A tribute to kiaps

Media release: Friday, 19 November 2010

Australians who served as kiaps (patrol officers) in Papua New Guinea before Independence, are sharing their memories in a tribute event at the National Archives in Canberra this Saturday.

The National Archives of Australia is acknowledging the contribution they made, with Sharing Histories, where former kiaps are invited to share their stories and meet up with colleagues.

Former Governor-General of Australia Major General Michael Jeffery is attending in his capacity as patron of the Papua New Guinea Association of Australia. Other special guests include Senator Kate Lundy and Mr Charles Lepani, High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to Australia.

A panel of former kiaps will talk about their memories, with local ABC Radio presenter Ross Solly as MC of the panel discussion.

National Archives specialists will be on hand to advise former kiaps on caring for their own collections of records and researching material in the National Archives. The afternoon will close with a cultural dance performance by the PNG Cultural Group at 4.30pm.

Many thousands of Australians served as kiaps in Papua New Guinea before the nation's independence in 1975. The pidgin term kiap is derived from the German kapitan. Kiaps shouldered a diverse range of roles from ambassador, policeman, judge and administrator to explorer, farmer, engineer and anthropologist.

When:     Saturday 20 November, 1–5pm
Where:    National Archives of Australia, Queen Victoria Terrace, Parkes ACT.

Contact information

  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0427 853 664 e elizabeth.masters@naa.gov.au
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