Naomi, a support staff member at World Vision in Papua New Guinea (Nelson Kairi Kurukuru)
DANE MOORES & JONATHON GURRY
| Devpolicy Blog
MELBOURNE - The socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 are devastating communities in the Pacific and Timor-Leste as much as the virus itself, and sometimes to an even greater extent.
In late 2020, World Vision surveyed 752 households (with an average of six people per household) in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
Continue reading "Survey shows how Covid hurt Pacific" »
Barbara Angoro is in the home run of a PhD in pharmacology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand
| Duressi’s Odyssey
AUCKLAND - In October last year the term ‘drug repurposing’ became known in Papua New Guinea after a company, Niugini Biomed Ltd, stated it was developing its own Covid-19 drug.
As a person with a keen and professional interest in drug development and clinical studies, I’m eager to find out what happened to this proposal by my fellow Papua New Guineans.
Continue reading "The what & how of drug repurposing" »
Bougainvillean woman in a still from 'Ophir', a controversial documentary about the island's struggle against mining and for independence
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" »
| Language Magazine | via Ples Singsing
MALIBU, USA - Papua New Guinea, frequently heralded as the most linguistically diverse place in the entire world, is in the middle of a language crisis.
According to a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the youngest generations in the nation are using Indigenous languages far less than ever before, instead opting for English and Tok Pisin, an English-based creole language.
Continue reading "PNG’s Indigenous language crisis" »
Ron May - "Sir Norman Chester wrote back agreeing to write a reference but asked why I would give up a promising career in the Reserve Bank for a position in Papua New Guinea"
RONALD J MAY
| DevPolicy Blog
Ron May has spent more than 50 years working in and on Papua New Guinea, including 32 years at the Australian National University, where he was one of the forces behind the establishment of what is now the Department of Pacific Affairs. In this article, Ron discusses the origins of his long engagement with Papua New Guinea.
CANBERRA - In my last year at Sydney High School in 1956, I did quite well in the New South Wales Leaving Certificate exams, topping the state in economics.
Someone in the local Commonwealth Bank branch who saw my results asked what I intended to do.
Continue reading "The making of a great friend of PNG" »
Girls from Nukutoa village, Takuu, in the Mortlock Islands - one of four Polynesian outlier atolls off the east coast of the Bougainville
| Hawaii Public Radio
HILO, HAWAI’I - New linguistics research by suggests the original settlers of the Hawaiian Islands came from a small chain of low-lying atolls just east of Bougainville.
Language professor William ‘Pila’ Wilson of the University of Hawai’i has uncovered evidence that Hawai'i’s first inhabitants may have migrated from Papua New Guinea's Mortlock Islands .
Continue reading "Did Hawaiian people originate in Mortlocks" »
Ron May has provided an immense legacy of knowledge and scholarship in 5o years of research and writing about Papua New Guinea
ANTHONY REGAN, NICOLE HALEY
& THIAGO OPPERMANN
CANBERRA - Emeritus Fellow Ron May is being honoured by a conference and Festschrift (collection of writings) to celebrate his 50-year contribution to research, writing and thinking, especially about Papua New Guinea.
The celebration is hosted by the Department of Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University.
Continue reading "ANU honours eminent PNG scholar, Ron May" »
| Edited extracts
MT HAGEN - It is widely accepted that people have been living on the island of New Guinea for at least 50,000 years BP (before present).
The ancestors of New Guinea Highlanders were among the earliest Papuan language speakers to arrive in the Pacific region.
Continue reading "From where Highlanders emerged" »
NOOSA - According to a recent study by the PNG National Research Institute (NRI), public servants trained in ethics and values-based leadership are sceptical that these courses can improve workplace behaviour.
Each year since 2015, with the aim of improving ethics on the job, selected groups of PNG public servants have been attending ethics and leadership courses at the Pacific Institute of Leadership and Governance.
