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09 September 2018

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Good of you to finally bring your comments to PNG Attitude, Dave.

Whilst you're here, maybe you would like to familiarise yourself with the facts surrounding the KTF book project workshop I designed, implemented and produced tangible outcomes.

Since you're so confident in making claims questioning my credibility, I have equal confidence in you that you will research, read and educate yourself on the multiple articles I have written about the KTF issue. They're all available on this blog.

And by the way, this is the very first time I have heard (via you) that KTF denies my claims. Unlike me, they have responded with deafening silence, publicly and privately, to resolve this issue.

I guess that's the PNG-Australia style of "partnership" we Papua New Guineans can expect when we call out unfair and unethical practices by white Australians.

Understand this - I speak on behalf of Papua New Guinean guides and carriers only, not on behalf of any company.

That some of my opinions align with those of Charlie Lynn OAM OL should indicate to you the commitment with which I intend to see positive changes for the Papua New Guinean labour used by Australian trek tour business ventures along the Trail.

Beware of the bias in this article.

Readers consider the following:

1. The author has a beef with the Kokoda Track Foundation (KTF) (see her article titled- Tail of Woe, https://asopa.typepad.com/.../trail-of-woe-bucks-versus...

2. The KTF denies the author's accusations. But interestingly it is well known Charlie Lynn owner of Adventure Kokoda and whom the author trekked with, also has a beef with the KTF. However this article is not about the KTF.

3. The author walked with Adventure Kokoda how can this be an unbiased and independent review of all guides and trekking companies operating on Kokoda when Adventure Kokoda has been running a scaremongering campaign about this issue.

4. Charlie Lynn the owner of the company that the author trekked with been engaged in regular posts insinuating that members of the KTOA are 'blackbirding' and mistreating the PNG carriers.

5. Like the KTF Charlie Lynn also has a beef with the KTOA.

Anyone that wants an independent review of the conditions of carriers on the Kokoda Track will not find it in this article.


For ease of reference, below are the links for the additional articles of the Trail of Woe series:

Article 2:

https://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2018/10/trail-of-woe-tourisms-best-ambassadors-the-disregarded-carriers.html#more

Article 3:

https://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2018/10/trail-of-woe-carrier-welfare-poor-practice-on-the-kokoda-icon.html#more

Article 4:

https://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2018/10/trail-of-woe-the-carriers-past-gratitude-morphs-into-an-uncaring-present.html#more

Article 5:

https://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2018/10/trail-of-woe-dispossession-no-joy-for-women-in-kokoda-tourism.html#more

Article 6:

https://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2018/10/trail-of-woe-inadequate-infrastructure-mars-the-kokoda-trail.html#more

Article 7:

https://asopa.typepad.com/asopa_people/2018/11/trail-of-woe-deep-commemoration-missing-military-interpretation.html#more


Thanks, Peter.

Perhaps generic, however if you access Twitter and view my account @amoahfive_oh - there you can view images that I have posted ( and will continue to do so) that are very specific to my concerns. I have added commentary that asks specific questions if the agencies involved in the management of of the Trail.

Thank you for the title recommendation. May I also recommend a reading of Professor Paige West's ' Diposession and the Environment: Rhetoric and Inequality in Papua New Guinea'. It is context/ PNG specific.

Apropos of the generic comments about aid here-in contained and the many comments on it in various other discussions on this site, I recommend Tadagh Purtill's, "The Dystopia in the Desert - the silent culture of Australia's remotest Aboriginal communities". Which is specific to the eastern section of the Western desert region of Western Australia, but applicable in my humble opinion to all aid. I have seen but one critique so far of the book and that from reporter Nicholas Rothwell who has gained a reputation for writing on matters Aboriginal generally, and art in particular. An indication to my cynical mind that Purtill may well be on the right track with his theory which therefore should play a part in any economic/risk analysis in all pre-aid discussions.

Rashmii has effectively identified the real problem. There are just too many aims and too many cooks in the kitchen.

Are people being encouraged to see where the battles took place? Yep! That works elsewhere in the world. Just look at Gallipoli and the Western Front battlefields.

Are enthusiasts being attracted by outdoor physical challenges? Yep! That works in places like the European Alps and Kathmandu.

Is eco tourism on show? Most certainly but what and where is it promoted and the experiences highlighted?

Are the cultural experiences and interaction with local people and their culture effectively managed? The jury may still be out on that one.

If the whole concept of the original promotion of the Kokoda Track were to be disentangled from what it has now obviously become, could anyone really say what the simple aims are and are they being met?

The RSL may well have a totally different set of objectives to those who are clearly trying to make a bob or two out of the concept and out of a PNG experience.

The world has shrunk in terms of travel and tourism as air transport and wealth in some countries expands. It seems only fair that PNG and her people should share in the opportunities as they are hosting and putting their country and her people on show. Yet who is fairly obtaining the ultimate gain and shouldn't it be a 'quid pro quo'?

Is it better to leave these visits to various international tourism operators who clearly have their own agendas or organise a central, overarching management strategy?

The problems are clear but what's the best solution?

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