Territory of Papua
|Status|| Queensland dependency (1883–1884)|
British protectorate (1884–1888)
British colony (1888–1902)
Australian external territory (1902–1975)
|Common languages||English (official), Tok Pisin, Hiri Motu (native lingua franca), many Austronesian languages, Papuan languages|
|Jack Keith Murray|
|Legislature|| Legislative council |
House of Assembly
• Annexation by Queensland
|6 November 1883|
|History of Papua New Guinea|
The Territory of Papua comprised the southeastern quarter of the island of New Guinea from 1883 to 1975. In 1883, the Government of Queensland annexed this territory for the British Empire.  The United Kingdom Government refused to ratify the annexation but in 1884 a protectorate was proclaimed over the territory, then called "British New Guinea". There is a certain ambiguity about the exact date on which the entire territory was annexed by the British. The Papua Act 1905 recites that this happened "on or about" 4 September 1888.  On 18 March 1902, the Territory was placed under the authority of the Commonwealth of Australia.  Resolutions of acceptance were passed by the Commonwealth Parliament, which accepted the territory under the name of Papua. 
In 1949, the Territory and the Territory of New Guinea were established in an administrative union by the name of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea.  That administrative union was renamed as Papua New Guinea in 1971.  Notwithstanding that it was part of an administrative union, the Territory of Papua at all times retained a distinct legal status and identity; it was a Possession of the Crown whereas the Territory of New Guinea was initially a League of Nations mandate territory and subsequently a United Nations trust territory. This legal and political distinction remained until the advent of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea in 1975.
Papua made up the southern half of what is today Papua New Guinea and contained the territory's capital, Port Moresby, which then became the capital of the independent country.
Archeological evidence suggests that humans arrived on New Guinea at least 60,000 years ago. These Melanesian people developed stone tools and agriculture. Portuguese and Spanish navigators sailing in the South Pacific entered New Guinea waters in the early part of the 16th century and in 1526–27, Don Jorge de Meneses came upon the principal island, which the locals called "Papua". In 1545, the Spaniard Íñigo Ortiz de Retez gave the island the name "New Guinea", because he saw a resemblance between the islands' inhabitants and those found on the African region of Guinea. European knowledge of the interior of the island remained scant for several centuries after these initial encounters. 
In 1883 Sir Thomas McIlwraith, the Premier of Queensland, ordered Henry Chester (1832–1914), the police magistrate on Thursday Island, to proceed to Port Moresby and annex New Guinea and adjacent islands as to counter the expansion of German New Guinea  in the name of the British government. Chester made the proclamation on 4 April 1883, but the British government repudiated the action which angered the Australian colonies. 
On 6 November 1884, after the Australian colonies had promised financial support, the territory became a British protectorate. On 4 September 1888 the protectorate was annexed by Britain, together with some adjacent islands, which were collectively named British New Guinea. In 1902, the British parts of Papua were effectively transferred to the authority of the new Dominion of Australia.[ why? ] With the passage of the Papua Act 1905, the area was officially renamed the Territory of Papua, and Australian administration formally began in 1906. 
Meanwhile, the northern part of New Guinea was under German commercial control from 1884, and from 1899 was directly ruled by the German government as the colony of German New Guinea, then known as Kaiser-Wilhelmsland . At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Australia invaded Kaiser-Wilhelmsland on 11 September 1914 with 2000 volunteers of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force. After several skirmishes, the Australians succeeded in capturing the German colony, which they occupied for the rest of the war. The Treaty of Versailles in 1919 transferred German New Guinea to Australia, which administered it as the Territory of New Guinea.
Shortly after the start of the Pacific War, the island of New Guinea was invaded by the Japanese. Papua was the least affected region. Most of West Papua, at that time known as Dutch New Guinea, was occupied, as were large parts of the Territory of New Guinea (the former German New Guinea, which was also under Australian rule after World War I), but Papua was protected to a large extent by its southern location and the near-impassable Owen Stanley Ranges to the north. Civil administration was suspended during the war and both territories (Papua and New Guinea) were placed under martial law for the duration.[ citation needed ]
The New Guinea campaign opened with the battles for New Britain and New Ireland in the Territory of New Guinea in 1942. Rabaul, the capital of the Territory, was overwhelmed on 22–23 January and was established as a major Japanese base from where the Japanese landed on mainland New Guinea and advanced towards Port Moresby and Australia.  Having had their initial effort to capture Port Moresby by a seaborne invasion disrupted by the U.S. Navy and Australian navy in the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Japanese attempted a landward attack from the north via the Kokoda Track. From July 1942, a few Australian reserve battalions, many of them very young and untrained, fought a stubborn rearguard action against the Japanese attack, over the rugged Owen Stanley Ranges.  The militia, worn out and severely depleted by casualties, held out with the assistance of Papuan porters and medical assistants, and were relieved in late August by regular troops from the Second Australian Imperial Force, returning from action in the Mediterranean Theatre.
