online). Download or read the book free online here

BRISBANE - Like most cities, Honiara is bound by its geography, history and culture. In my new book, I explore these relationships and how they have created the city we see today.

Military bases in the Solomon Islands are in the news, although most people seem to have forgotten that Honiara began as a World War II battle ground and military base, initially Japanese and then American.

Continue reading "Solomons melting pot: The Honiara story" »


Revisiting Hahalis: Cult or flawed crusade?

'John Teosin was a complex personality and an enormously deep thinker. He was ahead of his time in many ways. Among the living dead, John Teosin shan’t be forgotten'

Hahalis headline

COMPILED & EDITED BY KEITH JACKSON
| With some useful references from Dr Robin Hide

NOOSA - The John Teosin Highway (aka the Buka ring road) connects villages along the east coast of Buka Island with Bougainville’s commercial and administrative centre, Buka Town.

The ring road plays a vital role in people’s lives as well as moving them from one place to another.

Continue reading "Revisiting Hahalis: Cult or flawed crusade?" »


National Geographic’s long affair with PNG

The National Geographic, always a product of its time, remains an amazing pictorial record of Papua New Guinea over nearly 100 years

Kranz Miramar chilldren Gilliard Nat Geo 1955
E Thomas Gilliard's 'Miramar children' (or were they?) of 1955 (National Geographic)

PETER KRANZ

MORISSET – The photograph above was taken during E Thomas Gilliard's bird hunting expedition to the Papua New Guinea Highlands in 1955.

The story of the expedition, together with many spectacular photographs, was published in National Geographic magazine in the same year under the headline, 'To the Land of the Headhunters'.

Continue reading "National Geographic’s long affair with PNG" »


Port Moresby Harbour is not Fairfax Harbour

A Port Moresby  19th century - from The Colonial Portfolio (The Werner Company  London)
Port Moresby,  19th century - from The Colonial Portfolio (The Werner Company London)

CHRIS WARRILLOW

MELBOURNE - Names often change with time but, after nearly 50 years of independence and 150 years after the arrival of Captain John Moresby, the name of Papua New Guinea’s remains Port Moresby.

Prior the arrival of the first British sailors in 1873, and still today, the traditional inhabitants lived in a few small villages on the harbour shores with many houses built over its waters.

Continue reading "Port Moresby Harbour is not Fairfax Harbour" »


Rabaul, Anzac & memories of war & peace

Anzac - dawn service rabaul
The RSL Cenotaph, a clear sky and a calm morning provided the perfect setting for this year's Anzac Day dawn service in Rabaul 

SUSIE McGRADE

RABAUL – In a year that marks the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Rabaul, more than 80 people attended Rabaul’s Anzac Day dawn service this year, which was hosted by the Rabaul Historical Society at the RSL Cenotaph.

The battle saw a small Australian overwhelmed by Japanese forces in late 1942 and it became the as the main Japanese naval base for the Solomon Islands and New Guinea campaigns.

Continue reading "Rabaul, Anzac & memories of war & peace" »


Home & away: fragments from an old photo

Turner scan0017
John J Murphy - district commissioner, war hero falsely accused, lexicographer and author

WARREN ‘WAZZA’ TURNER

PORT MACQUARIE, NSW - I was far from a star player when I ran out for Kone Tigers in the early sixties. I really just made up the numbers, so I don’t deserve a star billing.

When the Papua versus New Guinea rugby league teams were selected, I thought I might be an outside chance of maybe making the seconds.

Continue reading "Home & away: fragments from an old photo" »


How PNG rugby league routed racism

Stanley Gene
Stanley Gene blasts through the pack (Love Rugby League)

CLARRIE BURKE

When Dr Clarrie Burke died in January 2019, there was an outpouring of grief in Papua New Guinea and Australia for a man who spent his life “in the service of educating and uplifting others”, as one PNG Attitude reader wrote. This article was published in September 2012 in Una Voce, the journal of the PNG Association of Australia (since renamed Kundu), titled ‘The times they began a’changing’ - KJ

BRISBANE - The time: 3 pm; date: August 14; year: 1960.

Anyone living in or visiting Port Moresby in the hours leading up to that time would have reckoned with the endless unbroken lines of cars and swollen streams of ‘native’* people on foot being directed by traffic police from both sides of Hubert Murray Highway into Lahara Avenue.

