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Athabasca University

Conference Speakers

Critical Reflections of Cultural Decolonisation and Nationalism
11th & 12th July, 2002, Women's College, University of Sydney

Speaker Profiles

(in alphabetical order)


Professor Donald Denoon
An eminent figure among Papua New Guinea historians, Professor Denoon brings three decades of knowledge and experience on PNG. He is presently working on a major study of PNG decolonisation.

Dr. Evelyn Ellerman
Visiting Scholar with RIHSS, Dr. Ellerman is Associate Professor of Communication Studies in the Bachelor of Professional Arts Program at Athabasca University, Edmonton, Canada. Her research interests include comparative African and South Pacific literatures, literary decolonization practices of the British empire, and communication history. Evelyn is currently researching the literary decolonisation of Papua New Guinea.

His Excellency Renagi Lohia CBE
Papua New Guinea High Commissioner to Australia. His Excellency was for eleven years Chairman of the Decolonisation Committee at the United Nations.

Nancy Lutton, OBE
Nancy Lutton is widely know for her pivotal work in establishing libraries and archives in PNG both at UPNG and at the national level.

Lee Patrick Ferry
Economic Historian at the University of Sydney, is currently completing his PhD thesis, From Governors to Guests, examining expatriate experiences of, and responses to, PNG decolonisation. In addition to PNG history, Patrick’s academic interests include imperial history, and European and Asian political and economic history.

Sir Paulias Matane Kt, CMG, OBE
Regarded as one of Papua New Guinea's elder statesmen, with extensive experience as a senior educator, public servant, and diplomat. Sir Paulias is also one of the most prolific of PNG writers, and a leading social commentator.

Dr. Michael Mel
Writer and Head of Humanities at Goroka University, PNG, Dr. Mel is currently participating in the National Identity Development Project.

Dr. Neil Maclean
Senior Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney. Dr. Maclean's research interests include Colonialism and Post-colonialism in Papua New Guinea, Ethnographic film, and Marxism and Anthropology.

Dr. Greg Murphy
An influential teacher of literature and drama in Papua New Guinea over the last three decades, Dr. Murphy was instrumental in the estbalishment of the Raun Raun Theatre Company.

Trevor Shearston
Trevor spent several years in Papua New Guinea as a teacher. He has published a number of novels set in PNG, the latest of which was the well-received A Straight Young Back (2000).

Dr. Drusilla Modjeska
ARC Senior Research Fellow, Research Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences (RIHSS), University of Sydney. Dr. Modjeska's research and writing span the genres of biography, fiction and personal history. Her most recent work is the multi-award winning Stravinsky's Lunch (1999). Currently Drusilla is investigating the interplay of race, gender and the arts in post-colonial Papua New Guinea by following the life narratives of selected students, both black and white, who attended or were associated with the University of Papua New Guinea between 1966 and 1975.

Anna Solomon
General Editor of the influential Pidgin newspaper, Wantok, Anna is one of the most highly respected journalists in PNG.

Nora Vagi Brash
Papua New Guinea's first female playwright and well-known actress, Nora has been the Artistic Director of the National Theatre Company and is the only woman to have served as commissioner for the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC).
See Nora's website -

Dr. Steve Winduo
Dr. Winduo is Head of the Literature strand at the University of Papua New Guinea, a poet and editor of The Savannah Flames: A Papua New Guinean Journal of Literature.

Professor Ted Wolfers
Former advisor to the Constitutional Planning Committee that drew up the PNG Constitution (1972-1975). Professor Wolfers has long been a leading authority on PNG affairs.

The Honourable Hal Wooten QC
Former Chancellor of the University of Technology, Sydney. Hal Wooten's interest in PNG dates back to the 1940s, when he was a senior lecturer at ASOPA, and continued through his involvement with the development of UPNG, the PNG legal profession and membership of the Coucil of New Guinea Affairs.

Updated October 13 2016 by Library Services