Media Release

5 November 2009

Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait Treaty

Emeritus Professor Donald Denoon, from the Australian National University, will tonight deliver the fourth R. G. Neale lecture.

The lecture coincides with the public release of National Archives documents, focusing on the negotiation of the Torres Strait Treaty - an agreement between Australia and Papua New Guinea which describes the boundaries between the two countries and how the sea area may be used.

Professor Denoon's lecture discusses the way in which Australia and Papua New Guinea negotiated a successful and durable Torres Strait Treaty, only three years after Papua New Guinea's independence.

The R. G. Neale Lecture is an annual event jointly sponsored by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the National Archives of Australia.

The lecture series commemorates the pioneering contribution of Professor Robert George Neale as first Editor of the Department's Documents on Australian Foreign Policy series and first Director-General of the National Archives of Australia.

The National Archives releases a suite of documents to coincide with the lecture each year, which form the basis for the annual R. G. Neale Lecture. These records are identified in a Fact Sheet available on the National Archives website—naa.gov.au

Formerly Professor of History at the University of Papua New Guinea, Professor Denoon has published widely on Australia's relations with Pacific countries. He brings a wealth of research experience and subject matter knowledge to his discussion of this watershed event in the bilateral relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The lecture will be hosted by Acting Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ms Gillian Bird. A podcast of the lecture will be available on the National Archives website.

The lecture will take place at 6pm at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Media Enquiries: DFAT Media Liaison - 02 6261 1555