In early September 1942 Japanese marines attacked a strategic Royal Australian Air Force base at Milne Bay, near the eastern tip of Papua. They were beaten back by the Australian Army, and the Battle of Milne Bay was the first outright defeat of Japanese land forces during World War II.  The offensives in Papua and New Guinea of 1943–44 were the single largest series of connected operations ever mounted by the Australian armed forces.  The Supreme Commander of operations was the United States General Douglas Macarthur, with Australian General Thomas Blamey taking a direct role in planning, and operations being essentially directed by staff at New Guinea Force headquarters in Port Moresby.  Bitter fighting continued in New Guinea between the largely Australian force and the Japanese 18th Army based in New Guinea until the Japanese surrender in 1945.
After the war, the Papua and New Guinea Act 1949 united the Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea as the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. However, for the purposes of Australian nationality a distinction was maintained between the two territories.  The act provided for a Legislative Council (which was established in 1951), a judicial organization, a public service, and a system of local government. 
Under Australian Minister for External Territories Andrew Peacock, the territory adopted self-government in 1972 and on 15 September 1975, during the term of the Whitlam Government in Australia, the Territory became the independent nation of Papua New Guinea.  
The prehistory of Papua New Guinea can be traced to about 50,000–60,000 years ago, when people first migrated towards the Australian continent. The written history began when European navigators first sighted New Guinea in the early part of the 17th century.
Port Moresby, also referred to as Pom City or simply Moresby, is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea. It is one of the largest cities in the southwestern Pacific outside of Australia and New Zealand. It is located on the shores of the Gulf of Papua, on the south-western coast of the Papuan Peninsula of the island of New Guinea. The city emerged as a trade centre in the second half of the 19th century. During World War II, it was a prime objective for conquest by the Imperial Japanese forces during 1942–43 as a staging point and air base to cut off Australia from Southeast Asia and the Americas.
German New Guinea consisted of the northeastern part of the island of New Guinea and several nearby island groups and was the first part of the German colonial empire. The mainland part of the territory, called Kaiser-Wilhelmsland, became a German protectorate in 1884. Other island groups were added subsequently. The Bismarck Archipelago, and the North Solomon Islands were declared a German protectorate in 1885; in the same year the Marshall Islands were bought from Spain for $4.5 million by the Hispano-German Protocol of Rome; Nauru was annexed to the Marshall Islands protectorate in 1888, and finally the Caroline Islands, Palau, and the Mariana Islands were bought from Spain in 1899. German Samoa, though part of the German colonial empire, was not part of German New Guinea.
Lae is the capital of Morobe Province and is the second-largest city in Papua New Guinea. It is located near the delta of the Markham River and at the start of the Highlands Highway, which is the main land transport corridor between the Highlands Region and the coast. Lae is the largest cargo port of the country and is the industrial hub of Papua New Guinea. The city is known as the Garden City and home of the University of Technology.
Kaiser-Wilhelmsland formed part of German New Guinea, the South Pacific protectorate of the German Empire. Named in honour of Wilhelm I, who reigned as German Emperor from 1871 to 1888, it included the northern part of present-day Papua New Guinea. From 1884 until 1920 the territory was a protectorate of the German Empire. Kaiser-Wilhelmsland, the Bismarck Archipelago, the northern Solomon Islands, the Caroline Islands, Palau, Nauru, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Marshall Islands comprised German New Guinea.
Morobe Province is a province on the northern coast of Papua New Guinea. The provincial capital and largest city is Lae. The province covers 33,705 km2, with a population of 674,810, and since the division of Southern Highlands Province in May 2012 it is the most populous province. It includes the Huon Peninsula, the Markham River, and delta, and coastal territories along the Huon Gulf. The province has nine administrative districts. At least 101 languages are spoken, including Kâte and Yabem language. English and Tok Pisin are common languages in the urban areas, and in some areas pidgin forms of German are mixed with the native language.
Samarai is an island and former administrative capital in Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea.
The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea is a province of the Anglican Communion. It was created in 1977 when the Province of Papua New Guinea became independent from the Province of Queensland in the Church of England in Australia following Papua New Guinea's independence in 1975.
The Territory of New Guinea was an Australian-administered United Nations trust territory on the island of New Guinea from 1914 until 1975. In 1949, the Territory and the Territory of Papua were established in an administrative union by the name of the Territory of Papua and New Guinea. That administrative union was renamed as Papua New Guinea in 1971. Notwithstanding that it was part of an administrative union, the Territory of New Guinea at all times retained a distinct legal status and identity until the advent of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
The New Guinea campaign of the Pacific War lasted from January 1942 until the end of the war in August 1945. During the initial phase in early 1942, the Empire of Japan invaded the Australian-administered Mandated Territory of New Guinea and the Australian Territory of Papua and overran western New Guinea, which was a part of the Netherlands East Indies. During the second phase, lasting from late 1942 until the Japanese surrender, the Allies—consisting primarily of Australian forces—cleared the Japanese first from Papua, then the Mandate and finally from the Dutch colony.