Continue reading "How the ethics program fell back to earth" »
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" »
David Frodin, 2018 (Tony Barrett). David died unexpectedly in London on 12 August 2019, unaware that bladder cancer had taken hold and metastasised
EDITED BY KEITH JACKSON
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" »
A glasmeri witch-finder repudiates her previous accusations against an alleged 'sorcerer'(Anton Lutz)
‘Sorcery accusation-related violence in Papua New Guinea: The role of glasman/glasmeri as catalysts of accusation and violence’ by Miranda Forsyth, William Kipongi, Anton Lutz, Philip Gibbs, Fiona Hukula & Ibolya Losoncz, Issues Paper 36, National Research Institute of PNG. July 2021. Link here to the full research report
PORT MORESBY – A National Research Institute report says many incidents of sorcery-accusation violence in Papua New Guinea are triggered by glasman or, less commonly, female glasmeri.
A glasman or glasmeri (witch doctor) is a person skilled in interpreting and using supernatural forces, including the identification of people who are sorcerers.
Continue reading "Report calls for laws against witchdoctors" »
Rohan Fox - "For many Papua New Guineans, sharing stories told by friends, family or local Christian leaders may be received as most trustworthy"
| DevPolicy Blog | Edited extracts
WAIGANI – In May this year 281 students in the School of Business and Public Policy at the University of Papua New Guinea were surveyed about their attitudes to Covid-19 vaccination.
Of this number, 46% had not decided whether they would like to be vaccinated. Just 6% said they would, while 48% were against vaccination.
Continue reading "Increasing trust in Covid communication" »
| Monash University
MELBOURNE - In late 2015, I arrived for the second time at Orokolo Bay on Papua New Guinea’s south coast.
The bay is a long grey-black beach, densely forested with hibiscus and coconut trees. As we approached by dinghy from the east, clusters of houses could be glimpsed fleetingly among the bush.
Continue reading "Science meets oral history at Orokolo Bay" »
Tree fern savanna in the Cromwell Mountains
ALFRED KIK et al
| US National Academy of Sciences
Edited extracts from ‘Language and ethnobiological skills decline precipitously in Papua New Guinea, the world’s most linguistically diverse nation’. Link here to the complete research article
WASHINGTON DC - When evaluated against a common set of extinction-risk criteria, the world’s 7,000 or so extant languages are even more threatened than its biological diversity.
Orally transmitted cultural knowledge may be threatened by similar forces. The majority of languages have relatively few speakers and nearly half of the world’s languages are considered endangered.
Continue reading "The threat to language & biological knowledge in PNG" »
Archaeologists at an ancient banana farm, cultivated over 2,000 years ago on Mabuyag Island in the southern Torres Strait
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" »
Petats village. "Arriving at Buka Passage on September 25th, 1929, I started work a few days later on the island of Petats, one of the string of coral islets fringing the west coast of Buka. There are no white residents on this island, and it seemed in many ways suitable for my purpose"
NOOSA - Beatrice Mary Blackwood (1889–1975) was born into a wealthy family in England and attended Oxford University, gaining a degree in English and a distinction in Anthropology, a field in which she sought to excel and in which she continued to work at Oxford until a few days before her death.
Blackwood never married and conducted some exacting field trips. Her second, in 1929, was to Buka and Bougainville and she was the first woman anthropologist to travel to the region.
Continue reading "Beatrice Blackwood & her New Guinea exploits" »
Dr Fiona Hukula (centre) at her farewell
| PNG National Research Institute
PORT MORESBY - The Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (NRI) has farewelled Dr Fiona Hukula, long-serving researcher and advocate against gender-based violence,.
Dr Hukula joined the NRI in 1998 as a project officer and was a senior research fellow and program leader when she left the think tank earlier this month.
Continue reading "‘Role model’ Dr Hukula leaves research institute" »
PORT MORESBY – A discussion paper just released by the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute proposes that PNG create more jobs by discouraging imports of consumables, or goods for immediate consumption, and expanding exports.
Consumables are goods used by individuals and businesses that need to be replaced regularly because they are used up or wear out.
Continue reading "PNG: Import less consumables & create jobs" »
CANBERRA - There is a long and important history in Papua New Guinea of recording traditional information about the medicinal use of plants.
In more recent decades, this has been augmented by chemical investigations of such plants and their possible efficacy in treating illness.
