Kondom Agaundo

Kondom Agaundo (c1917-1966), a highlands leader, from Simbu, was an adolescent when the first Europeans entered the highlands in 1933. Although he worked, as a boy, at the Catholic mission station in Mingende, he did not learn English or become fluent in Tok Pisin or accept Christianity. As an adult he first worked as a gardener at the Kundiawa Administration post. In the 1940s Kondom was made a luluaia representative of the Administration. He enforced European law and encouraged the people to send their children to school. A visit to Australia in the early 1960s convinced him that hard work was the way to acquire Western goods. With the encouragement of the Administration he established a successful coffee plantation and in 1964 became chairman of the Kundiawa Coffee Cooperative. He built a Western-style timber and corrugated iron house. The Administration appointed him to the District Advisory Council and as chairman of the Local Government Council. Between 1961 and 1963 he served as the highlands-elected ”native” member of the Legislative Council in Port Moresby. Although his lack of English and limited Tok Pisin made it difficult for him to participate in parliamentary debates Kondom was widely respected as an honest and forthright leader of his people. He died in a car crash in 1966 at about the age of 49.

More about Kondom Agaundo: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/agaundo-kondom-9316

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