Obituaries Feed

Sudden death of Professor Evelyn Lavu

Professor Evelyn Lavu

| Kirby Institute

SYDNEY - The Kirby Institute joins colleagues and friends in Papua New Guinea in mourning the sudden loss of Professor Evelyn Lavu.

Professor Lavu was the country’s most senior pathologist and an internationally recognised leader in the fight against HIV, malaria and drug-resistant tuberculosis.

Continue reading "Sudden death of Professor Evelyn Lavu" »

Andrew Greig, scholar, peacemaker, dies at 77

Andrew Libby & Andrew - Shetland to Scilly
Libby & Andrew Greig on their 1,800 km Shetland to Scilly 'New Technologies for Peace' ride in 2016


NOOSA – On Monday in Sydney, surrounded by his family, my good friend Andrew Greig died of the pancreatic cancer he had been living with for three years.

Andrew Burnford Greig, 77, born in Jerusalem in 1943, was a scholar, humanitarian, peacemaker and a man of consistent honour, courage, conviction and passion.

Continue reading "Andrew Greig, scholar, peacemaker, dies at 77" »

Hal Wootten, great friend of PNG, dies at 98

Hal Wootten
Hal Wootten - "Hawke said he thought PNG would not be independent for 100 years; Wootten said it would be 10"

| Sydney Morning Herald

SYDNEY - Good lawyers stick to the letter of the law. Great lawyers seek justice for the disadvantaged and a fairer society.

Such as it was with Hal Wootten, who quickly tired of working for corporate clients and instead committed himself to all sectors of society, including the downtrodden.

Continue reading "Hal Wootten, great friend of PNG, dies at 98" »

Libraries pioneer Marian Baker dies in Sydney

Marian Lindsay Baker
Marian Lindsay Baker established the first Public Library Service in Papua New Guinea

| My Land, My Country

PORT MORESBY - Marian Lindsay Baker stepped off the New Guinea Australia Line’s MV Soochow in Fairfax Harbour and took a look around at what would be her home for the next 21 months.

The year was 1959 and with one hand shading her eyes from the glaring sun, Marian took in the surrounding hilly savannah landscape that was nothing like her home in Sydney.

Continue reading "Libraries pioneer Marian Baker dies in Sydney" »

Remembering David Frodin: A giant of PNG botany

David Frodin in London  2018 (Tony Barrett)
David Frodin, 2018 (Tony Barrett). David died unexpectedly in London on 12 August 2019, unaware that bladder cancer had taken hold and metastasised


These are edited extracts of a comprehensive obituary by Dr Rodrigo Cámara-Leret & Dr Barry Conn in Blumea, the Journal of plant taxonomy and plant geography, no 65. 2020. Link here to read the full obituary - KJ

LEIDEN, NETHERLANDS – When Dr David Gamman Frodin died in London in 2019 at the age of 79, the scientific community lost a brilliant individual and a giant of Papua New Guinean botany.

David was born in Chicago, USA, in 1940 and his love for botany began in Vermont where he spent endless summer hours walking in the woods.

Continue reading "Remembering David Frodin: A giant of PNG botany" »

Georgina Beier, art pioneer, dies at 82

Georgina Beier and Ulli Beier at Oshgbo Awards  1992. (DEVA  Iwalewahaus)
Georgina and Ulli Beier returned to Nigeria for the Osogbo Awards in 1992 (Iwalewahaus)


NOOSA - Georgina Beier (1938-2021), called the ‘founding mother’ of contemporary art in Papua New Guinea, died in Sydney last Sunday aged 82.

Her husband, Ulli Beier (1922–2011), was a German editor, writer and scholar who pioneered the development of literature in Nigeria and Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Georgina Beier, art pioneer, dies at 82" »

Lance Hill, scientist: a career devoted to PNG

Lance Hill
Dr Lance Hill - "Goodwill, combined with diplomacy and devotion to the PNG environment, saw him through”


NOOSA – Adjunct Professor Lance Hill, who dedicated 38 years to his scientific career in Papua New Guinea, died in Cairns on 1 July aged 76. The cause of his death is unknown.

Dr Hill arrived in PNG in 1970, soon after the establishment of the University of PNG, as a senior tutor in biology.

Continue reading "Lance Hill, scientist: a career devoted to PNG" »

Great friend of PNG, Maev O’Collins, dies at 92

Maev O'Collins
Maev O'Collins - "Maev loved PNG, and this is seen in the many close friendships she developed over her years there"

| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - Emeritus Professor Maev O’Collins, an important person in the collective history of Papua New Guinea and Australia, has passed away in Canberra at the age of 92.

