Central Province

Clouds and mountains in Central Province

PNG’s Central Province extends from the south coast inland to the mid-point of the Owen Stanley Range, the central spine that divides the mainland in two. To the east lies Milne Bay Province, to the west, Gulf Province, and to the north, on the other side of the Owen Stanleys, is Northern (or Oro) Province.

The people of Central were greatly affected during the War. Those living in the mountainous inland, especially in the villages on or near the Kokoda Trail (the path from Port Moresby to Kokoda in Northern Province) had to flee the savage fighting that took place from July to November 1942. Others, living along the coast, were caught up in the Allies’ recruiting of men and boys to serve as carriers and labourers for the War effort. Many found themselves swept up as the campaign to drive out the invading Japanese moved to many parts of PNG. Women, too, were recruited, to work as servants, cleaners, and in other support capacities for the many Allied installations and bases that were established between Port Moresby and the start of the Kokoda Trail at Ower’s Corner. Many thousands of Australian and American servicemen and women spent time in one or another of the facilities situated in Central throughout the War.

The Papuan Infantry Battalion had its main base at Bisiatabu on the Sogeri plateau, and many of its members came from Central, seeing service in the Northern, Morobe, Madang, Sepik, New Britain, and Bougainville campaigns.

Items in the Central Province Collection

Aramu Babo  - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Aramu Babo tells the story of his father, Babo Kakira who worked as a carrier for the Australians during the Kokoda Campaign.

Kone Daube  - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Kone Daube tells the story of his grandfather Marioori Mokuta who worked as a labourer for the Australians and his father who was a teenager during the War.

Jerry Dimuda - Oral History interview recorded on 4 July 2014 at Kagi, Central Province, PNG
Mr Jerry Dimuda tells the story of his father Dimuda Niligi who was a carrier and scout /policeman who looked after the Egulu clan during the Kokoda Campaign.

Recks Ea’ah - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Recks Ea’ah tells the story of his father Ea’ah Kakira (Kakira Waita) and his mother Waigi Mumu. His father worked as translator and carrier for the Australians during the War.

Maclaren Hiari - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Maclaren Hiari speaks of the recruitment of Papuan carriers from the Sogeri Plateau for the Kokoda Campaign.

Tainori Kiroki - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Tainori Kiroki tells the story of his father Kiroki Kirohi who was a member of the Papuan Infantry Battalion during the War.

Kauka Kone - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mrs Kauka Kone tells the story of her father who was a policeman and an interpreter for the Australians during the War.

Orie Kori - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Orie Kori tells the story of his father Korie Inara who worked as a scout and carrier for the Australians during the Kokoda Campaign.

Hawala Laula - Oral History interview recorded on 4 July 2014 at Kagi, Central Province, PNG
Mr Hawala Laula shares his own story of being a teenager during the War and what it was like living in a village during the Kokoda Campaign.

Vavaga Marina - Oral History interview recorded on 4 July 2014 at Kagi, Central Province, PNG
Mrs Vavaga Marina shares the stories of her father Marina, a village leader, and mother Dubu about what life was like for village people during the War.

Geoffry Meia - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Geoffry Meia tells the story of his father Meia Wai who was only a teenager when he was recruited by the Australians to work as carrier during the Kokoda Campaign.

Kala Meia - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Kala Meia tells the story of his father Kariki Ada who worked as a carrier for the Australians during the War.

Kekeni Misika - Oral History interview recorded on 4 July 2014 at Kagi, Central Province, PNG
Mrs Kekeni Misika shares her story of being a young girl during the War and what it was like living in the village during the Kokoda Champaign. Mrs Misika also speaks about relatives who were killed by the Japanese.

Nuana Momoa - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Nuana Momoa tells the story of his father Momoa Monobe who worked as a carrier for the Australians during the Kokoda Campaign.

Adam Muriumu - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Adam Muriumu tells the story of his father Muriumu Maka who was recruited by the Australians to work as a carrier during the War.

Jack Oga - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Jack Oga tells the story of his father, Oga Bobogi (Jack) who worked as a carrier and cook for the Australians.

Seba Orogu - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Seba Orogu tells the story of his father Orogu Seba who joined the Papuan Infantry Battalion during the War.

Inoa Bobogi Ovia - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mrs Inoa Bobogi Ovia tells the story of her father Oga Bobogi (Laila Kokoni) who was recruited to worked as a carrier for the Australians during World War Two. Mrs Ovia also explains the meaning of fuzzy wuzzy in the Koiari language.

Dixie Tamati - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mr Dixie Tamati tells the story of his father Tamati Babo who worked as a carrier for the Australians during the War.

Iorio Toina  - Oral History interview recorded on 7 July 2014 at Karakadabu/Depo, Central Province, PNG
Mrs Iorio Toina tells the story of her father Toina Womara who worked as a carrier for the Australians during the War.

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