Continue reading "PNG medicinal plants: a research summary" »
Exotic red bananas found only in PNG (Sebastien Carpentier)
| Australian Broadcasting Corporation
DARWIN - Scientists are racing to find and save the living ancestors of modern-day, cultivated bananas that grow in the rainforests of Papua New Guinea.
These wild bananas have genes capable of protecting one of the world's most popular fruits from climate change, pests and diseases.
Continue reading "Scientists try to save bananas from climate change" »
PNGRI deputy research director associate professor Eugene Ezebilo
| PNG National Research Institute | Edited extracts
Link here to read the complete research paper
BOROKO – The paper, ‘Covid-19 pandemic as perceived by residents of informal-built areas segment of Port Moresby’, looks at the Covid-19 pandemic and the response by the Papua New Guinea government as perceived by settlement residents in the national capital.
The research covered settlements at Bush Wara, 8-Mile, Joyce Bay, Kipo, Mautana, Ogoniva, Ranuguri, Talai, Taurama and Vanagi.
Continue reading "80% of settlement dwellers say Covid ‘a hoax’" »
Dr Bomai Kerenga, chairman & CEO of the controversial Niugini Biomed and some of his research team at a news conference on Friday
| PhD student, Auckland
AUCKLAND - Reading the news on Covid-19 drug production in PNG has prompted me to offer my take on it.
Those people who are familiar with drug research and development will agree with that screening for possible drug leads is just the start to developing a drug.
Continue reading "What is the process of drug development?" »
Dr William Pomat - concerned his medical research institute was bypassed
BETHANIE HARRIMAN & BELINDA KORA
| ABC Pacific Beat
MELBOURNE - The director of the PNG Institute of Medical Research, Dr William Pomat, says he was not consulted before the country's cabinet approved a K10-million grant to a private company for Covid-19 research.
Meanwhile, prime minister James Marape says there is nothing "illegal or improper" about the plan to spend millions of dollars on an unknown treatment.
Continue reading "Marape's K10m spend on Covid 'research'" »
DR PAMELA TOLIMAN
| Twitter | Edited
PORT MORESBY - No funds should be awarded to these people (Niugini BioMed), no drugs should be procured, and no patients should be enrolled until their protocols have been scrutinised and vetted.
This should be done by the PNG Medical Research Advisory Committee and the PNG Institute of Medical Research.
Continue reading "Niugini BioMed: What is this madness?" »
A Yaliman man from the Baliem Valley of West Papua
UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
| Department of Archaeology and Anthropology
CAMBRIDGE, UK - A new study of human genomic diversity suggests there may have in fact been two successful dispersals out of Africa, and that a “trace” of the earlier of these two expansion events has lingered in the genetics of modern Papuans.
Three major genetic studies are published today in the same issue of Nature.
Continue reading "The Melanesian expansion out of Africa" »
Dr Kerryn Baker
| ANU College of Asia & the Pacific | Edited extracts
CANBERRA - The Pacific Islands region has the lowest level of women’s representation in politics in the world. Three countries - Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Micronesia - have no female politicians.
Dr Kerryn Baker has researched women’s political representation in the Pacific for nearly a decade. During this time, her work has highlighted the importance and value of having more women in Pacific parliaments.
Continue reading "Getting women into the Pacific’s parliaments" »
NOOSA – A study of people’s attitudes towards government and other issues in Papua New Guinea has revealed an outcome that would surprise very few readers of PNG Attitude.
The research showed public mistrust and dissatisfaction with government at the national level as well as a sense that PNG is “heading in the wrong direction”.
Continue reading "PNG ‘heading in wrong direction’ says survey" »
Professor Glenn Summerhayes and colleagues at the 4,500 year-old 'Joes Garden' archaeological site in the Ivane Valley
| Heritage Daily | Edited
LUTON, UK - New research on what ancient Papuan New Guineans ate has ended decades of speculation on the tools use and staple foods in highlands areas several thousand years ago.
Findings from the ‘Joe’s Garden’ site in the Ivane Valley of the Owen Stanley Range end academic conjecture about what an unearthed mortar and other tools were used for.
