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Research papers, correspondence and publications on economic development and industrialisation of Papua New Guinea

  • AU PMB MS 1300
  • Collection
  • 1961-1974

Robert Kent Wilson carried out long-term research on village industries and industrial development in PNG. He served as pilot in the RAF during World War II and was in the USA in 1952 on a study scholarship. He held a Masters degree in Arts from London University and a PhD from the Australian National University. He became lecturer in charge of Economic Geography at the University of Melbourne.
Robert Kent-Wilson became interested in PNG social structures on his first visit to PNG, to New Ireland PNG in 1954. After 1960 he studied cottage industries in PNG, in particular the type of goods which could be made for export and for the home market. In 1966 and 1967 he worked with the PNG Research Unit based in Port Moresby surveying village industries including timber milling, furniture, building materials, bakeries, pottery, matting and hand weaving. In March 1972 he was a member of a group, appointed by the Australian Minister for External Territories to inquire into measures to assist the less developed areas of PNG.
He married Valerie Groves, who as daughter of the Pacific educationalist, W.C. Groves, had spent much of her childhood in PNG, Nauru and the Solomon Islands.
[Ref. “He’s interested in home industry”, Post Courier, 17 Mar 1972, p.22.l

The archive includes correspondence, lectures, notebooks, papers and other research records relating to economic development and the industrialisation of Papua New Guinea from 1961-1974. The documents cover subjects such as building and construction, fishing, gas, coconut and village industries, labour market, migration and over-urbanization in Papua New Guinea
See Finding aids for details.

Wilson, Robert Kent