About The PNGAA

THE PNGAA

Papua New Guinea & Australia are two nations sharing an ongoing story with a connected history and people. This is a central focus of the PNGAA – fostering healthy conversations, activities, and the increasing importance of our shared futures in a rapidly shifting global landscape.

The PNGAA welcomes anyone with an interest in the connection between Papua New Guinea & Australia. With modern technologies and social media, we are now closer than ever to our geographic neighbours with increasing opportunities to improve that relationship.

The PNGAA is managed primarily from Sydney, Australia, and is undertaken on an honorary basis. However, the Committee officers can be physically located almost anywhere.

We communicate with members in several different ways — the hardcopy printed journal, website, e-mail via the “Tok Save” and various social media platforms: Facebook, Tok Save, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

We build connections by:

  • Sharing stories in PNGAA’s highly regarded quarterly journal, PNG Kundu,
  • Organising local events,
  • Maintaining the PNGAA Collection (Here)
  • Developing the Pacific Community Centre.
  • Maintaining the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Group and by sharing its story and the availability of its education program to schools (Here)

If you wish to become a member of the PNGAA, you may do so HERE.

PNG Kundu

We publish a quarterly journal titled PNG Kundu, which has progressed from a brief news sheet to a highly-praised full colour journal of over 60 pages. It is also available on-line through a Digital membership.

The journal was previously known as Una Voce – Latin for ‘with one voice’.  The Una Voce Archives hold a rich history of the PNG Australian connection through stories of WWI and WWII (incorporating the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society’s ‘Memorial News’), of living, working and raising families, of friendships, of plantations, exploration through the PNG wilderness, the kiaps, the missionaries, Independence and the life-long love of a country and its people that has remained in the hearts of many members.

Today the journal is also a platform for promoting PNG–Australian collaborations and charitable activities in education, health, and tourism.

In 2020, after 164 issues of Una Voce, acting on popular member sentiment to refresh our brand and reflect the changing times, a competition was held to decide on an appropriate name — and the journal was rebranded PNG KUNDU.

If you wish to submit a narrative for consideration for the journal, you may contact the editor HERE.

Books and DVDs

The PNGAA will occasionally produce a product to facilitate its objectives. This year we have produced a book called Land of the Unexpected”.

Papua New Guinea is a land of tremendous contrasts—of smiling people, mad keen rugby followers, complex cultural dynamics, singing that is out of this world, stunning scenery, incredible artefacts, opportunities for adventurous activities — all in a terrain that is carved by steep slopes and jagged peaks of mountain ranges, interspersed by fertile valleys and over a dozen active volcanoes — and Australia’s nearest neighbour.

This publication, with 100 large-format pages and over 200 colour photographs, covers many of the different facets of this amazing country — in fact, everything you wanted to know about PNG! 

The PNGAA full product offering can be accessed HERE.

The PNGAA Collection

The association has broad interests and activities, including preserving historical material related to Papua New Guinea.

The PNGAA Collection consists of archival material – reflecting the lives and work of those who have lived in PNG.  It began with an idea by Doug Parrish in 1992, a former President of the Association, and evolved over the years through the dedication and expertise of Dr Peter Cahill.  Now it is managed by Cheryl Marvell, PNGAA’s archivist.

From a modest assortment of photographs and a handful of letters and diaries, the PNGAA Collection is now a fast-growing compilation and continues to attract local, national and international interest. You can learn more HERE.

As to the future of the collection, the committee is working on securing a building where we can put on display what we have been gifted. What an amazing library and resource it would be to anyone studying PNG and its history and Australia’s involvement in its development. 

Contact the PNGAA Archivist HERE.

The Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Group

The Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society (RMVMS) was established in 2009 to represent the interests of the families of the soldiers and civilians captured in Rabaul and the New Guinea Islands after the Japanese invasion in January 1942, many of whom are believed to have perished on Montevideo Maru when it was torpedoes off the Philippines on 1 July 1942.  The primary objective was to erect a memorial to those lost during this event which was achieved when the memorial was unveiled at the Australian War Memorial (Canberra) on 1 July 2012.

Following this, the Society was wound up in 2013 with its assets and remaining objectives transferred to the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia.  It retains a website, www.memorial.org.au, and has an outstanding educational package for schools developed by history teachers. 

On the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the Montevideo Maru, the PNGAA produced a book titled ‘When the War Came: New Guinea Islands 1942’ which is available HERE.

The Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Memorial at the AWM – Canberra, was put in to storage in May 2021, and will be reinstated once major works at the AWM are completed.   

Contact the group HERE.

Events

Events are held regularly in all regional areas. If you would like to support the Australian – Papua New Guinea relationship by organising an event, please let us know.

Contact the events coordinator HERE.

History

The PNGAA was originally known as the Retired Officers’ Association of Papua New Guinea (ROAPNG), being formally constituted in 1951. It was incorporated under the NSW Associations Incorporation Act of 1984 in March 1996.

The Association owed its genesis to the concerns of retired officers who had served in the Public Service of Papua (then an Australian possession) and New Guinea (then a Mandated Territory under the League of Nations) prior to the outbreak of World War II, in the Provisional Administration of Papua New Guinea immediately after World War II or in the combined Public Service of Papua and New Guinea. Their primary concerns related to the maintenance of superannuation entitlements and retirement benefits for both themselves and their dependents.

The role of the PNGAA has progressively expanded and it now comprises a global network of about 1,000 members representing the diverse interests of people with affection for or an interest in Papua New Guinea.

Become a member HERE.