As well as Maev’s joyous and warm spirit, it was her relationships with many Papua New Guineans and her stories about her life and friends in PNG that are markers of the real friendship between the two countries.

Continue reading "Great friend of PNG, Maev O’Collins, dies at 92" »

Peter Bridger, PNG educator for 42 years, dies at 70

Peter Bridger
Peter Bridger - "Lived a positive and full life, and contributed a great deal to his spiritual home of Papua New Guinea"


YUNGABURRA, QLD - My mate Peter Bridger (3 March 1951 – 26 June 2021) has sadly passed on to that classroom in the sky.

He had retired to Deal in Kent in the United Kingdom in November after 42 years in Papua New Guinea.

In 1978 Peter John Bridger responded to an advertisement in an English newspaper calling for people to teach in Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Peter Bridger, PNG educator for 42 years, dies at 70" »

Norm Oliver dies at 87: A great friend of PNG

PNG landscape
The breathtaking landscape of PNG. In a nation where land is embedded in the soul, Norm Oliver spent his working life managing the volatile balance between its spiritual and economic values


MELBOURNE – It is with enormous sadness that I heard the news of the passing of Norm Oliver – former Land Titles Commissioner in Papua New Guinea, basketball stalwart and a friend to so many people throughout the country.

A native of Tempe in Sydney, Norm was a draughtsman at the Sydney Water Board before joining the PNG Land Titles Commission in the early 1960s.

Continue reading "Norm Oliver dies at 87: A great friend of PNG" »

Death of distinguished academic Dr Ruth Latukefu

Ruth Fink Latukefu
Ruth Fink Latukefu - Turned the tables on the kiaps in the case of Herr Dr CJ Blunge


NOOSA – The esteemed anthropologist and academic Dr Ruth Annette (Fink) Latukefu (1931-2021) has died at her home in Newport Beach, Sydney, aged 89.

Ruth was born in 1931 in Frankfurt am Maine, Germany, arriving in Australia in 1939 with her parents, German Jewish refugees.

Continue reading "Death of distinguished academic Dr Ruth Latukefu" »

Death of another PNG independence great

Sir jerry nalau
Sir Jerry Nalau was part the small group that accelerated PNG independence and provided the political skills the country required


NOOSA - Sir Jerry Kasip Nalau has died in Lae aged 83 just two months after the death of his great friend and Bully Beef Club comrade, Sir Michael Somare.

Nalau and Somare met while attending Dregerhafen High School in Finschhafen in the early 1950s. Somare was in the year ahead of him.

The friendship they forged eventually brought them together again in an important moment in Papua New Guinea’s journey to independence.

Continue reading "Death of another PNG independence great" »

The man who was there when PNG needed him

Peacock png
Andrew Peacock and Julius Chan, Sydney, 1980


NOOSA - Andrew Peacock, who has died aged 82, as Australia’s Minister for External Territories was instrumental in gaining Australian acceptance for independence in Papua New Guinea.

In 1972, then Australian prime minister William McMahon made Peacock, then aged 32, Minister for External Territories, a position that gave him responsibility for bringing Australia's colonial possession, the Territory of Papua and New Guinea, to self-government.

Continue reading "The man who was there when PNG needed him" »

Australia records gratitude to Grand Chief

Hon Scott Morrison MP


Motion to acknowledge the life and service of the late Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare delivered in the Parliament of Australia by Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison on 16 March 2021, as recorded in Hansard.

CANBERRA - Mr Speaker, I move that this House acknowledge the passing on the 26th of February 2021 of Papua New Guinea Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and place on record its gratitude of his long-standing and respected relationship with Australia and tender its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement.

Continue reading "Australia records gratitude to Grand Chief" »

Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare: a reflection

Paulini Mango
Pauline Wapen Mango, a third grader at Lahara Avenue School in Boroko, recited a poignant poem at one of Grand Chief Somare's haus krais


PORT MORESBY - The tears kept coming as I saw two elderly men - same age, same height - smile and hug each other tightly, as best friends do after missing each other for a long time.

And indeed, they were best friends – two of Papua New Guinea’s founding fathers, Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare and Sir Julius Chan.

I was at Kavieng airport in New Ireland and they probably suspected this would be their last time to meet, then wave farewell forever.

