Whittaker, George

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Authorized form of name

Whittaker, George

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  • George Whittaker

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Description area

Dates of existence

1904 - 1964


George Whittaker was born in Chillagoe, Queensland on 16 January 1904 and attended Cairns High School, then the University of Sydney. He arrived in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea in 1925, working as a medical assistant with Department of Public Health. In 1933 Whittaker led the first medical patrol into the Central Highlands of New Guinea. He later established a cocoa plantation near Lae and in 1936 began practising as an optometrist in the town. In 1942-6 he served in various parts of New Guinea as a member of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles, which was subsequently integrated into the Australian Army. Awarded a MBE in 1943 and mentioned in despatches the same year, Whittaker reached rank of captain and was discharged from army in October 1946. For ten years after the war he worked to rehabilitate Awilunga cocoa plantation. He was the PNG state president of the RSL from 1951 to 1955, also a member for the New Guinea Mainland in the PNG Legislative Council, and at one time a member of the Lae Town Advisory Council and Morobe District Advisory Council. The Whittakers left PNG and moved to Australia in 1957. George Whittaker subsequently made periodic visits to PNG in connection with his continuing work as an optometrist.


Papua New Guinea

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Health services personnel (optometrist) ; soldier

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