Research Feed

Dividing not blending: multi-culturalism in Oz

Capture
Google 'typical Aussies' and this is what you get - a representation of the Anglo-Celtic constituency

PHILIP FITZPATRICK

TUMBY BAY - Australia certainly has a multicultural society with a wide range of different cultural and ethnic groups among its population – 278 in all.

However Australia has an unsuccessful multicultural society mainly because of the power imbalance between 277 of those groups and the old Anglo-Celtic establishment.

Continue reading "Dividing not blending: multi-culturalism in Oz" »


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" »


Redrawing PNG’s unfair electoral boundaries

Benjamin Raue
Benjamin Raue - "PNG may want to take a page out of Australia’s book and reduce the power of parliament over redistribution"

BENJAMIN RAUE
| Asia & The Pacific Policy Society

Open electorates should cover similar numbers of people but this is not the case in practice

SYDNEY – Next month, voters in the Pacific’s largest country, Papua New Guinea, will be going to the polls to have their say on who should run their country.

In addition to voting for the country’s 22 provincial governors, Papua New Guineans will also be voting for 96 members representing ‘open’ electorates, which cover the whole country.

Continue reading "Redrawing PNG’s unfair electoral boundaries" »


Australia's frail PNG-Pacific relationship

A
Cartoon by Hudson

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - This week, Australian citizens observe what seem to be the final paroxysms of the Morrison government as its lamentable record in office and surprisingly poor campaigning leave it in a shambles.

Nothing symbolises this more than the fallout from a series of appalling blunders concerning Solomon Islands, which from my perspective looks suspiciously like a friendly flag operation gone wrong.

Continue reading "Australia's frail PNG-Pacific relationship" »


Seeking answers to growing youth crime

CaptureKEITH JACKSON

The situation of young people in Port Moresby’s Morata informal settlement and what the government could do to keep them from social evils by Julian Melpa BA and Dr Francis Odhuno, Issues Paper No 40, National Research Institute of Papua New Guinea, April 2022. Link here to access the complete paper

NOOSA – The PNG National Research Institute has been investigating the situation of unemployed youth in Port Moresby and identifying what reforms are required to “keep them from social evils” as the research report puts it.

Continue reading "Seeking answers to growing youth crime" »


PNG research: Oz lacks respect; China praised

Ab
When grass roots Papua New Guineans were asked about Australia and China, the results were not too flash for PNG's former colonial master

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA - On the back of Australia's disastrous drubbing by China in the Solomon Islands, new research from Papua New Guinea has delivered more bad news for the Morrison government.

In 2021, a coalition of Papua New Guinean researchers embarked on an unprecedented endeavour.

Continue reading "PNG research: Oz lacks respect; China praised" »


Track’s horror story unites the present

Lark japanese rabaul
Japanese troops parade after the fall of Rabaul, late January 1942. On 4 February 160 Australian Lark Force soldiers who escaped the invasion were captured and murdered in the vicinity of Tol and Waitavalo plantations

GREGORY BABLIS
| Ples Singsing

TOL, NEW BRITAIN - The Lark Force Track is a little-known wartime walking trail with a big history.

Located in East New Britain Province, it runs from the Warongoi River in the north to Tol, Wide Bay, along the south coast.

The track is named after the 2/22 Lark Force Battalion, an Australian force sent to guard Rabaul and its important harbour.

Continue reading "Track’s horror story unites the present" »


Of Ulli Beier, Obotunde Ijimere & M. Lovori

Ulli Beier and Léopold Senghor
Ulli Beier and President Léopold Senghor at the exhibition Neue Kunst in Afrika, 1980. Senghor, a poet and cultural theorist was Senegal's leader from 1960–80 (Archive Iwalewahaus)

MAEBH LONG

This article offers edited extracts from ‘Being Obotunde Ijimere and M. Lovori: Mapping Ulli Beier’s intercultural hoaxes from Nigeria to Papua New Guinea’. The complete essay by Dr Long was published in The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 11 October 2020

HAMILTON, NZ - Ulli Beier was a hugely influential figure in Nigerian and Papua New Guinean literature from the 1950s to the 1970s.

He founded and edited numerous literary magazines, including Black Orpheus and Kovave, fostered unappreciated talent, and provided publication opportunities when few were available.

Continue reading "Of Ulli Beier, Obotunde Ijimere & M. Lovori" »


Research reveals insights into women candidates

AMICHAEL KABUNI
| Academia Nomad

PORT MORESBY - Following the 2021 Port Moresby Northwest by-election, we conducted a small survey among 120 UPNG students and working class residents of the electorate.