Continue reading "What we ate thousands of years ago" »
Some of the stone tools and art from the Waim site (UNSW - Ben Shaw)
| Ancient Origins | Edited
With thanks to Fr Garry Roche who brought this important research to our attention
DUBLIN - Scientists have unearthed ancient artifacts in the Papua New Guinea highlands that settle a longstanding archaeological argument regarding the emergence of complex culture in PNG.
About 10,000 years ago, the climate changed to better suit the planting of crops and the Neolithic revolution that brought about agriculture emerged in different parts of the world at different times.
Continue reading "5,000-year-old artifacts rewrite PNG history" »
Ancient Lapita pot
| An entry in the Crocodile Prize
PORT MORESBY - Clay pots in many parts of Papua New Guinea are household items and people say they enjoy food cooked in clay pots.
In the Markham valley, the signature clay pot, or ‘gurr’ as we call it, is on the fire every day of the week.
Continue reading "3,000 years of pottery show who we are" »
The Batek people of the Malaysian hinterland who bear a striking resemblance to the people of Melanesia (Dr Patrick Pikacha)
DUBLIN, IRELAND - Earlier this year, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation published an article by Caroline Tiriman in Tok Pisin entitled, ‘Ol Melanesian Pipal blong Asia’ ['The Melanesian People of Asia'].
I was struck by the resemblance of the Batek people of Malaysia pictured in the article to the Melanesian people we know in Papua New Guinea and nearby countries in the Pacific.
Continue reading "Remarkable ‘Melanesians’ found in Malaysia jungle" »
EV Nautilus at Apia Samoa 5 August (Ocean Exploration Trust)
STATEMENT | The Maritime Executive
FORT LAUDERDALE, USA - Famed oceanographer Dr Robert Ballard and the crew of his foundation's research vessel, Nautilus, are in the midst of a search for the long-lost wreck of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra airplane.
Earhart - the first female pilot to cross the Atlantic on a solo flight - disappeared in July 1937, along with her pilot, Fred Noonan.
They went missing during a flight from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island, a tiny outlying American territory in the Phoenix Islands group.
The flight was one of the last legs of an attempt at the longest distance round-the-world journey to date, an equatorial route of about 29,000 miles in length.
Continue reading "Amelia Earhart: Latest of many searches gets underway" »
Litoria pterodactyla or the 'parachuting frog' (Stephen Richards)
NEWS DESK | Xinhua News Agency
BEIJING - A team of Australian researchers has discovered a new species of parachuting frog, hidden away in the remote jungles of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
The group of scientists from Griffith University and Queensland state museum also came across two other previously unknown frog species during their expedition around Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
There has an incredible diversity of frogs and a lot of those species have only been described for the last 10-20 years, senior curator at Queensland Museum Paul Oliver told Xinhua.
"The more you go back, the more you get to new areas, the more you find new species."
Continue reading "Aussie researchers discover 'parachuting frog' in PNG" »
Critically endangered - Papua New Guinea's tree kangaroo (Jonathan Byers, TKCP)
TREVOR HOLBROOK, JIM THOMAS & ANDREA EGAN | UNDP Ecosystems & Biodiversity | Edited extracts
WASHINGTON, USA - Sought after for subsistence-based hunting, as part of rural communities’ diets for centuries, the critically endangered tree kangaroos have been hunted almost to extinction, but now local communities and conservation groups are fighting together to save them.
Tree kangaroos are found only in the rainforests of Australia, West Papua, and Papua New Guinea. Looking like a cross between a kangaroo and a lemur, they have adapted to life in the trees, with shorter hind legs and stronger forelimbs for climbing.
Despite weighing up to 16kg, tree kangaroos are remarkably elusive, and often invisible high in the forest canopy.
Continue reading "A home in the clouds: Working to save the tree kangaroo" »
LUCY PAPACHRISTOU | Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project
SARAJEVO - A newly-published discussion paper on corruption in Papua New Guinea’s public sector has found that low-level officials are often poorly informed about laws and regulations.
They are also under intense pressure to grant favours to businesses, politicians and clan affiliates, contributing to existing patterns of corrupt behaviour in the developing country.
