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In many cases, the expatriate experience in Papua New Guinea had an outcome that the outsider could never have expected: people became emotionally wedded to the country and its people, and continued to feel that attachment for the rest of their lives – even if they never returned to PNG’s shores.

The expatriate experience was also unusual since it frequently placed ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. This often had a lifelong influence on those people, who knew that Papua New Guinea had changed them and that they would always define themselves a little differently because of it. These people retain a common bond and understanding.

It is therefore not surprising that many of these people—who would not normally put pen to paper or poise fingers awkwardly over a keyboard—have felt the call to record their experiences. In doing so they have done future generations of Australians and Papua New Guineans a service, because what are revealed are stories and incidents and thoughts that go beyond the official record and beyond the ken of historians.

What is also revealed is the unvarnished reality of the challenges facing men and women who were tasked to do their bit to transform nearly a thousand tribes into a single nation.

The history of the settlement of Papua New Guinea indicates that people first arrived there 40-50,000 years ago when sea levels fell due to an ice age. The island was joined to the Australian continent until about 6,000 years ago, as a result sharing with Australia many species of plants and animals, including marsupials.

The more recent history of European colonisation, nation building and national independence dates back only to the 19th and 20th centuries. It is the latter period that concerns us here, since the outsiders who settled and lived in Papua New Guinea can tell their stories. They are stories of a time that is becoming distant and of a place that has changed. They are stories that needed to be told while they could be told. The PNGAA has published many of them in its journal, Una Voce, and is able to record more here.

PNGAA congratulates PNG on its 44th anniversary of Independence

The Papua New Guinea Association of Australia congratulates Papua New Guinea at this 44th anniversary of Independence. For both Papua New Guineans and Australians, it is a time to be proud of the achievements of both nations, and it is a time to reconnect Australia’s history in taking Papua New Guinea, our nearest neighbour, to nationhood. ...

Transcript from the Press Conference held by Prime Minister Scott Morrison with Prime Minister James Marape on 22 July 2019

Prime MInister Scott Morrisson has welcomed Prime Minister Marape, his Ministerial delegation and his delegation of Governors from Papua New Guinea to Australia for Guest of Government status. Papua New Guinea is the first country to visit this Australian government under this status. The transcript from the Press Conference held by Prime Minister Scott Morrison ...

PNG National Remembrance Day – 23 July

Today is National Remembrance Day in Papua New Guinea and a time to reflect on all those PNG citizens who lost their lives in the service of their country. July 23 is National Remembrance Day in Papua New Guinea. It is a memorial day observed to honor PNG soldiers and officers who lost their lived during ...

Vale Richard Hill

A service for Richard Christopher Hill 28 January 1936 – 30 June 2019 will be held at 10.30 on Tuesday 9 July 2019 at 202 Eumundi-Noosa Rd, Noosaville QLD 4566 With refreshments to follow at the Verrierdale Community Hall, QLD 4562

Montevideo Maru – Australia’s Greatest Maritime Disaster

Few Australians know this story – but all should. Seventy-seven years ago today 1053 civilians and Australian troops were about to begin their last tragic journey from Rabaul, the capital of Australian-mandated New Guinea. They were crammed onto a Japanese ‘Hell Ship’, the Montevideo Maru, for transport to Hainan as slave labour. The ship left Rabaul ...

NRL’s Pacific Invitation Matches – 22 June 2019

This year’s Pacific Invitational, to be held on 22 June 2019 at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, will feature the women’s match between Papua New Guinea and Fiji, commencing at 3.40pm, along with the men’s match Samoa vs Papua New Guinea at 7.40pm. Tickets are on sale via https://tickets.nrl.com/ Mayor of the Inner West Council, Darcy Byrne, hosted ...

2019 Queen’s Birthday Honours PNG

PNGAA congratulates the following recipients of Queens Birthday Honours in PNG recently: Dame Sandra Lau and Wayne Uechtritz. Dame Sandra Lau Order of the British Empire – DBE Sandra Geok Mei, Mrs LAU, MBE For services to commerce and the community through her philanthropic contribution in the areas of women and children welfare, education and health services. Sandra Lau, a PNGAA ...

Minister for International Development and the Pacific

PNGAA congratulates The Hon Alex Hawke MP who has recently been appointed Minister for International Development and the Pacific. This role has been upgraded from the previous incumbent who held the position of Parliamentary Secretary (Assistant Minister). PNGAA has written to the Minister to congratulate him and to introduce him to the PNGAA.