The states and territories are federated administrative divisions in Australia, ruled by regional governments that constitute the second level of governance between the federal government and local governments. States are self-governing polities with incomplete sovereignty and have their own constitutions, legislatures, departments, and certain civil authorities that administer and deliver most public policies and programs. Territories can be autonomous and administer local policies and programs much like the states in practice, but are still constitutionally and financially subordinate to the federal government and thus have no true sovereignty.
The Territory of Papua and New Guinea, officially the Administrative Union of the Territory of Papua and the Territory of New Guinea, was established by an administrative union between the Australian-administered territories of Papua and New Guinea in 1949. In December 1971, the name of the Territory changed to "Papua New Guinea" and in 1975 it became the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
The Battle of Bita Paka was fought south of Kabakaul, on the island of New Britain, and was a part of the invasion and subsequent occupation of German New Guinea by the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (AN&MEF) shortly after the outbreak of the First World War. Similar to New Zealand's operation against German Samoa in August, the main target of the operation was a strategically important wireless station—one of several used by the German East Asiatic Squadron—which the Australians believed to be located in the area. The powerful German naval fleet threatened British interests and its elimination was an early priority of the British and Australian governments during the war.
The monarchy of Papua New Guinea is a system of government in which a hereditary monarch is the sovereign and head of state of Papua New Guinea. The current monarch and head of state, since 8 September 2022, is King Charles III. Although the person of the sovereign is equally shared with 14 other independent countries within the Commonwealth of Nations, each country's monarchy is separate and legally distinct. As a result, the current monarch is officially titled the King of Papua New Guinea and, in this capacity, he and other members of the Royal Family undertake public and private functions domestically and abroad as representatives of the Papua New Guinean state. However, the King is the only member of the Royal Family with any constitutional role. The monarch lives predominantly in the United Kingdom and, while several powers are the sovereign's alone, most of the royal governmental and ceremonial duties in Papua New Guinea are carried out by the monarch's representative, the governor-general.
New Guinea Force was a military command unit for Australian, United States and native troops from the Territories of Papua and New Guinea serving in the New Guinea campaign during World War II. Formed in April 1942, when the Australian First Army was formed from the Australian I Corps after it returned from the Middle East, it was responsible for planning and directing all operations within the territory up until October 1944. General Headquarters Southwest Pacific Area Operational Instruction No.7 of 25 May 1942, issued by Commander-Allied-Forces, General Douglas MacArthur, placed all Australian and US Army, Air Force and Navy Forces in the Port Moresby Area under the control of New Guinea Force. Over the course of its existence, New Guinea Force was commanded by some of the Australian Army's most notable commanders, including Sydney Rowell, Sir Edmund Herring and Sir Leslie Morshead.
The postage stamps and postal history of Papua New Guinea originated in the two colonial administrations on the eastern part of the island of New Guinea and continued until their eventual merger, followed by independence in 1975.
The invasion of Buna–Gona, called Operation RI by the Japanese, was a military operation by Imperial Japanese forces to occupy the Buna–Gona area in the Territory of Papua during the Pacific campaign of the Second World War. The initial landings and advance on Kokoda occurred between 21 and 27 July 1942. The Japanese invaded and occupied the location in preparation for an overland attack on Port Moresby along the Kokoda Track. The landing marked the start of the Kokoda Track campaign. The landings were not directly opposed by land forces but were engaged by elements of Maroubra Force as they advanced on Kokoda. This initially included B Company of the 39th Battalion, patrols of the Papuan Infantry Battalion (PIB) operating in the area and a small number of the Australian New Guinea Administrative Unit (ANGAU) that became attached to the force. The Australians were initially repulsed near Oivi but subsequently regrouped to defend Kokoda in an initial battle there from 28–29 July.
As the township of Lae, in Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea is a relatively new entity, the history of the Lae environs is much older.
Herbert William Champion, usually known as H. W. Champion, was an administrator in the government of British New Guinea and the Australian Territory of Papua. During his time in Papua from 1898 to 1942, he served as Government Storekeeper, Treasurer, Government Secretary and acting Lieutenant-Governor.
During the Second World War, Allied logistics in Papua played a crucial role in bringing the Kokoda Track campaign to a successful conclusion. "The great problem of warfare in the Pacific", General Douglas MacArthur declared, "is to move forces into contact and maintain them. Victory is dependent upon solution to the logistic problem."