Continue reading "Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare: a reflection" »

Convenor of famed Pacific lunch dies at 85

Over 840 issues between 1931 and 2000, Pacific Islands Monthly became the ‘bible’ of the South Pacific. In the mid-1960s it also spawned a famous lunch that outlived the magazine and continues to this day. Ruth Burleigh contributed greatly to upholding this tradition


SYDNEY – Ruth Jedlin Burleigh (née Palling), who died on 19 February, was born in Sydney in 1935. Her father was a teacher (later principal ) at the Scots College Junior School and the family lived on campus.

Ruth trained and worked as nurse at the Children’s Hospital until she married Steve Jedlin, whose family operated stock feed mills in Sydney and later Fiji.

Continue reading "Convenor of famed Pacific lunch dies at 85" »

Death of Dr Harry Beran: Oceania scholar

Dr Harry Beran interviewing residents of Egum Islet  Milne Bay  2017 (Luke Wong)
Dr Harry Beran interviewing residents of Egum Islet,  Milne Bay,  2017 (Luke Wong)


Dr Harry Beran was born in Vienna in 1935 and migrated to Australia in 1957. He obtained his PhD from the University of Sydney in 1974 and taught philosophy at the University of Wollongong until his retirement in 1998. Harry was a frequent visitor to Papua New Guinea and wrote numerous publications on its art. In particular he was a scholar, author and collector specialising in the Massim culture of Milne Bay Province - KJ

PARIS, FRANCE – We have lost a treasure, a library, a friend.

Early one morning in Cambridge, England, Harry Beran left us to go study the ancestors on that little island just beyond the horizon where we cannot see him anymore.

Little do the spirits there know what awaits them.

Continue reading "Death of Dr Harry Beran: Oceania scholar" »


| Academic Nomad

the sun did not rise as it used to
it knew it won’t shine on you
the heavens above mourned heavily
its tears rushing down streams
sweeping away all in its way
the clouds are low today
as if they want to get a glimpse of you
laying in your bed
to make sure it truly is true
that you are no more

Continue reading "Sana" »

Our Chief has gone: The Michael Somare I knew

Michael Somare talks to Cr Chris Gryllis of Orange and me (Ingrid Jackson)
Michael Somare talks to Cr Chris Gryllis of Orange and me at the PNG high commission in Canberra, 2009 (Ingrid Jackson)


NOOSA – The great nation of Papua New Guinea is in shock and in mourning following the death just after midnight yesterday of its founding father, Sir Michael Somare, long known as The Chief.

Somare was 84, a considerable age in PNG, but his mark on the nation he brought to creation seemed so indelible that he, like it, might last forever.

Continue reading "Our Chief has gone: The Michael Somare I knew" »

Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare dies at 84

Michael Somare and Gough Whitlam on Independence Day  1975 (Whitlam Institute)
Michael Somare and Gough Whitlam on Independence Day,  1975 (Whitlam Institute)

| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA – With the death of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare – the man who led Papua New Guinea to independence in 1975 and became Papua New Guinea’s longest-serving member of parliament – the Pacific has lost one of its most prominent and respected leaders.

Somare was born in 1936 in Rabaul, where his father was serving as a policeman in the colonial administration, but returned to his father’s home province of East Sepik at an early age.

Continue reading "Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare dies at 84" »

Eulogy in honour of the late Sir Mek

Mekere Morauta & James Marape
The late Sir Mekere Morauta and prime minister James Marape

| Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea | Edited

I delivered this short eulogy in honour of Rt Hon Sir Mekere Morauta at his funeral service on Friday. It is short and succinct. No amount of words can adequately describe this huge persona - JM

WAIGANI - I stand today sadly to offer tribute to this great man who selflessly gave his life in service to Papua New Guinea.

Continue reading "Eulogy in honour of the late Sir Mek" »

Marj Walker, respected Sogeri teacher, dies at 84

Marj Walker
Marj Walker and students pose outside the Sogeri High School Museum


NOOSA - Marjorie (Marj) Walker, a highly respected teacher at Sogeri national high school, died at Mount Waverley in Victoria on 31 December aged 84.

Marj was the head of expressive arts at Sogeri from 1972-85 and made a number of return visits to Papua New Guinea over the years including one in 2013 to meet former students.

