Kokoda Track Museums
The PNG National Museum and Art Gallery with support from the Kokoda Initiative under the Papua New Guinea and Australian Government partnership has worked with local communities to build and manage three local museums along the Kokoda Corridor – at Alola and Efogi villages on the Kokoda Track, and at Buna on the northern coast.
These facilities reflect the five key elements of heritage management outlined in the NMAG Kokoda Military Heritage Management Plan including:
- Preservation, Conservation and Collections Management
- Interpretation and Education
Built by the communities, the museums provide a dedicated space to display World War II artefacts collected from each local area. Each house an existing collection or collections under the care of a local curator, improving access and interpretation for tourists and other visitors, and protecting the artefacts from loss or damage. Each community curator is working with NMAG staff to produce signage telling some of the stories of the war from a local perspective and to label the artefacts.
The community museums will better preserve military artefacts, provide an income for the custodians of war artefacts and enhance the tourist experience by ensuring artefacts are adequately protected, displayed and interpreted.
The Kokoda Track is seen as the number one tourist destination in PNG, and while the museums are primarily targeted at overseas tourists and trekkers, they also play a powerful role for local communities to engage more deeply in their own histories and to celebrate the contributions that Papua New Guineans made to defending the nation during the Kokoda Campaign.
“These artefacts are touchstones that provide a direct link to past events and the stories of those events passed down to today. The NMAG is working with communities to ensure such artefacts and their stories are protected for future generations.” – NMAG Director Dr Moutu
Attached to each museum is an open-air trade centre for community members, particularly women, to sell souvenirs and refreshments to the estimated 3,500 Kokoda trekkers and other tourists who pass through the villages each year.
These museums and trade centres act as a focal point for visitors during the trekking season, providing trekking and community information, opportunities to interact with local communities and as a venue for planned activities for trekkers, such as sharing of oral history and cultural performances. The trade centres are also utilised for community meetings, events and gatherings as determined by the community and their local management committee.
PNG Voices from the War
The oral history collection recording the memories and stories about Papua New Guinean’s during the World War II in PNG and significantly along the Kokoka Track; https://pngvoices.deakin.edu.a...