Upon the completion of the two-year course, Val taught in then colonial Papua New Guinea from 1964: serving in Daru, Dregerhafen, Gagidu, Wabag, Kavieng and then, from 1969-70, as teacher-in-charge of the demonstration school at Goroka Teachers College. “This was my favourite posting,” she says.
In 1971, Val returned to Australia and joined the South Australian Education Department specialising in teaching English as a second language, in which she was the matriculation curriculum developer and chief examiner for three years.
During her seven years in PNG, as so many people did, Val collected various artefacts, some would be of considerable value.
And now she’s donated them for sale – with the proceeds to go to supporting national literature in PNG.
Right now, I am receiving almost daily parcels from Val containing artefacts ranging from carvings to grass skirts to rare books.
The photos here show a couple of the objects Val assembled to give you a taste of what’s in the entire collection – above is a petit bamboo flute (provenance unknown) and, right, an intricately carved buai and lime holder from Dregerhafen.
You’ll be hearing more about this project in the coming weeks and months.