One of the questions we asked was about the criteria they used to cast their votes in the by-election.

Continue reading "Research reveals insights into women candidates" »


Measuring fragmentation in PNG’s parliament

A
PNG's parliament in session - it is one of the world's most fragmented parliaments

MAHOLOPA LAVEIL
| DevPolicy Blog

PORT MORESBY - Papua New Guinea has many parties in parliament, which makes for both a fragmented parliament and a fragmented government.

PNG has one of the most fragmented parliaments in the world. In a previous article, I calculated parliamentary fragmentation using an index known as the effective number of parties (ENP).

Continue reading "Measuring fragmentation in PNG’s parliament" »


Introducing the awesome MP database

PNG-MP-Database-top
The MP database and its companion Elections database are essential tools for anyone interested in Papua New Guinea. A laudable joint project of the Australian National University and the University of PNG

STEPHEN HOWES & THOMAS WANGI
| Devpolicy Blog | Edited

CANBERRA - It’s not easy keeping track of Papua New Guinea’s members of parliament.

They might change from one party to another, or from government to the opposition. To help make it easier, we’ve created the PNG MP Database, which you can link to here.

A few years ago, we created the PNG Elections Database, which tells you who competed in every seat in almost every election back to independence, and how they fared.

Continue reading "Introducing the awesome MP database" »


Investigating the New Guinea Singing Dog

New Guinea Singing Dog (Smithsonian)
The New Guinea Singing Dog (Smithsonian)

PETER DWYER & MONICA MINNEGAL
| Queensland Museum | Edited extract

What follows is a summary introduction to a new paper on the New Guinea Singing Dog that seeks to pin down whether it is a separate species of wild animal or a close relative of the domestic dog. Peter and Monica are hot on the trail of the answer. Link here to their complete and detailed paper, The provenance of diagnostic specimens of the New Guinea Singing Dog - KJ

BRISBANE - In 1957, the Australian Museum mammologist Ellis Troughton described two live dogs from ‘Papua’ as of a new species that he named Canis hallstromi “in honour of Sir Edward Hallstrom, President of the Taronga Park Trust”.

The dogs were held by Taronga Zoological Park (hereafter Taronga). According to Troughton they were a “pair of the mountain ‘dingo’” that had been obtained in 1956 by Assistant District Officer JP (Jim) Sinclair and Medical Assistant Albert Speer “in the remote Lavani Valley [of the] Southern Highlands District of Papua”.

Continue reading "Investigating the New Guinea Singing Dog" »


Four banks backed destructive logging

Actnow
Westpac, ANZ, Bank South Pacific and Kina Bank have questions to answer about their ties with illegal logging practices in PNG

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA – Banks operating in Papua New Guinea - including Westpac and ANZ - have provided the country’s five largest exporters of logs with at least K300 million in credit over the last 20 years.

But gaps in company reporting and murky funding processes mean the true amount could be three times as high, reaching close to a billion kina.

Continue reading "Four banks backed destructive logging" »


Jimmy Drekore spearheads medical breakthrough

Drekore ---  Agua
Jimmy Drekore, unidentified colleague and Dr Izzard Agua - spearheading a great medical achievement for Papua New Guinea

KEITH JACKSON

NOOSA –One of Chimbu’s favourite sons, Jimmy Drekore - in 2014 selected as Papua New Guinea’s Man of Honour and in 2016 winner of the prestigious international World of Children Award - is still kicking goals for PNG’s children.

Research into childhood osteomyelitis initiated in 2011 by Jimmy and his Simbu brother Dr Izzard Agua soon extended into better understanding methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), the aggressive bacteria that eats penicillin for breakfast.

Continue reading "Jimmy Drekore spearheads medical breakthrough" »


Plenty of talk, but corruption is worse than ever

CorruptNEWS DESK
| ACT NOW

PORT MORESBY - Research into prosecutions for corruption in Papua New Guinea reveals that, despite the enormous extent of the misappropriation of public funds, only a tiny number of officials have ever been charged and almost none has been convicted or imprisoned.

This failure is likely one reason PNG shows no signs of overcoming its unenviable reputation as one of the most corrupt nations in the world, and why allegations remain rife of corruption involving political leaders, the powerful and the wealthy.

