indePapua New Guinea was granted home rule in October 1973 and full independence in September two years later. The first Governor-General, Sir John Guise, made it clear that the colonial flag was being lowered, not torn down, a view endorsed by Prime Minister, Michael Somare when he said: “We have been more fortunate that many other countries. We have been lucky because we have reached full nationhood without the fighting and bloodshed experienced by so many other former colonies.” But the Prime Minister also made it clear that PNG owed its independence not to the Australians nor the United Nations but to the people who had worked hard for peace and unity. Sixty-nine years of Australian administration had come to an end.

This book is a commemoration of that event and a celebration of the 20 years of Independence since then.