The paper, ‘Governance and Corruption in PNG’s Public Service: Insights From Four Subnational Administrations’, was published this month by the Development Policy Centre, an aid and development policy think tank based out of the Australian National University in Canberra.
Its author, Dr Grant Walton, drew on interviews with 136 public servants across four provinces in PNG in an effort to fill the empirical data gap on why public officials may support or resist corruption and poor governance.
PNG tends to take a “top-down, one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to corruption,” Walton told OCCRP by phone.
Continue reading "Political meddling & poor training spur corruption in PNG" »
Associate Professor Nick Bainton
MEDIA UNIT | University of Queensland
BRISBANE - University of Queensland researcher Associate Professor Nick Bainton has co-written the first publicly available human rights impact assessment for a proposed gas project in Papua New Guinea.
You can download the full report here
Dr Bainton from the university’s sustainable minerals institute said the report’s publication demonstrates the slow evolution of the international community’s expectations of extractive industries.
“There is currently no legislative requirement for a company to produce a human rights impact assessment in PNG and, if they decide to, they are generally kept confidential once completed.
“The hope is that companies working in PNG’s extractive industries will build upon this example and continue to undertake impact assessments to help reduce human rights impacts,” he said.
Continue reading "First public human rights report into PNG gas industry" »
Denisovans (pictured) and our human ancestors were mixing 50,000 to 15,000 years ago - and some of our genetics can be traced back to these ancient humans.
CLARE WILSON | New Scientist
LONDON - Our species may have been interbreeding with Denisovans as recently as 15,000 years ago, according to a detailed analysis of the DNA of people living in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.
We already know that, after Homo sapiens first migrated out of Africa, our species repeatedly interbred with a number of now-extinct hominin species, including the Neanderthals and Denisovans.
The signs are in our DNA today – all people of non-African descent carry some Neanderthal DNA, while some Asian people also have Denisovan DNA.
Not much is known about the mysterious Denisovans. Their only physical remnants discovered so far are a few teeth and fragments of bone unearthed in a cave in Siberia.
Continue reading "PNG in forefront of ancient Denisovan research" »
Motu trading ship 1903-1904 (The British Museum)
CHRIS URWIN, ALOIS KUASO, BRUNO DAVID, HENRY AURI ARIFEAE & ROBERT SKELLY
| The Conversation
MONASH UNIVERSITY, MELBOURNE - It has long been assumed that Indigenous Australia was isolated until Europeans arrived in 1788, except for trade with parts of present day Indonesia beginning at least 300 years ago.
But our recent archaeological research hints of at least an extra 2,100 years of connections across the Coral Sea with Papua New Guinea.
Over the past decade, we have conducted research in the Gulf of Papua with local Indigenous communities.
During the excavations, the most common archaeological evidence found in the old village sites was fragments of pottery, which preserve well in tropical environments compared to artefacts made of wood or bone.
Continue reading "Archaeology unravels stories about ancient PNG-Australia trade" »
The Ramu River winds its way through the rich valley that bears its name
EMILY SCHMIDT | International Food Policy Research Institute
WASHINGTON DC - The dinghy ride up the Ramu River takes nine long hours, but my excitement mounted as we approached the small villages in the lowlands of northern Papua New Guinea.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by children paddling and playing in wooden dugout canoes, and women washing sago palm (an important staple food among lowland populations of PNG) for food preparation.
When the rumble of the boat’s diesel motor finally cut out at the small sandbar that would serve as our boat dock for the next several days, we were surrounded by an incredible silence that whispered of the isolated lifestyle and resilience of the villagers.
We spent three months last year collecting detailed household survey data for a research project investigating how rural communities ensure food security when faced with natural disasters or other unplanned shocks to household food production.
Continue reading "New data offers insights into rural poverty & undernutrition" »
STAFF WRITER | World Bank
PORT MORESBY – A World Bank study has found that when women in Papua New Guinea are empowered to make decisions in the sale of cocoa and coffee, their households ultimately benefit.
The ‘Household Allocation and Efficiency of Time in PNG’ report, part of a K360 million World Bank project, analysed how domestic responsibilities impact the ability of women to allocate their labour to cultivate, harvest and process cocoa and coffee in PNG.
