IT WAS 1949 and the Australian School of Pacific Administration (ASOPA) at Middle Head in Mosman, Sydney, has been established less than two years.
Originally located at Duntroon in Canberra, in May 1947 ASOPA was relocated to a group of Army huts on Middle Head. Kiaps (patrol officers) who already had accumulated some considerable experience in the twin territories of Papua and New Guinea were brought to Sydney for “the long course” – a two-year diploma program.
This historic photograph, provided by Bill Brown MBE, shows the participants in the course, more about them below. They studied subjects like law, social anthropology, geography and colonial administration. They were taught be eminent Australian academics like Camilla Wedgwood, Hal Wootten, Jim MacAuley and Charles Rowley.
In his memoir, Looking for a good book, the late Reg Thomson wrote: “There was no doubting their academic attainments or ability to deliver a tertiary standard course of real value…
“Of the 14 officers completing the Diploma course, 12 would return to New Guinea where one went on to become Director of Lands whilst one of the Forestry students also headed up his Department. For the next twenty-four years these people would be members of the one team.”
And a most distinguished team it was. Here are some notes, provided by Bill Brown, about this group of men, most of whom, for the next quarter of a century, were to lead the development – political, social and economic – of Papua New Guinea.
Back row, left to right
KW (Ken) Jones - son of JH (Bert) Jones (1921 kiap, post-war Director of Department of District Services and Native Affairs), brother of Dennis (Cadet Patrol officer 1949). Married Joan Pennefather (eldest daughter of Vic B Pennefather owner of Tokua Plantation, Kokopo, Rabaul. Resigned circa 1951, to become part of the Kokopo community.
DRM (Dave) Marsh OBE - married Alison Lamden (daughter of pre-war Assistant Resident Magistrate and post-war District Officer, William Lamden, and brother of post-war kiap WJG (Graham) Lamden). Retired as District Commissioner 1975 – see also http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2009/09/marking-png-independence-16-september-1975.html.
DR (Don) Prowse - resigned 1950 to follow a new career.
HW (Harry) West OAM – went on to become a distinguished District Commissioner and senior bureaucrat. See our previous article at http://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2011/08/presenting-the-first-of-the-post-ww2-kiaps.html
E (Eric) Flower - ADO, DO, DDC and a/DC. 1971 Executive Officer, Works Management and Planning, Department of Administrator, Port Moresby.
LR (Jim) Landman - specialised in Native Authorities - 1953 ADO (Native Authorities) Manus, resigned in the 1950s to follow a new career.
BB (Basil) Hayes - ADO, DO and DDC. 1971 Assistant Secretary, International Relations and Internal, Department of Administrator
Middle row, left to right
DS (Don) Grove - 1966 - 1975 Director of Lands, Surveys and Mines. Member of the House of Assembly.
JW (John) Gibson - a/ADO Kairuku Sub-district 1950. Resigned circa June 1950 to follow a new career
FV (Fred) Reitano - 1950 ADO Maprik, 1956 ADO Lorengau – resigned to complete Law Degree. Private practice, and then Law Department, Port Moresby
AK (Kingsley) Jackson - 1970 Principal Officer (Lands), Division of District Administration, Department of Administrator, Port Moresby. 1973 District Commissioner.
Front row, left to right
HT (Harry) Plant - married Ivani Champion, daughter of Ivan Champion. 1953 ADO Native Authorities, 1958 Senior Native Authorities Officer, 1966 Assistant Director, Local Government Division DDA. Resigned circa 1968 to head up Local Government in Northern Territory.
AJ (Jim) Humphries - 1953 ADO Buin, resigned to complete law degree, then barrister, Brisbane.
GC (Clive) Bowman - did not graduate, resigned circa 1952.
KW (Keith) Dyer - 1966 Principal Officer (Lands), 1968 District Commissioner, West New Britain, 1970 First Assistant Director, DDA.