Aboutness Statement

West New Britain is an area located in the country of Papua New Guinea. During the 1900’s the island was under the administration of Australia until its independence in 1975.  During Australia’s administration there were kiaps, also known as patrol officers, who were assigned to record the process of preparing Papua New Guinea for its Independence. During the years of 1968 through 1969 in West New Britain there was a great focus on the construction of building roads. What makes theses documents so interesting now is that they are historical records, which gives readers a glimpse in to the past.

Throughout the Patrol reports that I reviewed the District Commissioner K.W. Dyer repeatedly recommends that the patrol officers should continue to regularly be around the people.  At one point the District Commissioner states, “He would also work with the adjoining villagers, broaden their understanding of our efforts and stimulate their own endeavors.”(pg 11) As we can see there was a concern to involve villagers their economic development.   There also appears to be a push for copra production. With many diary entries conceding that the production is low, however the patrol officers are certain that in time it would increase in a few years.

One of the least challenging things about examining my sources was already having a primary source such as the patrol reports assigned to us. Searching for relevant information about the late 1960’s Papua New Guinea was probably one of the most difficult things to do. When I was explaining the patrol reports I tried to stay unbiased by telling it from their point of view. In the future the technology used to find reports will probably be easier because more people have online access and will not have to visit the library to receive this information. I think that microfilm will probably be discontinued because the Internet now provides faster access to information that we are searching for.

Patrol Report: West New Britain District, Talasea, 1968 – 1969

2 Comments


  1. Hi Natasha, this is a nice concise statement and analysis. I see a few areas that could be considered your aboutness statement. Which 2-4 sentences were your aboutness? When you say you told the patrol reports from their point of view, whose view was it?

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  2. Natasha! I enjoyed your aboutness statement, and I commend you on being able to keep it brief and concise. I ran into several of the same concerns in my attempt to briefly summarize my volume, of which ended up nearly double the size I would have liked. More, I also found it difficult to access more deep information regarding PNG, but I feel that it is our attempt in this course to provide such information and knowledge for those searching after us. I don’t, however, agree with your final point regarding the microfilm being discontinued in later use due to internet advancements. As was said in the library, the microfilm is perhaps the safest and most protected source of information for a medium such as this. The longevity of microfilm ‘should’ outlast that of their digital counterpart–and, its historical value cannot be undervalued. Great job, though! Scott

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