The report, supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs, said men and women do not share the same tasks within the household: men’s work being geared towards cocoa or coffee production and women more focused on other agricultural and off-farm activities as well as on domestic work.
Continue reading "Empowered women increase crop yields & improve lifestyle" »
A kiap and government-appointed leaders - in Tok Pisin, luluais and tultuls
TUMBY BAY – Between 1961 and 1975, more than 450 Papua New Guinean kiaps were in government service during the significant period in PNG history leading to independence.
Now a group of expatriate former kiaps is seeking to find details of these men.
Several years ago, Australian kiaps who had served in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea sought to have their service recognised in a meaningful way by the Australian government and, importantly, the Australian public.
After a long campaign this recognition came in the form of the Police Overseas Service Medal.
During the campaign an attempt was made to compile a list of all the Australian kiaps who had served in Papua New Guinea.
This proved a difficult task because of the inadequate records available and it was abandoned in favour of former kiaps identifying themselves.
Continue reading "Do you know the names any Papua New Guinean national kiaps?" »
Tribal warfare between two highlands clans in the 1960s
ADELAIDE - I have no argument with the basic conclusion of Tobias Schworer's thesis, the summary of which was published recently in PNG Attitude.
I think he has correctly described the process by which Papua New Guinea was brought under the control of the Australian colonial administration.
That said, I think that the use of expressions like "repression that punishes groups still engaged in warfare" is, whether intended or not, an emotionally loaded way of describing the pacification process.
The word "repression" is more typically associated with injustice and inequity, not the lawful imposition of an orderly, fair and effective system of justice upon what were essentially anarchic, and sometimes exceptionally brutal, Melanesian social systems.
Continue reading "Those colonial & kiap times: some coercion, but never repression" »
TOBIAS SCHWÖRER | Summary of PhD Thesis
Ending War: Colonial processes of pacification and the elimination of warfare in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea by Tobias Schwörer. Summary of PhD thesis, 2016. University of Lucerne, Lucerne. See further information on the thesis and related papers here
LUCERNE - Pacification denotes a process whereby a state attends to extend its monopoly of violence onto politically autonomous groups outside its sphere of control and thereby curtails any further collective violence between those groups and armed resistance against the imposition of state control.
It is a process that has been occurring throughout history in situations of colonial conquest and state expansion.
Despite the importance and prominence of these processes not only for the state but even more so for the indigenous groups affected, there is remarkably little systematic analysis and theoretical reflection on the causal factors that led members of such groups to agree to lay down their weapons and refrain from pursuing further acts of collective violence.
Continue reading "Pacification in the Eastern Highlands in the 1940s – 1960s" »
Dr Kerryn Baker was told that money politics and the bribing of election officials greatly affected the chances of women candidates succeeding
STAFF WRITER | Pacific Women | Australian Aid
CANBERRA - Papua New Guinea has a history of extremely low rates of women in parliament. Only seven women have ever been elected in over 40 years and no women were elected to the 111 seat parliament in 2017.
To try to find out what is stopping women from winning elections, Kerryn Baker spoke with a group of unsuccessful candidates and examined the impact of the introduction of the limited preferential voting system on them.
Dr Baker is a research fellow in the Department of Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University. In September 2017, she spent time with 26 women from all four of Papua New Guinea’s regions who had contested the 2017 national election.
In general, women contesting PNG elections have fewer financial resources than men running for election. The candidates identified this as a challenge, because well-resourced campaigns are often the most successful.
Continue reading "Why are there are no women in PNG’s parliament?" »
Two possible routes used by the first humans to reach Australia identified by Joseph Birdsell in 1977. Research by the Australian National University shows the red northern route was more likely (Shimona Kealy, ANU)
CALLA WAHLQUIST | The Guardian
SYDNEY - The first people to arrive in Australia are likely to have sailed east from Borneo to Sulawesi and island-hopped to New Guinea, according to research.
A study led by Australian National University PhD candidate Shimona Kealy and published in the Journal of Human Evolution has modelled the most likely route from south-east Asia to the Australian mainland based on which pathway would have required the least expenditure of energy and resources.