2019 Upcoming PNGAA Events

A number of gatherings are planned for PNGAA members and their friends through 2019 – they’re always enjoyable days so please support your association and come along! We thank all our organisers. This list may be updated through the year. 30 June 2019 – Canberra – Pavilion on Northbourne – see https://pngaa.org/site/?p=11089&preview=true 1 July 2019 – Australian ...

PNGAA Canberra Luncheon / 77th anniversary Montevideo Maru Luncheon – 30 June 2019

Join members and friends of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia (PNGAA) and the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Group for a luncheon in Canberra on 30 June 2019. The luncheon will also commemorate those who perished in the sinking of the Montevideo Maru on 1st July 1942 ...

PNGAA Gathering! Special Panel Event, Newcastle, NSW – 6 July 2019

PRESENTERS: DR. JAN MCLEOD, SUELLEN HOLLAND & MARK LYNCH (See further information about the speakers below) Come along with family, friends or on your own to this inaugural PNGAA event in Newcastle, NSW. We all have a story to tell, and we love hearing about other peoples experiences – so this day will be ...

Anzac Day 2019

A memorable day in Sydney – see photos:

Dr Haydee Paiva triumphantly waves PNG and Solomon Island flags at Mt Everest base camp

A Solomon Islands doctor has given her PNG ‘tambus’ a sneak peek of Mount Everest. Dr Haydee Paiva, a keen hiker and budding mountaineer, reached the base camp of Mt Everest on April 15 from the Nepal side. Dr Paiva works at the Paradise Hospital in Port Moresby as an anaesthetist or dokta blo slipim man na ...

Electronic Tuberculosis (TB) patient management system

Australia is proudly supporting Dr Patrick Koliwan and David Valentine, founders of health-tech startup Refer Tech that have developed an electronic tuberculosis (TB) patient management system. The prototype is being piloted at the Kaugere Health Centre and has so far cut TB patient review times from around 20 minutes to just two minutes per patient! TB patients ...

International federation of basketball team visits PNG

The team from FIBA, the international federation of basketball, were in Port Moresby recently along with representatives from Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea. Since last year #PNGAusPartnership supported the #Hoops4Health program in communities within the National Capital District which has seen an increase of women participation in basketball. The Basketball Federation of Papua New Guinea was ...

Joint national strategy to combat sorcery accusation related violence

Papua New Guinea’s major churches have committed to a joint national strategy to combat sorcery accusation related violence, declaring their determination to help end a practise blamed for destroying hundreds of lives and damaging dozens of communities across the country every year. In a landmark development, the 10 main denominations have adopted the National Churches Strategic ...

Tour de New Ireland Cycling event – Boluminski Highway

11 April 2019 marked the opening of upgrades to the Boluminski Highway in New Ireland – a project led by the Papua New Guinea Department of Works and funded by the PNG-AusPartnership. As part of celebrations marking the completion of works, the New Ireland Provincial Government, #PNGAusPartnership and Newcrest Mining held the inaugural Tour de ...

Rabaul & Montevideo Maru Memorial News, March 2019

Australian War Memorial Re-development The Australian War Memorial has developed a detailed proposal to the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia to fund a major redevelopment of the Memorial’s galleries and precinct, and create a guiding vision for the next 50 years. https://www.awm.gov.au/about/our-work/projects/FuturePlans The area appears to surround the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Memorial so we have contacted ...

Perth, Western Australia, PNGAA group

Perth, Western Australia, PNGAA group lunch held at Bull Creek RAAFA Base 29 March 2019. 21 members and friends attended the autumn lunch in Perth. Graham Bowden gave a talk about his time in the technical education sector and his vast involvement in sports, in particularly Aussie Rules, in PNG. Jill Worsley brought along the PNG ...

Graham Henry John Pople MBE                    14 March 1935-11 February 2019

Graham Henry John Pople MBE 14 March 1935-11 February 2019

With sadness PNGAA advises that Graham Pople passed away on 11 February 2019, aged 83 years. The Pople family extend an invitation to Graham’s family and friends to join them in celebrating Graham’s life on Friday 15 February 2019, 1.30pm at Cairns Funeral Directors, 36 Pease Street, Cairns. Following the service the family would like to ...