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Australians in Papua New Guinea 1960-1975
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Australians in Papua New Guinea 1960-1975

Author: Ceridwen Spark   Seumas Spark   Christina Twomey  

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Australians in Papua New Guinea, provides a history of the late Australian years in Papua New Guinea through the eyes of thirteen Australian and four Papua New Guineans. The book presents the experiences of Australians who went to work in PNG over several decades before the 1970s.

Australians in Papua New Guinea begins with medical practitioners: Michael Alpers, Ken Clezy, Margaret Smith, Ian Maddocks and Anthony Radford (with accompanying reflections by wife, Robin) who grappled with complex medical issues in difficult surroundings. Other contributors—John Langmore, John Ley and Bill Brown—became experts in governance. The final group featured were involved in education and social change: Ken Inglis, Bill Gammage, and Christine Stewart. Papua New Guinean contributors: medical expert Sir Isi Henao Kevau, diplomats Charles Lepani and Dame Meg Taylor, and educator and politician Dame Carol Kidu further deepen the quality of this collection. A final reflection is provided by historian Jonathan Ritchie, himself part of an Australian family in PNG.

This extraordinary book balances expatriates with indigenous Papua New Guineans, balances gender, and pioneers an innovative combination of written reminiscences and interviews. The history of this important Pacific nation unfolds as do the histories of individuals who were involved in its formative decades.