After being ruled by three external powers since 1884, Papua New Guinea gained its independence from Australia in 1975. Elections in 1972 resulted in the formation of a ministry headed by Chief Minister Michael Somare, who pledged to lead the country to self-government and then to independence. Papua New Guinea became self-governing on December 1, 1973 and achieved independence on September 16, 1975.

On the morning of the first day of Independence for Papua New Guinea (September 15, 1975), flag raising ceremonies took place throughout the nation. The ceremony in Port Moresby was conducted at Independence Hill overlooking the main city centre. International guests in national dress and western dress assembled for the occasion. Former Administrators D.O. Hay and J.K. Murray, and former Minister for External Territories C.E. Barnes were among the spectators. Prince Charles unveiled a plaque to mark the site of the new National Parliament building.

A military band, accompanied by the percussion of a thousand clicking camera shutters, played “Sunset” as Warrant Officer Ibor lowered the Australian flag, folded it and handed it to Sir John Guise, the Governor-General of Papua New Guinea. That marvellous sunset, together with Sir John Guise’s words “We are lowering this flag, not tearing it down” made for a memorable occasion. Tears fell for many, a moment they shall never forget, as the Australian flag came down for the last time.

Happy Independence Day Papua New Guinea from your CPSC Family!!!

About Papua New Guinea

Officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands (the western portion of the island is a part of the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua). It is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in a region defined since the early 19th century as Melanesia. The capital is Port Moresby.


Papua New Guinea is one of the most culturally diverse countries on Earth, with over 850 indigenous languages and at least as many traditional societies, out of a population of just under seven million. It is estimated that more than 1000 different cultural groups exist in PNG, and most groups have their own language. Because of this diversity, in which they take pride, many different styles of cultural expression have emerged; each group has created its own expressive forms in art, dance, weaponry, costumes, singing, music, architecture and much more.

The language Tok Pisin, once called Neo-Melanesian (or Pidgin English) has evolved as the lingua franca — the medium through which diverse language groups are able to communicate with one another. It is also one of the most rural, as only 18% of its people live in urban centres. The country is one of the world's least explored, culturally and geographically, and many undiscovered species of plants and animals are thought to exist in the interior of Papua New Guinea. The majority of the population live in traditional societies and practise subsistence-based agriculture.

National Symbols/Images

Bird of Paradise: National Bird

House in the Hill

People of Papua New Guinea