New Guinea Waits



These three short articles have been published in the hope that all future historical research on Australian colonial New Guinea will be based on fact.

Many flawed books have been published about New Guinea. However, with the appearance of Australian Women in Papua New Guinea by Chilla Bulbeck, it seems to me imperative that questions be asked - and answered - by the Australian academic world. From what background, what ethos, has this book arisen? How is it possible that a book on Australian women of New Guinea can be published and the author does not even seem to be aware of my name? This is in spite of repeated efforts over many years to draw attention to my work and valuable original material on New Guinea.

This unfortunate situation could have been prevented. As can be seen from the first two articles in this publication - printed as originally circulated, except for minor alterations - I had already responded to Chilla Bulbeck's earlier work. Why were these articles brushed aside by academics and publishers? Even the third article, a natural and inevitable outcome of this previous neglect, has been similarly treated.

Many Papuans and New Guineans, as well as Australians, lost their lives or had them ruined, fighting for common interests during World War II. Papua New Guinea could remain an important ally of Australia. However, such an alliance is endangered when academics and publishers accept fanciful work on New Guinea or treat the subject, as is often the case, with patronizing indifference.

Colonial New Guinea was no place for weak Europeans. Only the strongest survived, or died, with integrity. Perhaps New Guinea is still testing Europeans who - in any way - dare to explore her territory.