Playing the Game: Life and politics in Papua New Guinea
University of Queensland Press $32.95 pb, 256 pp, 9780702253973
Papua New Guinea is so close to Australia, and yet so far away. We rarely hear about our near neighbour, unless there is a crisis reported in the media. Julius Chan's highly readable memoir should encourage more Australians to develop more curiosity about PNG, its complex history and multiple cultures.
Twice prime minister of Papua New Guinea (1980–82, 1994–97) and now governor of the province of New Ireland, Chan has been involved in politics since 1968. He has also pursued an energetic business career. As an author, he proves himself to be thoughtful and committed to both family and nation, with very definite views on leadership: 'If you work with me and I happen to be the captain, then you just have to do it the way I think is right and if you do not, the greatest thing about democracy is that you are free to go.'