By Donald Denoon
While it got here in September 1975, Papua New Guinea’s independence used to be marked through either anxiousness and elation. within the euphoric aftermath, decolonisation was once declared a triumph and speedy occasions appeared to justify that self belief. through the Nineteen Nineties, notwithstanding, occasions had taken a flip for the more serious and there have been doubts concerning the means of the nation to operate. sooner than independence, Papua New Guinea used to be an Australian Territory. accountability lay with a minister in Canberra and prone have been supplied via Commonwealth organisations. In 1973, major Minister Gough Whitlam declared that independence might be completed inside years. whereas Australians have been united of their wish to decolonise, many Papua New Guineans have been frightened of independence. This superlative historical past offers the complete tale of the ‘trial separation’ of Australia and Papua New Guinea, concluding that — given the intertwined historical past, geography and economies of the 2 neighbours — the decolonisation undertaking of ‘independence’ continues to be a piece in development.
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Extra resources for A Trial Separation: Australia And the Decolonisation of Papua New Guinea
A 452 62/1850, Minister’s note, February 14, 1962. 52. A452/1, 60/8329. 1 Their interest delighted the officials who were planning to create an elected legislature: a tour might produce ‘men who know what we are talking about when we ask them to consider further changes’. All official thinking accepted that Papua New Guineans must understand the workings of Australian government, not that Australians should understand Papua New Guinea society. Selecting a party was tricky. Each district should send one person and David Fenbury (Secretary of the Administrator’s Department) told DCs that the tourists must have ‘the basic education or the native intelligence to absorb the lessons they will learn’ about Australian institutions.
Headmaster Schilling to Collector of Customs, Sydney, March 7, 1929. Rabaul Times, January 25, 1929. 6. A518, B818/1/3, Administrator to Minister, July 31, 1948, and reply, September 24, 1948. 7. A452/1, file 60/8329, Administrator to Department, September 8, 1958. 8. , Minister A. R. Downer to W. C. Wentworth MP, October 27, 1959. 9. Greg Dening, Islands and Beaches: Discourses on a Silent Land, Marquesas, 1774-1880, University of Hawai’i Press, 1980. 10. Stewart Firth, ‘Colonial Administration and the Invention of the Native’, in Donald Denoon, Stewart Firth, Jocelyn Linnekin, Karen Nero and Malama Meleisea (eds), The Cambridge History of The Pacific Islanders, Melbourne, 1997.
Self-government would happen before the economic and social advancement has gone far enough for the Territory to support itself financially, provide food and work for its people from its own resources at the higher standards they are seeking, staff its public services, and protect the individual through the Courts, to say nothing of assuming the responsibility for foreign affairs and defence. Since constitutional advance might outstrip institutions and personnel, Hasluck proposed ‘degrees in self-government’ on the model of Australia’s own constitutional history.
A Trial Separation: Australia And the Decolonisation of Papua New Guinea by Donald Denoon