Women food carriers – Kokoda

Posted on: Mon 23 Apr 2018

Peter Jesser chats with Maureen Mopio about two of her Aunties who were in the Australian and New Guinea Administration Unit (ANGAU) during WW2. Their New Guinean carriers, labourers, scouts, guides and police were highly regarded by the Australian and American military. Maureen’s Aunties were two of the unit’s personnel who carried food on their heads along the infamous Kokoda Trail for the soldiers.

Maureen also talks about that iconic photo (taken by the war correspondent George Silk) of Rapahel Oimbari assisting Private Whittington who was wounded on Christmas Eve 1942 during an attack at Buna. Rapahel was a family friend and spent time at Maureen’s home.

Maureen Mopio and Peter Jesser present a strong case for greater recognition for the Papuan people who fought alongside our troops to expel the Japanese, and we hope to hear more in the coming year about their gains toward that recognition.

Producer Helen Meyer

Photo of Maureen Mopio provided by Maureen and used with her permission

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