Continue reading "Marj Walker, respected Sogeri teacher, dies at 84" »

Vin Smith, one of the best, dies at 90

Vin & Rita Smith with Bob Cleland  Rabaul  October 2010
Vin and Rita Smith with Bob Cleland,  Rabaul,  October 2010


SYDNEY - Ernest Vincent (Vin) Smith, who saw notable service in Papua New Guinea as a kiap before independence and a senior public servant after, has died on the Gold Coast aged 90.

In two separate stints totalling 39 years, Vin served PNG with distinction and was admired for his coolness under pressure and great good humour.

Continue reading "Vin Smith, one of the best, dies at 90" »

Loss of an outstanding leader: Sir Mek dies at 74

Sir Mekere Morauta
Sir Mekere Morauta - "Your People Mourn"


NOOSA – The Rt Hon Mekere Morauta KCMG (popularly known as Sir Mek), Papua New Guinea’s prime minister from 1999-2002 and regarded as one of its greatest constitutional and economic reformers, has died from cancer in Brisbane aged 74.

His wife, Lady Roslyn Morauta, released a brief statement saying, “It is with the deepest sadness that Roslyn and James Morauta announce that their much loved husband and father, Sir Mekere Morauta KCMG, died peacefully in Brisbane on Saturday 19 December”.

Continue reading "Loss of an outstanding leader: Sir Mek dies at 74" »

Death of General Michael Jeffery at 83

Marlena and Michael Jeffery
Marlena and Michael Jeffery

| President, Papua New Guinea Association of Australia

SYDNEY –A great Australian, former governor-general, Major-General Michael Jeffery AC GCL CVO MC, died on Friday at the age of 83.

General Jeffery had a close association with Papua New Guinea as the last Australian commanding officer of 2 PIR and as co-patron of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia (PNGAA) since 2003.

Continue reading "Death of General Michael Jeffery at 83" »

Commodore Sam Bateman's 'heart for the PNG Navy'

Commodore sam-bateman
Commodore Sam Bateman - a leading maritime strategist and friend of Papua New Guinea

| President, Australian Naval Institute | Edited

SYDNEY - On 18 October 2020 Commodore Sam Bateman AM, RAN passed away aged 82. He was one of the leading maritime strategists of his generation and has left a significant legacy.

During two stints in Papua New Guinea between 1967 and 1975, Sam was senior officer of the PNG Patrol Boat Squadron, where he knew Colonel Reg Renagi, and was later Naval Officer in Charge, Port Moresby, and Director of Maritime Operations in PNG.

Continue reading "Commodore Sam Bateman's 'heart for the PNG Navy'" »

For God, country or what? Kumaniel’s war

Nepe Kumaniel and familyDaughter Nancy (PNG meri blouse & fedora) & Nepe with family members, 14 August 2015. Nepe is survived by 5 children, 19 grandchildren, 29 greatgrandchildren and 1 great-greatgrandchild (left of Nancy)


FIFE, SCOTLAND - The Oral History Project of Papua New Guinea’s National Museum & Art Gallery and the Military Heritage Project are essentially a national search for common identity and, dare I say, a national consciousness, in a country where divisive diversity is the norm.

The former participates in this search through a blending of different stories while the latter does so through the preservation of the materiality of World War II.

Continue reading "For God, country or what? Kumaniel’s war" »

An adventurous and rich life – John Philip Fowke

John Fowke
John Fowke


BRISBANE - My father was a big man, a tall man, a loud man, a funny man. A man with many moods, many strengths, and the usual amount of weaknesses.

He asked me to officiate at his funeral party, and so that means here I am, struggling to express my thoughts about a life lived, a rich, adventurous life.

As I collated my thoughts in the days following his death, I was struck by how many people loved and respected my father, but also how many different people he was to others.

Continue reading "An adventurous and rich life – John Philip Fowke" »

Nahau Rooney: A life of achievement & controversy

Nahau Rooney
Nahau Rooney - worked to catalyse the constitutional promises of equality, participation and a focus on rural development

| DevPolicy Blog

CANBERRA - Trailblazing, hardworking, audacious, always vivacious and at times controversial – some of the descriptions offered of Papua New Guinea and Manus pioneering woman in politics, Nahau Rooney, who passed away on Tuesday 15 September, aged 75.

Nahau Rooney was one of only three women elected at PNG’s first post-Independence elections in 1977 to its 109-member national parliament, where she served as the regional member for the province of Manus.