Continue reading "How PNG rugby league routed racism" »


Remembering the remarkable John Guise

guise
John Guise - "The first Papuan to make a political mark and a true pioneer of nationhood"

DON WOOLFORD
| AAP Archive | 28 August 2012

SYDNEY - A little-known role of the most remarkable Papuan of his generation should be recalled during the commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the battle of Milne Bay - Japan's first defeat on land in World War II.

John Guise, the first Papuan to make a political impact, didn't mind a bit of boasting, especially if it involved cricket and the unbeaten 253 he once smashed which was, and may still be, a record for Milne Bay first grade.

Continue reading "Remembering the remarkable John Guise" »


A Kiap’s Chronicle: 32 - A prime ministerial intervention

woman resists rorovana
Woman resists police during the confrontation at Rorovana, 1969 (Sydney Sun)

BILL BROWN MBE

THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES - On 28 July 1969, Australia’s minister for external territories Charles CE (Ceb) Barnes approved the issue of CRA’s three new Bougainville leases.

The terminology that defined the locations of the areas required was particular.

They were “leases for mining purposes” and the area was “approximately 400 acres of Rorovana land for laydown areas, construction camp and general accommodation …. 194 acres south of Willys Knob for aggregate, and the first section—approximately eight miles—of the east coast road.”

Continue reading "A Kiap’s Chronicle: 32 - A prime ministerial intervention" »


Papuan hope is legacy of long dead Russian

Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe (centre) meets Russian Ambassador to Indonesia  Lyudmila Vorobyeva  Jakarta  Monday (Tribun Manado)
Papuan Governor Lukas Enembe (centre) meets Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobyeva in Jakarta (Tribun Manado)

YAMIN KOGOYA

BRISBANE - Russian president Vladimir Putin has been invited by Papuan governor Lukas Enembe to visit the Indonesian province later this year.

The invitation was extended when Enembe met Russian Ambassador to Indonesia, Lyudmila Vorobyeva, last week and has triggered heated debate in social media.

Speculation is also rife about whether Indonesia — as chair of the G20 group of nations — will invite President Putin to attend the global forum in Bali later this year.

Continue reading "Papuan hope is legacy of long dead Russian" »


Mutiny that saved PNG: Singirok’s new book

Singirok Tensions were high
Singirok had just been sacked and everyone was jumpy when his bodyguard, Corporal Allen, pulled a pistol on a soldier who arrived unexpectedly at Murray Barracks. He said he just wanted food (Andrew Meares)

RAE KATAHA SMART

A Matter of Conscience: Operation Rausim Kwik by Major-General Jerry Singirok, Partridge Publishing, Singapore, February 2022, 636 pages. Available from Amazon: hardcover $100, paperback $72.95 or email Rae Smart here for more information

TEWANTIN QLD – At last the book by Major-General Jerry Singirok on the Bougainville conflict and the Sandline Affair, ‘Operation Rausim Kwik’, has just been released.

Written from the unique perspective of former Army commander Singirok, the book is a no holds barred account of a mutiny.

Continue reading " Mutiny that saved PNG: Singirok’s new book" »


Tribes of Europe readying for war

Russian troops
Russian troops ford a stream at the Battle of Tannenberg in what is now Poland, August 1914. The battle lasted five days and ended in a German victory (Popperfoto)

ROBERT FORSTER

NORTHUMBRIA, UK - In 1973, Kaiyer Auwin, a fight leader of Milep village in Jiwaka, let me into his inner thoughts.

Kaiyer, who had once carried a spear against early explorer and prospector Jim Taylor, told me he could scarcely believe the benefits that followed the Kiap Administration’s subjugation of everyday inter-clan fighting.

Continue reading "Tribes of Europe readying for war" »


Ulli Beier: A personal recollection

Ulli Beier
Something of a metaphor. Ulli Beier with monkey idling in the shadows on his shoulder

ED BRUMBY

MELBOURNE - It is 52 years since I attended Ulli Beier’s classes in African literature at the University of Papua New Guinea.

Now as then, and like many others, my view of him remains conflicted.

Maebh Long has laid bare, eloquently, his hypocrisy and deceit which, back then, was a matter of considerable gossip, on and off campus.

Continue reading "Ulli Beier: A personal recollection" »


The remarkable Doc Vernon, doctor to the troops

Soldiers of the Australian 39th Battalion  Kokoda campaign  1942 (AWM)
Soldiers of the Australian 39th Battalion,  Kokoda campaign,  1942 (Australian War Memorial)

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – After graduating with a BA in history and English literature, Adrian Clack spent six years as a history teacher and school counsellor.

He then served 12 years as a police officer before, in 2017, making his passion for military history a major pursuit.