Kealy said she hoped the research would help answer the question of why archaeological sites in Australia — which show human occupation around 65,000 years ago — are so much older than sites that have been discovered in the countries that were long suspected to be en route.
Her modelling identified the least-cost route as going from Borneo to Sulawesi and through a series of smaller islands to Misool Island off the coast of West Papua. New Guinea was connected by land to Australia until about 10,000 years ago, meaning the first people could walk down through what is now Cape York to the rest of the continent.
Continue reading "First humans to reach Australia island-hopped to PNG then walked" »
A large underground river in the Muruk system of the Nakanai caves is fed by numerous surface sinkholes
THE CAIRNS INSTITUTE | James Cook University | Edited extracts
You can download here the 35 page publication, The Nakanai Mountain Ranges of East New Britain, Papua New Guinea, by Jennifer Gabriel (Editor) et al, from which this extract is taken
CAIRNS - The Nakanai caves are part of a globally unique system of limestone caves. They are located within the Nakanai Range of East New Britain, amongst primary rainforest extending from the mountain summits to the southern coastline.
The Nakanai region comprises a limestone mountain range with an area covering approximately 4,000 square kilometres and cavers rely on aerial images to look for deep caverns to explore.
In the images, large surface sinkholes, characteristic of the rainforest-covered karst landscape, look like enormous black holes of varying sizes. Once identified, professional cavers venture into the depths of giant caves.
Continue reading "45 years of cave exploration in the Nakanai Mountains" »
Phil on patrol in the Star Mountains in the early 1970s - memories that keep us happier and healthier
TUMBY BAY - A lot of old kiaps, sometimes around 150, have a get-together on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland every two years. In between there’s a smaller gathering in Cairns.
I’ve never actually been to one of these events, mainly because I thought they would be about a bunch of old farts trying to relive the past while dribbling into their beer.
It turns out that my conclusion, like a lot of my assessments, was totally wrong.
The old buggers are actually doing themselves a lot of good and helping to improve their health and longevity.
I discovered this interesting fact recently while reading a book called ‘Brain Rules for Ageing Well’ by developmental molecular biologist, Dr John Medina.
According to Dr Medina, nostalgia has positive health benefits for the elderly.
Continue reading "Being an old kiap is good for you – so is reading PNG Attitude" »
When Mt Lamington erupted in January 1951, it killed 3,700 people in Higaturu town, in 29 villages and at missions and schools more than 10 km away
STAFF WRITER | Deakin Research
This piece is based on an article written by Dr Victoria Stead published in a special issue of ‘Anthropological Forum’ co-edited by Dr Stead with Professor Michèle Dominy (Bard College New York) on the theme ‘Moral Horizons of Land and Place’
MELBOURNE - Located on the slopes of volcanic Mount Lamington in Papua New Guinea’s Oro Province, the old Higaturu Station is a place marked by violence and memories.
It is less than an hour’s drive from the Provincial capital, Popondetta, on the way to Kokoda, which, depending on which way you are walking is either the beginning or the end of the Kokoda track.
That 96-kilometre track over the Owen Stanley Ranges is the focal point of a burgeoning but unevenly spread war tourism industry in the Province.
Between July-September 1943, at the height of World War II, 21 local men were executed in Higaturu for charges stemming from the ‘betrayal’ of eight to ten missionaries in August 1942 who were brutally murdered by occupying Japanese forces.
Continue reading "Researching the morality of PNG’s ‘dark tourism’ initiatives" »
MEDIA UNIT | University of Rochester
ROCHESTER, USA - Robert Foster, a professor of anthropology at Rochester, has a longstanding interest in Papua New Guinea that started in 1984 with his doctoral research.
He later researched cultural attitudes toward Coca-Cola and, visiting again in 2010, he found PNG transformed by another product - cell phones.
“The coming of the cell phone in Papua New Guinea just couldn’t be ignored,” he said. “There was a moment when they were nowhere, then a moment when they were everywhere.”
Continue reading "Professor watches cell phones transform life throughout PNG" »