In 1979, the idea of an oral history based project on the administration of Papua New Guinea germinated at the ABC, driven by Tim Bowden and Daniel Connell. This massive undertaking involved the recording of 350 hours of tape recorded interviews with Australians and Papua New Guineans who had been involved with Australia's colonial administration which ended with self government and independence in 1975. The result is a superb 24 program social history, so evocative of a time and place, revealed through a tapestry of voices from those who lived through it. These are first-hand accounts of the pre-war history in the early 1900s, the masta-boi relationships, the gold rush and the exploration of the highlands. In Taim Bilong Masta, Australian men and women who spent so many years living and working in Papua New Guinea before independence in 1975 can be heard again, telling their own stories.
What did you love best about Taim Bilong Masta?
Wonderful first-person recollections from Papuan and Australian men and women who participated in Australia's settlement of PNG from before WWI to WWII. Amazing "Indiana Jones" types who grappled with the tropical jungle, isolated tribes, Germans, British bureaucrats....etc.
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The mix of oral history, journalism, and the historian Henry Nelson make this addictive listening. It is part of Australian history, as a Coloniser and differs somewhat from our disgraceful history in regards to Indigenous Australians. But be warned the oral history is framed in the colloquial language of the time- "boy" and so on which is unsettling. A highly recommended listen or read.