On patrol in Papua New Guinea
Do you recognise any of the people or places in these photographs?

This year, Papua New Guinea celebrates the 35th anniversary of independence from Australia. To mark the occasion, the National Archives of Australia invites you to view, and comment on, our shared history.

Australia's involvement in the region dates back to 1883, when Queensland attempted to annex south-east New Guinea.

Up to independence, thousands of Australian men took on the challenge to forge careers as patrol officers, or 'kiaps'.

Their lives and those of the communities they worked with were captured for posterity by Australian government photographers and filmmakers. Some of this material is now in the holdings of the National Archives of Australia.

A career as a patrol officer in what was then Australian territory promised adventure, autonomy and the opportunity to make a difference. In the field, kiaps juggled the multiple roles of ambassador, policeman, judge, administrator, explorer, farmer, engineer and anthropologist. You can learn more about kiaps in the National Archives’ Memento and 'Find of the Month'.

We need your help to identify the people, places and events in these photographs. The National Archives will use this information to update its records.

Viewers are warned that the photograph captions were written when the photographs were taken and reflect the attitudes of the time.

Each image should be cited as NAA: image reference number eg NAA: A1200, L34623

You may save or print this image for research and study. If you wish to use it for any other purpose you must contact the National Archives of Australia to request permission.

You can create your own TPNG memorabilia site on Flickr and link to our album. Have a look at ex-kiap Tom Webster’s album.
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