An Axe to Grind - Colonial Opposition in Papua New Guinea


Keating, Geoff. 2023. "An Axe to Grind - Colonial Opposition in Papua New Guinea." 25th Pacific History Association Biennial Conference. Warrnambool, Australia 31 Oct - 04 Nov 2023 Australia.
Paper/Presentation Title

An Axe to Grind - Colonial Opposition in Papua New Guinea

Presentation TypePaper
AuthorsKeating, Geoff
Place of PublicationAustralia
Web Address (URL) of Conference Proceedings
Conference/Event25th Pacific History Association Biennial Conference
Event Details
25th Pacific History Association Biennial Conference
In person
Event Date
31 Oct 2023 to end of 04 Nov 2023
Event Location
Warrnambool, Australia
Event Venue
Deakin University, Warrnambool campus
Event Web Address (URL)

Australian colonial rule in Papua was derived from two very distinct strands, which existed simultaneously and dictated the future trajectory of development in the colony. Australian legislative authority, derived from the Crown, was ultimately the major determinant of law within Papua. However, the day-to-day administration of these colonies was delegated by legislation to be exercised by the Lieutenant Governor of Papua. The Lieutenant-Governorship of Papua by Sir John Hubert Plunkett Murray is significant due to its longevity (1905-1940) as well as its unfailing commitment to a turn-of-the-century variation of equality. However, many of his decisions and opinions were not popular among the white colonialist population of the territory. This opposition was formally voiced by the Papuan Times, who led campaigns against every facet of Australian rule in the territory. By examining the writings of the Times, we are provided a snapshot of white colonial society in the period leading up to 1915. This paper aims to examine the main points of contention between Murray and the Times readership as it pertains to the enfranchisement of colonists and early colonial administration. While colonial opposition is often studied as the relationship between coloniser and Indigenous peoples, in this instance, opposition to Australian colonial rule stemmed from the colonists themselves, an area which has received minimal scholarly attention.

KeywordsPapua; Colonialism; Hubert Murray; Papuan Times
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
Sensitive Handling NoteContains images, voices, and/or names of deceased persons
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020430323. Transnational history
430303. Biography
430313. History of empires, imperialism and colonialism
Public Notes

Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.

Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Southern Queensland
Permalink -

Download files

Published Version

Other Documentation
  • 42
    total views
  • 49
    total downloads
  • 2
    views this month
  • 4
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Schools and Universities as Elders: Institutional Mentoring and the Indigenous Student
Keating, Geoff. 2023. "Schools and Universities as Elders: Institutional Mentoring and the Indigenous Student." Padro, Fernando F, Green, Jonathan H. and Bull, David (ed.) Widening Participation in Higher Education. Singapore. Springer. pp. 1-16