It gives me great pleasure to write the introduction for Destination Papua New Guinea.
I am confident this book will swing our country’s doors wide open and finally reveal its many riches to the outside world. With our 20th year of Independence it is the ideal time to promote Papua New Guinea. Not only its unique people and culture but its increasingly dynamic political, social and economic developments.
In my lifetime alone, Papua New Guinea has been transformed from a civilisation stuck in a timewarp to an efficient and modernised country. Papua New Guineans have always been proud of their past but only recently have they started to embrace their future. Papua New Guinea now wants to step out of the shadows and grab its share of the limelight.
From the misty mountains of the Highlands to the white beaches of Milne Bay this country is a natural paradise. It is a place which has successfully blended the ancient with the modern. It has spear-wielding tribesmen and sharp-suited businessmen living in harmony under the same sky. Providing a home for this vibrant mishmash of humanity is a delicate balancing act. The fact Papua New Guinea has managed it so effectively is a huge feather in its cap.
Papua New Guinea has a distinguished track record. Its administrative structure was originally masterminded by the Australians and loyalty to Australia was nowhere more evident than during the two world wars when the Papua New Guineans fought side by side with the Allies against the Japanese and Germans. But since September 16, 1975, when the country won its Independence, it has proved it is eminently capable of standing on its own feet.
This book focuses on many features, not only the people and the culture of our unique land but its politics, economics and, especially, its natural resources We, as individuals, have a country which calls for everyone, whether families, tribal groups or political parties, to make sacrifices that will ensure Papua New Guinea becomes an even more impressive place than it is now. We must pass onto our children the valuable traditions we have learnt from the generations before. They, in turn, must carry on the bond of trust and the spirit of advancement through to the next generations.
With this current mood of optimism I am confident Papua New Guinea’s future will be a bright one.
Sir Wiwa Korowi, GCMG, KStJ
The Governor General
Papua New Guinea