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Sir Paulias Matane


Sir Paulias Nguna Matane GCL, GCMG, OBE, KStJ (born 21 September 1931) was the eighth Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, serving from 29 June 2004 to 13 December 2010. His memoir My Childhood in New Guinea has been on the school curriculum since the 1970s, and for many years he wrote a column in the newspaper The National.


MATANE, Paulias was born in September 1931 in Viviran, Rabaul. Son of Ilias and Elta (Toto) Matane.


Matane served as the first Papua New Guinean Ambassador to the United States following the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Matane was elected Governor-General by Parliament on 27 May 2004, receiving 50 votes, while his opponent, Sir Pato Kakeraya received 46 votes. Attempts to elect a Governor-General had failed repeatedly for six months before Matane's election because of constitutional flaws in the nomination process. Following Matane's election, Kakaraya brought a petition to the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea, seeking to invalidate the election.


  • He has written 44 books which deliberately use extremely simple English, focusing in part on his own overseas travels, including three on the State of Israel. His writing is intended to persuade Papua New Guineans that books are a useful source of information and that they should not regard them as something only for foreigners.

    For many years Matane wrote a column in the Malaysian Chinese-owned newspaper The National, containing advice to the younger generation. He also founded the United News Agency of Melanesia. He, together with Grand Chief the Right Honourable Michael Somare, makes a point of wearing a lap-lap rather than trousers.


  • Other Work

    • My Childhood in New Guinea, A New Guinean Travels through Africa, Two New Guineans Travel through South East Asia, What Good is Business?, Aimbe the Magician, Aimbe the Challenger, Aimbe the School Dropout, Aimbe the Pastor, Kum Tumun of Minj, Two Papua New Guineans Discover the Bible Lands 1987, To Serve with Love 1989, Chit-Chats 1991, East to West—The Longest Train Trip in the World 1991.


Public Service Board 1969. National Investment and Development Authority, National Tourism Authority, National Citizenship Advisory Committee, University of Papua New Guinea Council.


Ilias Maila Matane

Elsa Toto

Kaludia Matane