Keith migrated with his family from England to Australia in 1949 and grew up on the south coast of New South Wales. After leaving high school he trained as a teacher at the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA), arriving in the then Territory of Papua and New Guinea in 1963 at age 18.
His first teaching post was at Kundiawa in the Chimbu region, where he also established a local newsletter, the Kundiawa News, and was appointed as a freelance correspondent for the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the South Pacific Post and Pacific Islands Monthly.
After three years teaching, he was transferred to Port Moresby as editor of school publications, later joining the ABC to write and produce educational broadcasts. He moved to the Government Broadcasting Service in 1970, managing radio stations in Rabaul and Bougainville.
Around the time of PNG's independence in 1975, Keith was appointed head of policy and planning of the new National Broadcasting Commission.
Leaving PNG in 1976, he worked in a range of communications development roles in Indonesia, Maldives, India, Philippines and Fiji. Back in Australia he established and managed radio stations 2ARM-FM Armidale and 2SER-FM Sydney.
Keith lectured in mass communication at ASOPA's successor, the International Training Institute, and was appointed Acting Principal before rejoining the ABC as its first General Manager of Corporate Relations, responsible for government, media and community affairs.
He moved to public relations firm Mojo in the late 1980s and soon after, in 1991, established his own communications company. For 20 years Jackson Wells Morris was one of Australia’s leading PR firms. Keith retired from the company in 2012.
Keith has academic credentials in education, a BA in economics and political science from the University of Papua New Guinea and a Graduate Diploma in Management from the University of New England.
He received the PNG Independence Medal in 1976 and in 2004 was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for services to management and training in media, communications, non-commercial broadcasting and public relations.
Keith served as inaugural President of the Public Broadcasting Foundation (1983-85), President of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia (2008-09) and inaugural President of the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru Society (2009-11). He was an Adjunct Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Queensland (2010-14) and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management & Leaders (joined 1983), a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts & Commerce (joined 1995) and a Member (now Honorary) of the Australian Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (joined 1972).
Keith was the first Australian executive member of the Issue Management Council (USA) in the late 1990s and a member of the Australian National Commission of Unesco (1983-85).
He launched the PNG Attitude blog in 2006 to enable Australians and Papua New Guineans to engage in public discussion on political, social, economic and literary matters. The blog has spun off the Crocodile Prize literary awards, Pukpuk Publications, McKinnon-Paga Hill Fellowships for writers and the Walk to Equality project, publisher of the first collection of writing by PNG women. All are not-for-profit enterprises.
The photograph above shows Keith taking a "whisper ballot" from a voter during the first PNG general election in February 1964. The election patrol of which he was a member trekked through mountainous terrain south of Chuave in the Chimbu region of the highlands gathering votes as part of a massive nationwide operation to bring democratic government to the then Australian territory.