It was once full of local people who did local things, like tribal wars, spearing people, mothers' masturbating their sons at a young age to make them big and strong and Catholic missionaries who preached contraception and safe sex, explaining that oddness by saying they were so far away from the control of Rome.
They were a free people, but then owned by Germany, occupied by Japanese, later Britain and then Australia. Australia gave PNG independence, and it then rather fell all apart into a corrupt tin pot country, which is rather sad.
In the 1980s and 90s Sean Dorney reported for our ABC from PNG. He married a local person and they moved to a Pacific Island. I haven't heard any reporting from PNG of late. Does the ABC still have a correspondent there, or is is PNG covered by a South Pacific reporter.
Sean Dorney was a terrific reporter, showing the colour and movement, and troubles of PNG through his reporting. He now has motor neuron disease and will be shown revisiting PNG on Foreign Correspondent on ABC 1 on Tuesday night.