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Jungle Road (c.1963)


This film looks at the roles of Australian military personnel in Papua New Guinea – at the time known the Territory of Papua and New Guinea – in the context of Australia’s civil administration of the territory.

Curator’s notes

This Australian army film was made some ten or so years before Papua New Guinea’s independence. It looks at the work of Australian services personnel in training and infrastructure development in the country, in fields ranging from medical and technical to telecommunications and transport. At the time it was made, a significant independence movement had already emerged in Papua and New Guinea. While the film is undeniably patronising in its approach to the territory’s underdevelopment, it promotes the work undertaken by the army as vitally contributing to preparations for eventual independence. The skills training at grass roots level is depicted very positively in the film. However it’s the corporate, financial and administrative legacy of Australia’s colonial relationship with Papua and New Guinea that underpins the complicated relationship shared by the two nations today.