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The sad history. Occupation 1885: Controlled by the “German New Guinea” company. Purpose was exploitation of mineral resources. World War I: Australia.

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Presentation on theme: "The sad history. Occupation 1885: Controlled by the “German New Guinea” company. Purpose was exploitation of mineral resources. World War I: Australia."— Presentation transcript:

1 The sad history

2 Occupation 1885: Controlled by the “German New Guinea” company. Purpose was exploitation of mineral resources. World War I: Australia occupied Bougainville. 1920: The League of Nations placed the territory under Australian mandate (administered by Australia on behalf of Britain). 1942: Bougainville occupied by the Japanese. 1943: USA routed the Japanese and established airfields and drained swamps for troops to use as a base. The Japanese tried to re-take the island and were “starved out” by the Americans.

3 Occupation continued 1945: Australia regained control over the island with administration centred in Papua New Guinea. This meant PNG had military and political control. 1960s: Independence movements began. 1972: Landowners around the Panguna Copper Mine protested, sabotaged and ultimately shut the mine down. The PNG government sent a defence force to the island. In 1989 a blockade was enacted by PNG, effectively cutting Bougainville off from help.

4 Alliances Although Bougainville has been administered from Papua New Guinea for years it is not part of the New Guinea mainland and is separated from it by the Solomon Sea. a&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&hl=en&tab=wl a&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&hl=en&tab=wl The people of Bougainville are culturally and ethnically related to the Solomon Islanders. They are part of the Solomon archipelago and their skins are a similar colour (the PNG islanders are lighter/redder in skin colour).

5 Slavery and Exploitation Another sad episode in the history of Bougainville is the exploitation of islanders for the slave trade. Australians known as “Blackbirders” took islanders from their homes and forced them to work in Queensland, Fiji and Samoa. Copper, gold and other mineral deposits have made Bougainville a desirable resource for Australian and British mining interests. The Panguna copper mine was the catalyst for the independence movement.

6 From the people: “...to Bougainvilleans, land is like the skin on the back of your hand. You inherit it, and it is your duty to pass it on to your children in as good a condition as, or better than, that in which you received it. You would not expect us to sell our skin, would you?” These words were told to Sir Maurice Mawby, Chairman of CRA when he tried to negotiate for the land to build his company port. long-struggle-freedom.pdf long-struggle-freedom.pdf

7 Mr Pip Dolores, Matilda and her mother are caught in the struggle between the Redskins (soldiers from the PNG army, charged with maintaining the blockade) and the indigenous militia (known as the ). Mr Watts and his wife choose to stay on the island after all other “foreigners” have left. Mr Watts’ wife is Bougainvillean. The blockade is affecting the villagers’ way of life – medicine, education. The war is affecting their safety.


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