By Donald Denoon
Whilst it got here in September 1975, Papua New Guinea’s independence was once marked via either nervousness and elation. within the euphoric aftermath, decolonisation used to be declared a triumph and fast occasions appeared to justify that self belief. via the Nineteen Nineties, even though, occasions had taken a flip for the more serious and there have been doubts in regards to the skill of the country to operate. sooner than independence, Papua New Guinea was once an Australian Territory. accountability lay with a minister in Canberra and prone have been supplied by means of Commonwealth organizations. In 1973, top Minister Gough Whitlam declared that independence might be completed inside of years. whereas Australians have been united of their wish to decolonise, many Papua New Guineans have been apprehensive of independence. This superlative historical past offers the entire tale of the ‘trial separation’ of Australia and Papua New Guinea, concluding that — given the intertwined background, geography and economies of the 2 neighbours — the decolonisation undertaking of ‘independence’ continues to be a piece in growth.
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Additional resources for A Trial Separation: Australia And the Decolonisation of Papua New Guinea
It was therefore apt that the government of the Territory was shared by two agencies. Relations between Konedobu and Canberra were usually cool and often tetchy, yet each needed the other. The Administration was not an embryonic state: it had no capacity to make policy. Rather, it was a colonial regime whose officers served out their careers in the Territory, interacted with Melanesians and were often touched by them. The department was part of the Commonwealth, whose officers moved to and from other departments, and they might never visit the Territory.
19 Adapting to climates and soils, people grew taro, sweet potato, sago or yam; they cleared bush, selected varieties, inter-planted, mulched and irrigated. These staples also sustained pigs, the main store of wealth. 21 These rituals and adventures were sustained by hard work and years of planned surplus, but these skills were barely visible to Australians. Archaeologists did not reveal the antiquity of New Guinea agriculture until the 1960s; swidden seemed inefficient to Europeans, pigs and cassowaries could not be herded like cattle, and benefits from exchange relations were invisible to casual observers.
The Administration was not an embryonic state: it had no capacity to make policy. Rather, it was a colonial regime whose officers served out their careers in the Territory, interacted with Melanesians and were often touched by them. The department was part of the Commonwealth, whose officers moved to and from other departments, and they might never visit the Territory. This awkward complementarity mirrored the difficulty of their mission: to mediate radically different economies, societies and cultures that were, and would forever remain, close neighbours.
A Trial Separation: Australia And the Decolonisation of Papua New Guinea by Donald Denoon