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***aCe***
22-09-2004, 02:19 PM
Two veterans who had fought the Australian Government vigorously for the transformation of what was then the Papuan Medical College into a faculty of the University of Papua and New Guinea in the late 1960s were among four eminent doctors awarded Life Memberships by the Medical Society of Papua New Guinea this week.

The two men are Professor Ian Maddocks and Dr Maurice Wainetti.
Prof. Maddocks while dean of the college at that time, made a proposal to Canberra through the Minister for External Territories in early 1966 for the college to start operating as a faculty of the UP&NG (now UPNG) commencing 1969.

This proposal was vigorously contested by the Australian Government, which resulted in intense debate that drew many interest groups that opposed the in-decision of the government to endorse the proposal.
This started off an intensive battle between groups led by pioneer Vice Chancellor of the University of Papua and New Guinea, Dr John Gunther, and Canberra represented by Minister for External Territories, Mr C. E Barnes.
Parties in favour of the medical faculty were of the view that the “delay in the decision meant that it would just mean much extra time before the Territory begins to produce its own doctors with the qualifications of a university degree”.

One of these groups was Papuan Medical Students’ Society led by Dr Maurice Wainetti (another recipient of the Life Membership Award).
Prof. Muddocks became the foundation Dean of the Faculty of Medicine when approval was finally given for the college to be transferred to the University in 1971.

He served for 14 years in Papua and the last few years as the Dean and Professor of Clinical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine. He returned to Australia in 1974 after serving a total of 14 years in Papua.

He is currently actively involved in a lot of activities in Australia.
Dr Wainetti had also worked his way and progressed in the medical field since graduating as a doctor from the University. He is currently working in his home province in Daru, Western province.

Two other recipients include retires academic, Professor Joseph Igo and Professor Ian Riley who had also been working in PNG for a long time as a research before moving to Australia.

MSPNG grew from strength-to-strength from the humble beginning in 1965 when it held its first symposium in Mt Hagen to address the Pigbel disease prevalent among the population in the highlands provinces from consumption of pig meat.

And so did the membership to the Society (of mostly expatriates at that time to mostly nationals currently) and variety of participation at the Annual Medical Symposiums.

The MSPNG executive lead by president, Professor Mathias Sapuri introduced two types of awards at the 2002 Medical Symposium in Alotau to recognise two categories of participants.

The Society instituted a Life Membership to the Medical Society Policy in 2002 aimed at awarding life-memberships to veterans for their commitment and continuos participation at Annual Symposiums.

Among that first to be inaugurated as life members were then former Health Secretary, Dr Puka Temu, Dr Michael Alpers and Dr Adolf Saweri.

Subsequently at the 39th Medical Symposium in Hagen in 2003, life memberships were awarded to former Chief Executive of the Port Moresby General Hospital Dr Chris Marjen and an Australian, Dr Yan Saave who had left PNG many years but always attend the symposiums.

ENDS