Continue reading "Nahau Rooney: A life of achievement & controversy" »

John Fowke, rough-hewn sage, dies at 81

John Fowke - astute critic and interpreter of the Papua New Guinean condition


NOOSA – John Fowke, an erstwhile contributor to PNG Attitude and forceful critic of what he (sometimes unfairly) perceived as humbug and banality, has died in Brisbane aged 81.

Fowke went to Papua New Guinea as a Cadet Patrol Officer aged 21 in April 1958.

In 1962 he changed career direction when he was appointed a Cooperatives Officer, working in the Goroka region.

Continue reading "John Fowke, rough-hewn sage, dies at 81" »

The suffering and death of Francis Nii

The late Francis Nii - showed us what was meant to be an authentic human being


KUNDIAWA - A giant has fallen, his sufferings and distress he has lived. He is gone to his Father’s House where there are many mansions.

It was Sunday 2 August that I visited Francis Nii for the last time at around 11.30 am.

I saw him in so much pain and with complications such that his survival looked grim.

Continue reading "The suffering and death of Francis Nii" »

A more pleasant fellow not to be found

Liz and Chenz at a reunion in 2011
Liz and Chenz at an ASOPA class  reunion in 2011


NOOSA – When the message circled the globe a few times and finally landed in my inbox it brought the gloomy news that Barry Whitby Vincent had died last Sunday. He would have been close to 80.

My immediate thought was of a young man with a friendly grin. A more pleasant fellow than Chenz not to be found.

Continue reading "A more pleasant fellow not to be found" »

Francis Nii, eminent literary figure, dies in Kundiawa


NOOSA – Francis Sina Nii, the author, publisher, mentor and literary innovator, whose promising career as a banker was cut short in a vehicle accident that rendered him a paraplegic but who became a towering figure in Papua New Guinea literature, died yesterday afternoon at the age of 57.

Francis had been in ill health for some months but surviving crises was not new to him as he had fought many battles in his three decades in his bed in the critical care ward of Kundiawa General Hospital.

From this unlikely location he wrote articles, and a novel, often with no technical assistance other than a mobile phone.

Continue reading "Francis Nii, eminent literary figure, dies in Kundiawa" »

The white man's ghost

Laurie Meintjes and family  1988
Laurie Meintjes and family, 1988


Laurie died on 15 July 2019 at his home in Cooranbong NSW. He was a kiap, teacher, writer and poet. This article, taken from his memoir ‘Pretzel Legs’, was published in PNG Attitude on 25 January 2011. There are copies of ‘Pretzel Legs’ available on e-bay, for example here

COORANBONG – He said he had never seen a White man's ghost and I told him he was lucky; that a White man's ghost is very bad business. His eyes widened.

It all began earlier that morning when I emerged from the hauskiap and saw the clay figurine glaring up at me through cowrie-shell eyes from the bottom step. Someone was meddling with my karma.

Continue reading "The white man's ghost" »

Trainer of kiaps Tim Terrell dies at 90

Tim Terrell and two local kiaps on the first course at Finschhafen Training Centre
Tim Terrell and two local kiaps on the first course at Finschhafen Training Centre, 1960


TUMBY BAY - Former kiap Tim Terrell AM died in Canberra last Tuesday at the age of 90.

His passing is significant in the history of Papua New Guinea because he established the first training centre for local kiaps at Gagidu near Finschhafen in 1959-60, assisted by another kiap, Peter Foldi.

Continue reading "Trainer of kiaps Tim Terrell dies at 90" »

Good people we lost: Our 2019 obituaries

BurkePNGAttitude's obituaries column does not purport to be comprehensive, but we always publish what is submitted as a permanent record of people, very often people known to us personally, who mostly had close links with Papua New Guinea. In this feature we have reduced the length of the tributes but provide a link to the original along with the writer's name - KJ


Clarrie Burke - teacher, academic, humanitarian / by the late Murray Bladwell

Continue reading "Good people we lost: Our 2019 obituaries" »

The day that Libby died

Ingrid at 65
Keith, Ingrid and Libby - we shared many good times and, with Libby coming from a family of restaurateurs, many good lunches


NOOSA - Ingrid’s mum Libby died early this afternoon.

Libby was 94, a venerable age, and had been in pretty good health until a fall,  two broken vertebrae and great pain compromised that about three weeks ago.

She was born in Prague in 1925, where her parents owned restaurants and lived a reasonably comfortable life until the Communists took over Czechoslovakia after World War II.

