Talk, ‘“Thinking in Papua New Guinean Terms”: The Sensitive Files Case of 1972 and Australia’s Experiences of Decolonisation’, Jon Piccini 

School of Humanities Common Room – A22, Level 8, A18 Brennan MacCullum Building, University of Sydney, Wednesday 23 August 2023, 12.10pm AEST 

In this lunchtime talk, Jon Piccini discusses the Commonwealth Archives Office’s handling of sensitive files during the end of formal empire in Papua New Guinea. Were records produced by Australians in fact Australian, and in need of recovery “whether the law is on our side or not”, or the property of the new PNG nation? Was the problem that those removing the files in Port Moresby were “clerks” who lacked “professional judgement”, or a deeper, ethical one concerning the fate of what we now call the post-colonial archive?  

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