Since then Adrian has completed 15 crossings of the Kokoda Track as a guide and historian for On Track Expeditions.

Continue reading "The remarkable Doc Vernon, doctor to the troops " »


The amazing, absurd & shocking story of Port Moresby

moresby 1886
The first printed plan of Port Moresby was compiled from surveys made in July and August 1886 by Walter R Guthbertson

THERESA PATTERSON
| From a story originally published in
  the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier

Eda Moresby: Our Moresby by John Brooksbank, K250 each (K200 each for five or more). To Australia: $100 + $15 post. Link Facebook and find Eda Moresby here or email here

PORT MORESBY – ‘Only in PNG!’ People might think this catch-all phrase for our country’s extraordinary quirks is a relatively recent addition to our lexicon.

But if the outrageous stories in John Brooksbank’s new book, ‘Eda Moresby’ (Motu for ‘Our Moresby’), are anything to go by, the expression would have applied way back to before Papua New Guinea existed.

Continue reading "The amazing, absurd & shocking story of Port Moresby" »


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" »


Narokobi: The man who knew what might have been

Bernard Narokobi when Attorney-General  1991 (Pacific Islands Monthly)
Bernard Narokobi when Attorney-General in 1991. A political and jurisprudential philosopher of great seriousness and stature (Pacific Islands Monthly)

JEAN ZORN

NEW YORK - Bernard Narokobi, who died in March 2010 at the age of 72 after a short illness, was a political and jurisprudential philosopher of great seriousness and stature. That makes my memories of his irrepressible irreverence especially sweet.

One such memory: Bernard taking his afternoon nap on the wall to wall carpeting of the Law Reform Commission’s way too elegant offices.

Continue reading "Narokobi: The man who knew what might have been" »


Capturing the mind: Anatomy of a Papuan genocide

Yamin Kogoya
Yamin Kogoya - "Papuans have been dislocated from the centre of their cultural worldview and placed on the fringes of the grand colonial narrative"

YAMIN KOGOYA

CANBERRA - The colonial notion of ‘civilising primitive Papuans’ has distorted Papuan perceptions of the world and themselves.

This distortion began with how New Guinea and its people were described in early colonial literature: unintelligent pygmies, cannibals and pagan savages –  people devoid of value.

Not only did this depiction foster a racist outlook but it misrepresented reality as it was experienced and understood by Papuans for thousands of years.

Continue reading "Capturing the mind: Anatomy of a Papuan genocide" »


The saga of Judge Murray's grave

Badihagwa - Murray headstone
Sir Hubert Murray's headstone at Badihagwa Cemetery - a great administrator who preferred to be on patrol rather than in Port Moresby

CHRIS WARRILLOW

This is an edited version of a story published in Una Voce (now PNG Kundu), the journal of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia, on 16 September 2015

MELBOURNE - My first interest in the old ‘European Cemetery’ at Badihagwa dates back to the late 1980s.

At that time, with my friend and fellow former kiap, Dave Henton, I decided to find the grave of Papua’s former Lieutenant Governor, Sir John Hubert Plunkett (‘Judge’) Murray (1861-1940).

Continue reading "The saga of Judge Murray's grave" »


Pax Australiana: A most peaceful colonisation

Contact
First Contact

CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - Robert Forster’s recent article on the pacification of the Goilala region set me thinking about why the imposition of Pax Australiana in Papua New Guinea was so strikingly different to the colonial processes followed in South America, Africa and South East Asia.

By way of context, readers need to understand that European imperialism was almost invariably imposed by force, often with catastrophic results for the indigenous population involved.

Continue reading "Pax Australiana: A most peaceful colonisation" »


What did Whitlam ever do for us?

Aaa
Gough Whitlam on the day of his government's dismissal on 11 November 1975. He died in October 2014 aged 98

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – I am, after a short stay in hospital, back home, still feeling a bit poorly – but that is my normal state.

You should also know I’m in something of an intemperate mood.

However, I’m feeling well and agreeable enough to manage this short compilation for readers too young or too senile to recall.

Continue reading "What did Whitlam ever do for us?" »


A Kiap’s Chronicle: 31 - Propaganda & confrontation

Brown MapBILL BROWN MBE

THE CHRONICLE CONTINUES - The Bougainville operations of Conzinc Rio Tinto Australia (CRA) had dominated Australian government and Territory Administration thinking from 1964, but that all changed in September 1968.

