Paulias Matane

Paulias Nguna Matane (1931- ), public servant and writer. Matane was born at Viviran, East New Britain (ENB) District. After teacher training at Sogeri School in 1956 he became an assistant teacher and from 1958-61 headmaster of Tauran primary school in ENB. From 1962-66 he was an Inspector with the Department of Education and from 1969-70 a member of the Public Service Schools’ Board. From 1969-70 Matane was Secretary of the Department of Business Development and from 1975-80 PNG Ambassador to the USA, Mexico and the United Nations and High Commissioner to Canada. He was Secretary to the Department of Foreign Affairs from 1980-85. In 1972 he was a member of the Australian College of Education and the Advisory Council of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Matane has represented PNG at meetings and conferences in Australia, Asia and Africa. He was knighted and awarded an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Papua New Guinea in 1986. His publications include My Childhood in New Guinea and Aimbe the Pastor.

Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay

Nicholas Miklouho-Maclay (1846-1888), Russian scientist who conducted ethnographic, language and marine studies in the Astrolabe Bay region of New Guinea in 1871-72, 1876 and 1878 for a total of two-and-a-half years. For almost all of this time he lived by himself and enjoyed remarkably good relationships with the local people. Although many of his papers were lost, the writings which survived have been valuable to subsequent scholars.

John Momis

John Momis (1942- ), politician and ex-Catholic priest known as Father John Momis until he left the church in 1993. Momis was born in Salamaua, Morobe, of North Solomons parents and educated in PNG to Queensland matriculation level. He studied at Boismenu College, Bomana, and Marist College, Madang, graduating in Theology and Philosophy. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1970 and taught at the Marist College in 1971. He has served in the House of Assembly as member for Bougainville since 1972. He was a member of the PANGU Pati until he founded the Melanesian Alliance in 1980. He held the portfolio of Decentralisation from August 1977 to March 1980, in the period immediately after Independence when decisions were being made about the establishment of provincial governments. He became Deputy leader of the Opposition in 1982 and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Public Service in the Somare Government of 1985. Momis then served as Minister for Provincial Affairs in the Namaliu Government of 1988. In 1992 he remained a North Solomons member of the national parliament although the Bougainville rebellion had made it impossible to hold a full election in the province. Momis has remained with the MA and was its leader in 1993.

John Moresby

John Moresby (1830-1922), British naval officer who surveyed much of the southeast coast of New Guinea. Moresby was in command of HMS Basilisk on a voyage to Australia in 1871. He was the first surveyor into the China Strait and the first to enter the harbor of Port Moresby, which he named after his father. He retired, with the rank of Admiral, in 1888.

Henry Moses

Henry Moses (c 1940-1986), pioneer trade union leader, president, Bougainville Mining Workers Union (BMWU) to 1986. This position required detailed negotiation rarely seen in industrial relations in PNG. Moses defeated Tony Ila for presidency of PNG’s Trade Union Council (TUC) in 1983. In 1985 he criticized the fragmentation of PNG unions and the lack of cooperation between private and public sector unions. His recommendation that the TUC initiate a political party, a Labour Party, was not accepted by the TUC. He was criticized by some trade union officials because his responsibilities to the BMWU kept him in North Solomons, and away from Port Moresby, for lengthy periods. However, his proposal to reform TUC procedures and establish a management board were implemented and he successfully established relations with international trade union organizations.

Rose Muingnepe

Rose Muingnepe (1960- ), first woman to chair the Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC). Born into a Lutheran family in the village of Onimogoma, in the highlands, and educated at a local primary school and Kerowagi boarding school she worked as a clerk in the Bureau of Management Services at Kundiawa before being transferred to Port Moresby. There she became closely involved with the work of the Good Shepherd Lutheran congregation at Koki. In 1980 Muingnepe made a strong personal commitment to devote her life to serving God. Shortly after this she was admitted to the Martin Luther Seminary at Lae to undertake a three-year certificate course in Theological Studies. (At that time women were not accepted in the six-year theological degree course and some Lutherans thought that they should not be admitted to the certificate course.)

In 1984 Muingnepe was chosen by the PNG Lutheran Church Council as a delegate to an international women’s convention in the United States. In 1985 she became a parish worker at Koki and coordinator of women’s work, and in 1986 she was elected chairperson of the Melanesian Council of Churches Women’s Committee. From 1987 to 1989 she worked with a Lutheran woman pastor in Ohio, United States, where her husband was studying. On her return she became Warden of Women Students at UPNG. In 1990 she represented the Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG on the executive of the Melanesian Council of Churches. This prestigious body, which in 1991 changed its name to the Papua New Guinea Council of Churches (PNGCC), includes representatives of seven major churches. In March 1991 Muingnepe was elected, and in 1992 and 1993 reelected, as chairperson of the Council.

