Book reviews: June 2010

Bird of Paradise by Rosemary Esmonde Peterswald
Genealogical Index to Australians and other Expatriates in Papua New Guinea, 1888-1975
Love In a Hot Climate by ACT Marke
Policy Making and Implementation: Studies from Papua New Guinea, Edited by RJ May
Rabaul 1942-45 by Gordon Thomas

Gordon Thomas’s book, Rabaul 1942-45, is at last being published, more than sixty years after he wrote it. Clive Baker, of Sydney, is publishing it under his War Books imprint, and says he expects to announce details of its availability in Una Voce’s September issue. Gordon, respected long-time pre-war editor and publisher of The Rabaul Times, was a civilian POW in Rabaul for three-and-a-half years. With two or three other civilians he was put to work operating Rabaul’s commercial freezer and ice plant for the military occupation, and thus his little group were not put aboard the Montevideo Maru with other civilian and military prisoners in June 1942. After his release, and up to his death in Sydney in 1966, Gordon wrote the popular Territories Talk-Talk column in the Pacific Islands Monthly under the by-line of Tolala.

Policy Making and Implementation:  Studies from Papua New Guinea, Edited by RJ May
ISBN 9781921536687 $29.95 (GST incl) ISBN 9781921536694 (online) Published September 2009. Available from:

Papua New Guinea has had its share of public sector reforms, frequently under the influence of multinational agencies and aid donors. Yet there seems to be a general consensus, both within and outside Papua New Guinea, that policy making and implementation have fallen short of expectations, that there has been a failure to achieve ‘good governance’.

This volume, which brings together a number of Papua New Guinea and Australian-based scholars and practitioners with deep familiarity of policy making in Papua New Guinea, examines the record of policy making and implementation in Papua New Guinea since Independence. It reviews the history of public sector reform in Papua New Guinea, and provides case studies of policy making and implementation in a number of areas, including the economy, agriculture, mineral development, health, education, lands, environment, forestry, decentralization, law and order, defence, women and foreign affairs, privatization, and AIDS.

Policy is continuously evolving, but this study documents the processes of policy making and implementation over a number of years, with the hope that a better understanding of past successes and failures will contribute to improved governance in the future

Love In a Hot Climate by ACT Marke
ISBN 9780646519401 Frogmouth Press 2010 Paperback 340 pp. Cost: $25 plus $5 p&p within Australia; Available from Frogmouth Press, PO Box 90, Ainslie, ACT 2602 Mob:  0428 833 212

Publisher’s Note: ‘On the rare occasions when he had one, Temlett Conibeer liked to isolate his women to stymie competitors. As part of this process he would take them with him into the bush. When he took pretty Holly Rabjohns on a non-existent road across half of New Guinea from Madang to Kainantu, against departmental rules, he was asking for trouble and the tip develops into a sinister and life threatening situation. How can so much disaster happen to one hapless field officer and how can Temlett Conibeer, often surrounded by women, still manage to end up without one?’

Bird of Paradise by Rosemary Esmonde Peterswald
ISBN 978-0-9807807-0-3 Published by Ballynastragh Books 2010 357 pp. Soft cover Cost: $29.95 (not including postage) Available from most bookshops or

Set in Papua New Guinea during the period of the Vietnam War, against a backdrop of evocative tropical heat, menace and intrigue, Bird of Paradise explores the tangled emotions of love, loss and betrayal, climaxing in dramatic and unexpected consequences.

Rosemary Esmonde Peterswald lived in Papua New Guinea during the 1960s and 70s where her husband, Rob, was with both the first and second Pacific Islands Regiments and Rosemary worked for STOL airlines.

Genealogical Index to Australians and other Expatriates in Papua New Guinea, 1888-1975 (CD)
ISBN; 978-1-921171-13-0: Version 1.01 was produced in 2007 and is available from the Queensland Family Historical Society, Ph: +61 733533662

Joan Ainsworth, a librarian and keen family historian who lived in PNG for 21 years and served as librarian and/or cataloguer in many PNG libraries including the Public, Education Department, Administrative Services and National libraries, researched and published this information in three volumes in 1981. Joan has permitted the QFHS to produce the CD to ensure as wide a distribution as possible.