Continue reading "The day that Libby died" »

Death of veteran actor Albert Toro

Albert Toro with Elizabeth Tsitseka in the film ‘Tukana-Husait I Asua’
A recent photo of Albert Toro with Elizabeth Tsitseka, who played Lucy's mother in the film ‘Tukana - Husait I Asua’


DEVARE, BOUGAINVILLE - I was in the garden planting aibika last Wednesday when my sister approached and asked if I had heard the news.

When told me that Bougainvillean actor Albert Toro MBE had died, I was shocked and stared at her in disbelief.

My heart sank as I reflected on what Albert had contributed to Bougainville and Papua New Guinea and how he had mentored some of us. The tears fell from my eyes.

Continue reading "Death of veteran actor Albert Toro" »

Murray Bladwell: Simbu, PNG lose great friend


A    Murray Bladwell  Jimmy Drekore  Keith Jackson - kundiawa news
Murray and Keith present Jimmy Drekore with one of only three remaining original copies of the special Kundiawa News issue featuring the 'Chimbu Survey 1964-65 

KUNDIAWA - Death is part of the life cycle mankind must go through, but the passing of both a friend and a good person is an especially painful loss.

When I read Keith Jackson’s obituary about the passing of Murray Bladwell, shared by Robert Parer on his Facebook page, my heart stopped beating for some seconds.

Continue reading "Murray Bladwell: Simbu, PNG lose great friend" »

My mate, Murray Bladwell, dies in Brisbane

Murray & Keith
How it always was - and how it always should be


NOOSA – Murray Bladwell, one of the loveliest men I have known, and our relationship had been close for 56 years, died in Brisbane this morning after a short illness.

At this moment in the cycle of grief, when a close friend has died suddenly, the mind struggles to sort the terrible reality from the expectation that such a staunch and solid figure will always be around.

Continue reading "My mate, Murray Bladwell, dies in Brisbane" »

ECG scientist James Wagiebu dies at 61

James Tawila Wagiebu
James Tawila Wagiebu - a pioneering medical technician whose death leaves a big gap in PNG's health service


PORT MORESBY - Hela has lost one of its most dedicated, committed and humble public servants with the death of James Tawila Wagiebu (1958–2019), the most qualified Papua New Guinean echocardiographer.

And, with his death, echocardiography services in PNG have come to a temporary halt as an urgent search for a replacement continues.

Continue reading "ECG scientist James Wagiebu dies at 61" »

Russell Kranz, evangelist & artist, dies at 94

Peter and Russell Kranz
Peter and Russell Kranz


NOOSA – Pastor Russell Kranz, who died yesterday at the age of 94, was a church leader, composer, choirmaster, talented watercolour artist - and a good man

His legacy is one of love and achievement.

He is also the father of PNG Attitude contributor, Peter Kranz, whose words have so often stirred and delighted readers of this blog.

Continue reading "Russell Kranz, evangelist & artist, dies at 94" »

Kiap, broadcaster, author: Graham Taylor dies at 90

Graham Andrea 2015
Graham Taylor with then PNG Association president Andrea Williams in 2015


ADELAIDE – Kiap and broadcaster Graham Taylor died on Sunday at the age of 90 after being afflicted with prostate cancer for more than 20 years.

Graham was a patrol officer in Papua New Guinea in the early post-war period, transferring to the ABC to produce its ‘native people’s program’ and establish 9RB Rabaul before continuing his career in Australia where he reached a senior level in the organisation as general manager for South Australia.

Continue reading "Kiap, broadcaster, author: Graham Taylor dies at 90" »

Howard Richards: Barngarla man rediscovered his own culture

Barngarla Elders 2007
Barngarla elders in 2007 - Eileen Crombie (Antakarinja advisor), Lorraine Dare, Howard Richards, Linda Dare, Harry Dare and Eric Paige


TUMBY BAY - They’re burying Howard Richards on Thursday. Howard was a Barngarla man from the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

He was part of the stolen generation, taken away from his family as a child to grow up in a boy’s home in Adelaide.

I worked with Howard and the Barngarla people on their native title claim for many years. Their lawyer, Philip Teitzel, died a few years ago.

Like Howard, many of the Barngarla had been taken away from their families as children and in the process lost their connections to their culture and their land. It’s a common story in Australia.

Working with Howard and the other Barngarla men and women on the native title claim was a learning experience for us all. Together we scoured old government records, anthropological works and old newspapers to re-discover Barngarla culture.

Continue reading "Howard Richards: Barngarla man rediscovered his own culture" »