Continue reading "Plenty of talk, but corruption is worse than ever" »


Survey shows how Covid hurt Pacific

Capturetop
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" »


The what & how of drug repurposing

Barbara Angoro
Barbara Angoro is in the home run of a PhD in pharmacology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand

BARBARA ANGORO
| 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" »


Journalism Review roars back to life

Bougainvillean woman in a still from Ophir
Bougainvillean woman in a still from 'Ophir',  a controversial documentary about the island's struggle against mining and for independence

KEITH JACKSON

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

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

Continue reading "Journalism Review roars back to life" »


PNG’s Indigenous language crisis

Bel heviANDREW WARNER
| 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" »


The making of a great friend of PNG

Ron-May
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" »


Did Hawaiian people originate in Mortlocks

Language - Children on the Takuu group of atolls also known as the Mortlock Islands (ABC)
Girls from Nukutoa village, Takuu, in the Mortlock Islands - one of four Polynesian outlier atolls off the east coast of the Bougainville

KUʻUWEHI HIRAISHI
| 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" »


ANU honours eminent PNG scholar, Ron May

Ron May
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" »


How the ethics program fell back to earth

EthicsKEITH JACKSON

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" »


Democracy suffers when media languish

MediaKEITH JACKSON

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

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

Continue reading "Democracy suffers when media languish" »


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

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" »


Report calls for laws against witchdoctors

Glasmeri (witch-finder) recanting her accusations (Anton Lutz)
A glasmeri witch-finder repudiates her previous accusations against an alleged 'sorcerer'(Anton Lutz)

KEITH JACKSON

‘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" »


Increasing trust in Covid communication

Rohan Fox
Rohan Fox - "For many Papua New Guineans, sharing stories told by friends, family or local Christian leaders may be received as most trustworthy"

ROHAN FOX
| 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" »


Science meets oral history at Orokolo Bay

Orokolo Bay
Orokolo Bay

CHRIS URWIN
| 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" »


The threat to language & biological knowledge in PNG

Tree fern savanna in the Cromwell Mountains (RBG Kew)
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" »


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" »


Beatrice Blackwood & her New Guinea exploits

Blackwood - Petats village  1929
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"

KEITH JACKSON

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" »


‘Role model’ Dr Hukula leaves research institute

Dr Fiona Hukula at her farewell
Dr Fiona Hukula (centre) at her farewell

MEDIA RELEASE
| 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" »


PNG: Import less consumables & create jobs

ShipKEITH JACKSON

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" »


Scientists try to save bananas from climate change

Exotic red bananas (Sebastien Carpentier)
Exotic red bananas found only in PNG (Sebastien Carpentier)

JON DALY
| 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" »


80% of settlement dwellers say Covid ‘a hoax’

Eugene Ezebilo
PNGRI deputy research director associate professor Eugene Ezebilo

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’" »


What is the process of drug development?

Niugini BioMed team
Dr Bomai Kerenga, chairman & CEO of the controversial Niugini Biomed and some of his research  team at a news conference on Friday

BARBARA ANGORO
| 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?" »


Marape's K10m spend on Covid 'research'

Dr William Pomat
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'" »


Niugini BioMed: What is this madness?

CureDR 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?" »


The Melanesian expansion out of Africa

Yalimanbaliemvalleypapua
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" »


Getting women into the Pacific’s parliaments

Kerryn_baker
Dr Kerryn Baker

WEB TEAM
| 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" »


PNG ‘heading in wrong direction’ says survey

PangunaPMVSmallerKEITH JACKSON

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" »


What we ate thousands of years ago

Professor Glenn Summerhayes and colleagues at the Joes' Garden site in the Ivane Valley
Professor Glenn Summerhayes and colleagues at the 4,500 year-old 'Joes Garden' archaeological site in the Ivane Valley

NEWS DESK
| 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" »


5,000-year-old artifacts rewrite PNG history

Some of the stone tools and art from the Waim site (UNSW - Ben Shaw)
Some of the stone tools and art from the Waim site (UNSW - Ben Shaw)

ASHLEY COWIE
| 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" »


3,000 years of pottery show who we are

Ancient Lapita pot
Ancient Lapita pot

PETER JOKISIE
| 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" »


Remarkable ‘Melanesians’ found in Malaysia jungle

Batek Melanesian people of Malaysia (Dr Patrick Pikacha)
The Batek people of the Malaysian hinterland  who bear a striking resemblance to the people of Melanesia (Dr Patrick Pikacha)

GARRY ROCHE

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" »


Amelia Earhart: Latest of many searches gets underway

EV Nautilus at Apia  Samoa  5 August Ocean Exploration Trust)
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" »


Aussie researchers discover 'parachuting frog' in PNG

Litoria pterodactyla
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" »


A home in the clouds: Working to save the tree kangaroo

Critically endangered tree kangaroo (Jonathan Byers  TKCP)
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" »