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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.

Taim Bilong Masta: the Australians Involvement with Papua New Guinea by Hank Nelson

Taim Bilong Masta: the Australians Involvement with Papua New Guinea by Hank Nelson

The book ‘Taim Bilong Masta‘ : the Australian involvement with Papua New Guinea  by Hank Nelson is accessible through ANU’s Open Research Repository and available for download. If you are looking for a book to read on PNG, this is a wonderful opportunity! To access, try the following links:     HERE       or      HERE

Montevideo Maru – Australia’s greatest tragedy of the Pacific War

With the sinking of the MONTEVIDEO MARU – Australia suffered the greatest single tragedy of the war in the Pacific. The fate of those who had embarked at Rabaul on the Japanese Naval auxiliary transport on the 22 Jun 1942, remained a mystery for over three years, though the remaining internees learned on the tragedy on ...

MP presents rice mill

MP presents rice mill to farmers, encourages rice farming March 19, 2020The NationalBusiness RICE farmers in the Ihu local level government in Kikori have been given a machine to mill their rice. Ward member for Kaivukovu and Larihairu villages Paul Mahiro and leaders received the machine from Kikori MP Soroi Eoe in Port Moresby this week. It is in ...

Bougainville – Another geologist killed

A GEOLOGIST from Thailand employed by a Filipino-owned mining company is dead after allegedly shot by disgruntled landowners in a remote mountainous area of Bougainville, Bougainville Police Commander Francis Tokura says. Tokura said he was concerned because this was the second non-Bougainvillean geologists employed by a foreign-owned company to be killed in the Autonomous Region in ...

Sydney Event - Sunday 29 Mar - Women's Panel

Sydney Event – Sunday 29 Mar – Women’s Panel

P O S T P O N E D In the interests of the health of possible attendees and the community at large, the Committee has decided to postpone PNGAA Events for the moment. This includes the Women’s Panel Talk (Sydney) & Ship’s Inn gathering (Brisbane).  It is a proactive approach to assist our communities in managing ...

RECOLLECTIONS OF DES CLANCY, ADMIRED KIAP

Jim Sinclair writes – The tributes that poured in following Des Clancy’s death in Perth in November inevitably referred not only to Des’s competence but to his warmth, charm and almost constant smile. I first saw that smile in Sydney when Des was at the 1952-53 No 3 Long Course at the Australian School of ...

PNGAA 68th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 28 April 2019, Address by Incoming President – MAX UECHTRITZ

It’s a privilege to be part of this association, part of this executive team (committee and sub-committees)—and to be entrusted with this role. I’m in awe of the personal blood, sweat and tears that so many people have put into PNGAA for so long—many in this room. It’s been (and is) the bond, the glue ...

PNGAA 68th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING – 28 April 2019, President’s Report – ANDREA WILLIAMS

THE PNGAA fills an important role for Australians and Papua New Guineans, whose life has been significantly touched by PNG. Our network of volunteers and the social support it offers are unique and, at this 68th Annual General Meeting, I feel very privileged that we have been part of keeping our Australian/PNG history alive. Taking you ...

About the PNGAA Collection – Cheryl Marvell, 2019 PNGAA Christmas Luncheon

Hello everyone, I have been in the job of Archivist of the PNGAA Collection since the end of August 2019. The lovely Murrough Benson, our Treasurer, took me through the ropes and showed me what was waiting for my attention in the storage unit at Chatswood where the collection is housed at the moment. My first job ...

Bougainville poll supports independence

The people of Bougainville have voted overwhelmingly in favour of becoming independent from Papua New Guinea.   97% of the Bougainville population endorsed the vote promised as part of a 2001 peace agreement to end the devastating civil war in Bougainville.  The Peace Agreement says that the PNG and Bougainville governments will now have to ‘consult’.  The ...

PNG ‘Chalkies’ Honoured by NSW Department of Education

The NSW Department of Education has paid tribute to a unique group of former teachers who served our country during the Vietnam War period. (L-R) Christopher Charles, Director, School Operations and Performance, Ken Boston, a former Education director-general and Ken Stevenson, representative of the Teachers’ sub-branch of the NSW RSL, with the honour roll for staff ...

New book: “A Short history of the Pacific Islands Monthly Magazine”

The Pacific Islands Monthly Magazine (PIM) was a brave publication started in The Great Depression that over the following 70 years became the ‘Pacific Bible’. Now Bob Lawrence, an ABC News Journalist who was among a group of ABC staff seconded to the National Broadcasting Commission of PNG in the 1970s has written a history of ...

Reunion for Kiaps and friends – Kawana Waters, Queensland – Sunday 10 November 2019

This Invitation is extended to all Kiaps, their families and their friends. It is at the same venue as the previous gatherings. Where: The Kawana Waters Hotel- located on Nicklin Way, near Kawana Waters Shopping Centre, on the main road between Mooloolaba and Caloundra. A large parking area is available at the hotel. Date: Sunday 10 November 2019 Time: ...

Bob Gotts’ Butterfly Collection – 25 November 2019, Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO, Canberra

The colourful butterflies of PNG add to this extraordinary country’s beauty and colour. This is a rare opportunity to see Bob Gotts’ amazing collection! Bob Gotts went to PNG to teach and spent 60 years collecting butterflies with his family in their spare time. In 2018 the collection was donated to the Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO. Where: ...

See footage on PNG! National Film & Sound Archives, Canberra – Friday 22 November 2019

PNGAA members have a special opportunity to visit the NFSA and experience film footage on Papua New Guinea including sound and still images. There is a range of fascinating material starting from the 1930s when gold prospectors penetrated the highland areas of central New Guinea with maps and bulky 35 mm camera equipment, through to the ...

Shoalhaven Bushwalkers Fund raiser in support of an aid post in Western Highlands Province

When: Friday 6 December 2019, 4pm-7pm Where: Lynburn, Bomaderry, NSW. Spend a delightful evening at Lynburn, a beautiful 1890’s house in Bomaderry, near Nowra on the NSW South Coast with drinks, delicious snacks, live music and great company…all for a $20 donation to raise money to help support an aid post in the Western Highlands ...

The Bragge Collection and ‘History of the Sepik’ – now at James Cook University

The Bragge Collection is a new, exciting and significant donation to the James Cook University Cairns Campus Library and the Cairns Institute. Laurie Bragge’s generous donation has been gifted to JCU to facilitate further research into this diverse and fascinating tropical region and the societies that call it home. Laurie spent more than ...

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 ...