Jack Keith Murray

Jack Keith Murray (1889-1979), agriculturalist, soldier and Australian Administrator of Papua and New Guinea. Murray graduated from the University of Sydney, was Principal of the Queensland Agricultural College from 1923-45 and Professor of Agriculture at the University of Queensland from 1927-45. He became a colonel in the Australian Army during World War II and Chief Instructor of the Australian Army School of Civil Affairs. He was appointed by Australia’s Labor Government as Administrator of PNG from 1945-52, with the responsibility of implementing Australia’s ”New Deal”. Murray strongly attacked the racism of the majority of white expatriates. He was replaced as Administrator when the Labor Government lost office.

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Hubert Murray

John Hubert Plunkett Murray (1861-1940), Chief Judicial Officer of British New Guinea and Administrator of the Australian Territory of Papua. Born in Australia, and educated in Australia and England, Murray became a barrister in London after graduating from Oxford University. In 1886 he joined the legal profession in Australia, in 1900 fought in the Boer War in South Africa and in 1904 became the Chief Judicial Officer of British New Guinea. At the 1906 Royal Commission into the administration of Papua, he attacked the Administrator, Captain F.R. Barton, for failing to support European commercial enterprise in the colony. Barton was retired and Murray appointed Acting Administrator and in 1908 Administrator.

Initially he attempted to follow a dual policy of encouraging European development and protecting the local people against gross exploitation by the settlers. These aims were incompatible. Murray’s protection of the people, and external factors over which he had no control, discouraged large-scale settlement. From 1912 he concentrated on the extension of Administration control by mainly peaceful means and the gradual integration of the local people into Western society. He appointed Village Councillors and Native Medical Assistants, and encouraged the missions and subsidized their schools. His paternalistic “pro-native” policies were opposed by most European settlers. Although Murray shared the view of other colonists that the natives were intellectually and culturally inferior, and passed racially discriminatory legislation against them, he thought more highly of Papuans and credited them with more ability than did most expatriates. Murray refused to retire and died in Samarai hospital, at the age of 79, after an inspection of the Trobriand Islands.

Rabbie Namaliu

Rabbie Namaliu (1948- ), public servant and politician. Namaliu was born in Kokopo, East New Britain District, and educated at Kerevat and Sogeri High Schools. He was among the first intake of students to UPNG and graduated with a B.A. in History and English in 1970. He was the founding president of the UPNG branch of the PANGU Pati in 1968. In 1971 he won a Commonwealth scholarship to Victoria University, British Columbia, Canada, from which he graduated with an M.A. in History and Political Science in 1972.

Namaliu was appointed a lecturer in history at UPNG in 1973 and was Principal Private Secretary to the Chief Minister, Michael Somare, from 1974-75. In 1976 he became the District Commissioner of East New Britain where he helped to establish a provincial government. He chaired the Public Services Commission from 1977-79 and became Principal Research Officer in the Office of the Prime Minister in 1980. In 1981 Namaliu was Executive Officer to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael Somare, and in 1982 he was elected to the House of Assembly to represent an East New Britain electorate. He was Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1982-84, served as President of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group Council of Ministers in 1984 and was Minister for Primary Industry from 1984-85.

In May 1988 Namaliu replaced Somare as leader of PANGU and leader of the Opposition and in July 1988 he defeated Paias Wingti in a vote of no confidence and became Prime Minister. He retained his seat in the 1992 elections but failed to win the Prime Ministership. He resigned, for family reasons, as leader of the Opposition in July 1992 but remained in parliament and in the PANGU Pati. Namaliu was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Victoria University, Canada, in 1983.

Bernard Narokobi

Bernard Narokobi (1945-2010), politician, lawyer and poet. Narakobi was born in Wewak, East Sepik District, and educated at Kerevat High School and the University of Sydney in Australia. He graduated LL.B., was admitted to the New South Wales (NSW) Bar and practiced as a barrister in NSW. On his return to PNG he became the provincial and local government planner for East Sepik District and then a Judge of the National Court.

Narakobi was a founding member and sometime leader of the Melanesian Alliance (MA). He was elected to the House of Assembly to represent an East Sepik electorate in 1987 and served as Minister for Justice from 1988-92. He has chaired the Law Reform Commission, the National Youth Council, the National Cultural Council and a number of community bodies. He was the legal advisor to the Constitutional Planning Committee. Narakobi is a member of the executive of the Papua New Guinea Council of Churches and an Honorary Professor in Melanesian Philosophy at UPNG. He has represented PNG at a number of overseas conferences.