The Papua New Guinea Dictionary of Contemporary Biography (PNGDCB) was a collaborative research project based in Port Moresby from 1984–89 aimed at exploring aspects of the nation’s past through the life stories of its most important and interesting personalities. It was one of several national history projects designed by Michael Somare’s Centennial Committee, which had convened to mark a century of what he called PNG’s involvement in the modern world. Whereas several of these projects made it to publication, the PNGDCB never saw the light of day. This is despite the significant amount of groundwork laid by the editorial board, volunteer authors, and ANU/UPNG historian Jim Griffin and UPNG librarian Andrew Griffin who were the project’s co-editors.

This seminar discusses the reasons why this project might have stalled during the 1980s and proposes some pathways towards reviving the dormant project in the near future. As PNG marches towards 50 years of independence in 2025, an argument can be made that now is the perfect time to relaunch the project with a view to celebrating PNG’s diverse range of nation builders.

You can read more information on the project in this DPA In Brief.

This is a hybrid event and will take place in-person as well as on Zoom. If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please contact the event organiser.

Event Speakers

Theresa Meki
Research Fellow

Dr Theresa Meki is a Pacific Research Fellow with the Department of Pacific Affairs, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

Nicholas Hoare
Research Fellow

Nick Hoare is a Pacific History Research Fellow at the Department of Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University (ANU).

Event details

Event date

Thu, 14 Sep 2023, 2 - 3pm

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Event speakers