4 Responses

  1. Dr. Amanda H A Watson
    Dr. Amanda H A Watson February 2, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Thank you Rohan for this beautiful piece. I too have had many wonderful times in PNG and am sometimes saddened by the stereotypes. Nearly every single time I meet an Australian and they learn that I live in PNG, they ask ‘oh, but isn’t it dangerous?’ or something along those lines. It’s a difficult question to answer. Yes, I’ve had challenges in PNG, but I’ve also had many joyous, positive experiences. For instance, three of my local friends turned up unexpectedly at my flat recently with fresh tuna, green vegetables and root vegetables and cooked for me! It’s moments and memories like these that are so precious.

    I was involved some years back in research which looked at the Australian broadcast media (TV, radio and online) to assess the media coverage of PNG. In short, we found that the media coverage was minimal. In the time period we surveyed, it wasn’t particularly bad, but it was sparse. The paper is available here.

    This research was later combined with research done by a talented, young PNG researcher, in which she did a content analysis of Australian newspapers, and published as a book chapter (see here).

    A more recent resource that is very useful for looking at the relationship between Australia and PNG is Sean Dorney’s book The Embarrassed Colonialist. I found it to be a very enjoyable, interesting read. I believe it’s currently available in book stores. Information about the book is here.

    Thanks again Rohan,

    Amanda. 🙂

  2. Elizabeth Morgan
    Elizabeth Morgan January 9, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Thank you Rohan – you speak for so many of us who love PNG and Port Moresby and are saddened by the ‘single story’ which continues being told about PNG. I have asked PNG colleagues how they feel about Australian (in particular) media stories of PNG and their responses are consistent – sad, or annoyed, or disappointed, or angry, or ashamed, or any combination of these. When I ask them how they feel about how Port Moresby has developed over the past decade they often say ‘proud’. They know there are problems – we don’t need to tell them those.

    And I agree that the other stories about PNG need to be told too – by the people of PNG and blogs and social media are good places to do that – but mainstream media needs to address this deficit in their stories and ask PNG nationals to write for them.

  3. Pacific Travel Directory
    Pacific Travel Directory January 9, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Very Positive article about Port Moresby and PNG

  4. Judy Atkinson
    Judy Atkinson January 9, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Rohan, thank you from someone who on a day to day basis, monitors the facebook site Papua New Guineans Against Domestic Violence. Sometimes we get locked into thinking the world is just as I saw it on Christmas Day 2016 – a woman – a mother of three with severe machette wounds to her head as we worked to get health and justice services for her.

    We lived in PNG throughout the 1970’s, was there for Independence, and pulled out in 1981 after my husband cleaned up a plane crash and got, among other things, PTSD. There is a cost to putting bits of bodies into plastic bags. No one understood at that time. PNG was not the problem. I saw a lot of racism – white privilege. Perhaps that was because I looked at the world through Aboriginal eyes.

    My kids grew up there. We had no bars on our windows, never got broken into, my children played with local kids up on the hill behind the airport, building cubby houses, swimming in the creek, which I was told later, was the home of a croc. I love PNG. I love the people – big hearted, alive, cultured – “Welcome to the University. The ancient, timeless, eternal University of Melanesia. The Village. Where courses are offered in living”. Bernard Narakobi.

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