Mr Ian Kemish A.M. is working with Dr Jonathan Ritchie of Deakin University, among others, on a project entitled PNG Speaks, which aims to record oral history interviews with Papua New Guineans about their memories of PNG’s independence in 1975, the years leading up to it, and the time immediately following. The group will comprise men and women who contributed in some way to the development of independence and the creation of the Papua New Guinean nation. The interviews will invite participants to speak candidly about their perspectives on the way that PNG achieved independence and their own experiences along the way to independence and afterwards.
The interviews will be accessible to Papua New Guinean and Australians through a web portal formally hosted by the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery, as well as through the University of Queensland and Deakin University websites. The intention is to form a permanent collection to be retained by the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery that will provide insights into how the nation¹s first leaders were able to establish a vision of a united PNG and bring the people to embrace independence.
This is a cooperative project between Deakin University, the University of Queensland and the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery, and it also has the support of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare, PNG independence leader and former Prime Minister -naturally one of the interviewees- has kindly agreed to be patron of the project. The intention is to launch the website publicly
later in 2015, which marks the 40th anniversary of PNG independence.