The trigger was a report by the Australian Broadcasting Commission that broadcast details of a meeting hosted in Port Moresby by two Bougainville members of the House of Assembly, Paul Lapun and Donatus Mola.

Continue reading "A Kiap’s Chronicle: 31 - Propaganda & confrontation" »


Pax Australiana & techniques of pacification

Forster - Roy edwards
Patrol Officer Roy Edwards and police with a group of manacled villagers, Kunimaipa section, Goilala Sub-District, late 1940s (photo previously unpublished)

ROBERT FORSTER

NORTHUMBRIA, UK – Roy Edwards was an uncompromising kiap (patrol officer), not fond of paperwork and with his own way of bringing pacification to the warring tribes of Papua New Guinea.

He patrolled the Kunimaipa section of the Goilala region for months on end and was ultimately successful in erasing a traditional payback murder spiral that led to dozens of deaths each year.

The perpetuation of payback was an insurmountable obstacle to securing the wellbeing and progress of the villages.

Continue reading "Pax Australiana & techniques of pacification" »


Can be darn cold up in those mountains

Traditional upland gardens near Wapenamanda
Traditional upland gardens near Wapenamanda

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Like many liklik kiaps (cadet patrol officers), my first couple of patrols in the Papua New Guinea Highlands involved the construction and maintenance of roads.

The idea was to get the young men out amongst the local people so they could quickly learn Tok Pisin and also find out if they could cope with roughing it in the bush.

Continue reading "Can be darn cold up in those mountains" »


My father’s dilemma: when cultures collide

Men of Enga (Joe Herman)
Men of Enga (Joe Herman)

JOE HERMAN

SEATTLE - The word arrived quickly that Pambene, a cousin in neighbouring Pumas village in Enga Province, had been assaulted and severely injured by tribesmen over a land dispute.

As expected, my oldest brother Yandapae and two cousins retaliated and forcibly took a large pig from the culprits as compensation.

Continue reading "My father’s dilemma: when cultures collide" »


PNG landfall – the dawn of adventure

CPO induction  Kwikila  1968 (Bob Welsh)
The Class of '68: Cadet patrol officers induction course at Kwikila (Bob Welsh)

ANDREW LESLIE PHILLIPS

From Assignment Papua New Guinea: 1968-75
Link to more writing in Andrew’s Note Books

NEW YORK - Advertising was not my first career choice. I’d wanted to be a traveller and a journalist. But I couldn’t get a job in journalism because I didn’t have a university degree.

Advertising was my next choice - it was creative and better paid than journalism but I never got to the “better paid” part.

Continue reading "PNG landfall – the dawn of adventure" »


'Post-colonial Literature' is a stupid title

Michael Dom 2
Michael Dom - "I completely reject 'Post-Colonial Literature' as a valid category for considering Papua Niuginian literary works"

MICHAEL DOM

Fragment I

LAE - Post-colonial literature is a stupid title. But I do understand the objective of those academics determined to force us writers to accept it.

They see it as a starting point which, while seemingly logical in an historical time frame, provides a false indication of where our personal creativity and the creativity of our people really began.

Continue reading "'Post-colonial Literature' is a stupid title" »


Roads to the Future: Early days in Baiyer

 Ukini tribe couple
Roche - Ukini tribe couple in Lgeg area circa 1974. The man is wearing a badge ‘Baiyer River Local Government Council – Ward Committee’ (Roche)

FR GARRETT ROCHE

MAYNOOTH - Jim Moore’s article, ‘A Baiyer court case, a good kiap reflects’, brought back some memories and some questions.

The questions simply involved my wondering what specific tribes were involved in the court case Jim presided over, and where in Baiyer the conflict occurred.

Continue reading "Roads to the Future: Early days in Baiyer" »


A Baiyer court case: A good kiap reflects.

Weaponry PNG modern style
A Tagali warlord presents his Mac58 and M16 at a Hela gun surrender. Technology has made clan warfare much more lethal

JIM MOORE

WARRADALE - Among the boxes of stuff in my shed, I dug up a document I had kept because I wanted to prove I had not embellished a story.

The document was a carbon copy of a Local Court case I heard at Baiyer River in the Western Highlands nearly 50 years ago, on 10 December 1971.

Continue reading "A Baiyer court case: A good kiap reflects." »


Bundaberg issues historic blackbirding apology

Pacific Islanders on a Queensland sugar plantation (State Library of Queensland)
Pacific Islander slave labour on a Queensland sugar plantation (State Library of Queensland)

JOHANNA MARIE & STEPHANIE DOOLE
| ABC Wide Bay

BUNDABERG - The stone walls that stretch along Bundaberg's farms are a stark and lasting reminder of the history of slavery in the region, but the community has taken a step forward to begin the healing process.

