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01 July 2016

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Dear Keith, There are so many subjects and issues that you could have talked about in your address at the occasion but the mere fact that you chose to talk about your life, experiences and the lessons you have learned in your 55 years association with my beloved country Papua New Guinea at such a high profile academic gathering of Australians is moving for me as a Papua New Guinean.

It brings me tears and joy. You are a true man of PNG. I am proud of you.
_________

You are correct Francis. It was my opportunity to pay tribute to a people who have taught me much about how to live a purposeful life; your own example of fortitude and courage in the face of formidable challenges being amongst those influences - KJ

An uplifting and moving speech, Mr Jackson. You've certainly encapsulated my feelings and the reasons why I write. I am encouraged by your words of advice here.

Congratulations on your achievements and much appreciation for your dedication to PNG.

Excellently written and a great photo too, Siune in the picture is a Simbu.
_________

Yes, Di lived close to Kundiawa (I forget the name of his village). He worked for me for three years in Simbu and accompanied to Mosbi for another three years before returning home. A great man - KJ

And a nice photograph Keith.

You're not related to Laurie (Pretzel Legs) Meintjes are you?
_________

We were brothers in fibula (and I don't know how those slender sapplings hold up this now well conditioned torso) - KJ

Thank you Keith.

And further to your address, I can only endorse what you say, if only "our political leaders could have spent four or five years in PNG to give them a bit more cultural breadth and savvy about the human condition"

Keith Jackson AM - born in England, raised in Australia, made in PNG.

My friend.

Golden quotes galore, this one struck me the most: "...a respect for fact, evidence and rationality. It seems we live in an era where such principles are considered optional; a period in which opinion and assertion have somehow gained some equivalence with truth."

That might be the crux of it Keith - a different perspective.

That's what did it for me. It involved a whole new re-evaluation of my ideas and aspirations.

Later on when I visited other countries and especially when I worked with tribalised blackfellas in the Western Desert my new outlook on life taken from my experience in PNG was only confirmed.

Our pollies seem to go through a standard mill - university, unions or business and then politics. Not a good grounding in being a human at all.

That's a fine speech Keith. I think you have encapsulated a lot of the feelings of the people who subscribe to PNG Attitude.

Someone once said that 'intelligent people change'. On that basis, looking around Australia and PNG, one can't help thinking that there are a lot of dumb bastards around, some of whom are governing us.
__________

I have wished before that many of our political leaders could have spent four or five years in PNG to give them a bit more cultural breadth and savvy about the human condition - KJ

Thank you KJ.
It has been wonderful knowing you as a friend with a deep New Guinea connection.

You and your colleagues'association has opened up many opportunities for human beings here who can be confident teachers, journalists, artists and local historians with solid understanding of their country.
Thank you.

Yes, education with a good degree of bent for the good of "any others" is a historically and well documented feat of any human being.

I hope some of those Noosa alumni will join the PNG Attitude family with their contributions in line with what Ben Jackson has already started doing to keep this strong bond growing between Australia and her colony.

Thanks again for the outreach, KJ. We greatly value all that you do for your teenage love.

To my best mate of 55 years, it has been a privilege to know and work with someone who has steadfastly tried to live by the principles he espouses. You have set a challenge to the next generation based on the wisdom of a lifetime of experience. The getting of wisdom is the journey, using it for the common good is the joy!

Congratulations Keith: well said, as always. You have so much to be very proud of.

Well said, Keith. You can but hope the precepts and principles strike home over time.

Excellent Keith.

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