PAPUA New Guinea holds a very special place in my heart. I have grown to love this country and its people. I can't claim to have long family connections but, like so many Australians, PNG has intersected my life over the years.
My Year 9 teacher at school thought, rather presciently, that the 14-year olds in her charge should learn a bit more about Australia’s closest neighbours. And so it was that I, and the other girls in my class, became pen-pals in 1970 with a class of 14-year old boys at Martyrs School in Popondetta.
Sadly, my correspondence with young Oscar of Oro Province petered out, but recently I spoke of my penpal and produced a faded photograph that he had sent to me. Well, that started the PNG Post-Courier on a hunt for Oscar. And many people named Oscar claim to be my penpal.