In an Australian first, Bundaberg's mayor Jack Dempsey is issuing a formal apology to the region's South Sea Islander community for the practice of blackbirding.

Continue reading "Bundaberg issues historic blackbirding apology" »


Builders: The story of Mendi’s Royal Engineers

The Ialibu-Kagua built by 12 CE Works was sealed in 2019
The Ialibu-Kagua road built by 12 CE Works in the 1970s was finally sealed in 2019

KEVIN PAMBA
| Harim Tok Tok

MADANG - By the time the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) unit left Mendi in 1999, most parts of the former Southern Highlands Province (Hela was created from its western region in 2012) were connected by basic roads while the more outlying areas had airstrips.

Members of the Australian Army’s engineering corps had been deployed to Mendi in 1970 to run the Provincial Works Division.

Continue reading "Builders: The story of Mendi’s Royal Engineers" »


Roads connect but government can divide

Highlands road at Oiyarip looking toward Mendi
Highlands road at Oiyarip looking toward Mendi

FR GARRETT ROCHE SVD

MAYNOOTH, IRELAND - My initial response to Jim Moore’s item, ‘Thoughts of Then, Now & Cultural Variance’, was to try to figure out which road Jim was referring to and what clans were involved.

Then Jim continued to discuss the appropriateness of the Western parliamentary system for an independent Papua New Guinea. So will I.

Between Mt Hagen and Togoba there are at least two roads heading towards Bukapena.

Continue reading "Roads connect but government can divide" »


Thoughts of then, now & cultural variance

Road building  Pindiu  Morobe District  1965 (Frank Haviland)
Road building,  Pindiu,  Morobe District,  1965 (Frank Haviland)

JIM MOORE

WARRADALE - In the late 1960s, as a young kiap based at Mt Hagen Sub-District Office, I was assigned to supervise work on a new feeder road.

It led off the Hagen-Togaba main road and heading north towards Bukapena in the Mul Council area, perhaps eight kilometres out of Hagen.

Part of the construction through a small hill had resulted in a cliff 10-15 metres high that had to be reduced to allow the road to be widened using the stock tools of the time - picks and long-handled spades.

Continue reading "Thoughts of then, now & cultural variance" »


Writing in PNG: Kovave & beyond

BooksEVELYN ELLERMAN

In this second extract from ‘Learning to Be a Writer in Papua New Guinea’, Evelyn Ellerman writes of the emergence of student writers at the University of Papua New Guinea from 1967, which led to the development of a home-grown Papua New Guinean literature. Her paper was part of the University of Calgary’s ‘History of Intellectual Culture’ series. Link here to the complete paper - KJ

CALGARY - In the late 1960s, three principal publishing vehicles were associated with the University of Papua New Guinea's Literature Department.

Kovave, an in-house literary journal; Papua Pocket Poets, an in-house poetry series; and a number of externally published collections whose content was gleaned from the journal and the series.

Continue reading "Writing in PNG: Kovave & beyond" »


How PNG's first literary blossoming arrived

Ulli Beier
Ulli Beier - "Drawing  upon nearly  15  years  of  pioneering  work  in  Nigeria,  he  had  some  notion  of  what  he  wanted  to  accomplish in PNG"

EVELYN ELLERMAN

In this extract from ‘Learning to Be a Writer in Papua New Guinea’, Evelyn Ellerman writes of the establishment of the Literature Department at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1967, which led directly to the development of the first shoots of a home-grown Papua New Guinean literature. Her important paper was written as part of the University of Calgary’s ‘History of Intellectual Culture’ series. Link here to Ellerman’s complete paper - KJ

CALGARY - Since so few Melanesians could read and write, the first admission to UPNG was relatively small: in 1966 only  55  students  registered.

Many  of  these  students  were  required  to  take  a  bridging  year  in  order  to improve  their  grasp  of  English.  A  handful  registered  for  the  literature  classes  and began  to  write.

Continue reading "How PNG's first literary blossoming arrived" »


A brief history of PNG literature, Part 2

Russel Soaba
Russel Soaba wrote the first Papua New Guinean novel written specifically for his own countrymen

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - It wasn’t until 1977 that a Papua New Guinean novel appeared that was targeted at Papua New Guinean readers, Russell Soaba’s Wanpis.

