This report proposes that the current Australian government should adopt the Whitlam Government’s general policy direction to enhance its cultural engagement with PNG. It is important to note that the report does not advocate for the Whitlam Government’s exact policies to be implemented in today’s policy setting. However, the emphasis which the Whitlam Government provided to cultural links both within PNG itself and between PNG and Australia is a direction which should be followed.
This report will focus on five key policy areas in which cultural and people-to-people engagement can be improved. The five areas are:
- Cultural aid to Papua New Guinea
- An Australia-Papua New Guinea Cultural Council
- Australia and Papua New Guinea’s “shared history”
- Artistic and artefactual initiatives with Papua New Guinea
- Sporting initiatives with Papua New Guinea
In each section of the report, the Whitlam Government’s cultural policy or general policy direction in each of these particular areas will be examined (except in sporting initiatives) and contrasted with the current government’s cultural policies. Recommendations are provided as to how these areas of cultural policy can be improved and strengthened.