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John Gordon-Kirkby was born in Gibraltar in 1936 to British parents who had left England following World War I. John spent his early life in Spain and Morocco, attending primary schools in Tangier and boarding schools in England. In 1956 he commenced National Service training with the HM Royal Marines and in 1961 migrated to Australia as a ‘Ten Pound Pom’.
From 1964 – 1978, John Gordon-Kirkby was a Patrol Officer ('Kiap' or Field Officer) in Papua New Guinea. Patrol Officers, or Kiaps were trained at the Australian School of Pacific Administration, a tertiary institution established by the Australian Government to train administrators and school teachers to work in Papua New Guinea.
Following his training in Sydney, John Kirkby-Gordon was engaged as a Cadet Patrol Officer before becoming a full Patrol Officer, and finally, he became an Assistant District Officer.
After leaving Papua New Guinea he followed a varied career in farming and administrative work, and in 1994 he retired to Mornington, Victoria where he is actively involved in community organisations. He is a museum volunteer, U3A teacher and member of the Mornington Historical Society.
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John Kirkby-Gordon, Resume, held in PRA file
National Archives of Australia, Patrol Reports