Wanpis (Tok Pisin for a person who is lonely or alone, like an orphan) is about identity and displays an angst that is quintessentially Papua New Guinean.

Continue reading "A brief history of PNG literature, Part 2" »


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" »


Lessons from a kiap in old Bougainville

Signing-the-Arawa-land-lease-docs-in-1970
District Commissioner Bill Brown signs the Arawa land lease documents in 1970 accompanied by Tavora of Arawa, Director of Agriculture Bill Conroy, Conzinc Rio Tinto's Colin Bishop, Narug of Arawa (Department of Information and Extension Services)

ANTHONY REGAN
| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - Much has been written about the patrol officers, or kiaps, in colonial Papua New Guinea.

That material includes many books by kiaps recording their time in PNG, and by historians and others trying to understand the colonial experience and its impacts on contemporary PNG.

Continue reading "Lessons from a kiap in old Bougainville" »


White privilege era over; but it’s dying hard

Use white privilege to fight racism (Boston Globe)CHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - I am sorry that my comments on the pre-independence speculation that Papua New Guinea might become a state of Australia has been interpreted as reflecting a white supremacist outlook, or one of white privilege.

Although I freely admit to being both white and privileged, I certainly don't assume that this confers upon me some special intelligence, wisdom or insight.

Continue reading "White privilege era over; but it’s dying hard" »


What might have been could yet be

FlagsCHRIS OVERLAND

ADELAIDE - I agree with Phil Fitzpatrick who observed yesterday that Papua New Guinea should have become a state of Australia.

If this had been done, several predictable things would have happened.

First, there would have been a steady inflow of migrants from the Australian mainland lured by PNG’s almost limitless opportunities in agriculture, mining, energy, tourism and so forth.

Continue reading "What might have been could yet be" »


A history of the Western Highlands

Landscape around Mt Hagen (Gudmundur Fridriksson)
Landscape around Mt Hagen (Gudmundur Fridriksson)

JOE KETAN
| Facebook

MOUNT HAGEN - I am pleased to report that we are about to complete the first phase of research on the history of the Western Highlands (including Enga and Jiwaka provinces).

The first phase involves library research, much of which is coming from the archives of the Archdiocese of Mount Hagen.

Continue reading "A history of the Western Highlands" »


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" »


Australia’s first people had farming savvy

Ancientbananacultivationsite
Archaeologists at an ancient banana farm, cultivated over 2,000 years ago on Mabuyag Island in the southern Torres Strait 

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - There’s been a curious debate going on for several years among academics about whether Aboriginal people in Australia engaged in agriculture and therefore lived sedentary lives.

The debate was given impetus in 2014 when author Bruce Pascoe published a book, Dark Emu.

Continue reading "Australia’s first people had farming savvy" »


Names of PNG: Oala Oala-Rarua

Oala Oala-Rarua as mayor of Port Moresby
Oala Oala-Rarua while mayor of Port Moresby, 1972

MURRAY GROVES
| Australian Dictionary of Biography | Edited

CANBERRA – Oala Oala-Rarua (1934-80) - teacher, trade-union leader, politician and diplomat - was born at Pari village near Port Moresby.

He received his early education in mission village schools before transferring to the Sogeri education centre in 1948 where he was trained, and then employed, as a teacher.

Continue reading "Names of PNG: Oala Oala-Rarua" »


‘Racist’ Facebook doesn’t get the picture

Censored image of Uiaku schoolgirls (PJ Money  1908. Australian Museum)
Censored image. The photo of Uiaku schoolgirls was taken by PJ Money in 1908 (Australian Museum)

MOSTAFA RACHWANI
| Guardian Australia

SYDNEY - Facebook has been accused of “discriminatory and racist” behaviour after it deleted historical photos from a group that publishes archival photos of men and women from Papua New Guinea.

The group, which boasts over 55,000 members, claims photos showing traditional dress or ceremonies were deleted for allegedly containing nudity – but photos showing nudity among white people were not.

Continue reading "‘Racist’ Facebook doesn’t get the picture" »


Names of PNG: Camilla Wedgwood

Wedgwood PNG
Camilla Wedgwood taking the arm measurement of a young boy

DAVID WETHERELL
| Australian Dictionary of Biography | Edited

CANBERRA - Camilla Hildegarde Wedgwood (1901-1955), anthropologist and educationist, was born on 25 March 1901 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.

She was descended from Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), the master potter.

Aided by her famous name and the financial stability that flowed from the sale of Wedgwood pottery, Camilla was free to express her inherited independence, strong social conscience and streak of individualism.

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