No regrets for Mondurafa

Raphael Mondurafa and Wife Anna during at the farewell dinner in Port Moresby.

EVER since Raphael Mondurafa was a kid he always wanted to become either an accountant or a lawyer but it didn’t happen because of peer pressure.
The 56-year-old from Goroka, Eastern Highlands, after 46 years of public service with the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, retired and is now managing his own private business in Goroka.
Mondurafa completed Grade 6 at North Goroka Primary School in 1970 and was selected to do grades 7 to 10 at Goroka High School from 1971 to 1974. After realising that he didn’t do well in Grade 10 (or Form 4 then) he applied for police cadet training and his application was successful but he had to forgo it because his dad didn’t want him to become a policeman.
“I didn’t do well in the final form so I was unable to make it through to any colleges in the country but I had a plan to become a policeman. So I applied for police training and was accepted but because I had an attitude problem my dad said ‘quit the cadetship training as you might not last in that job,’ so I did,” Mondurafa recalled.
After quitting the cadetship in 1975 he was employed by the Department of Agriculture and Livestock the same year and that is where the journey of a would-be policeman began as a farmer.
Here is his story.
At my time we completed primary at Grade 6 and then continue to high school to do Form 1 to 4 (Grad 7 to 10). Those days after completing Form 4 we had a lot of job opportunities. Even if you fail at Form 2 you can still have a job and many dropouts from Form 2 became policemen and soldiers.
So you finish at any level, a job is there waiting for you. Job opportunities that time were not a problem. Honesty and faithfulness that was what the white man valued.
My young working life started on May 24, 1975 when DAL employed me as an agriculturist cadet trainee. I worked in the fields from 1975 up till 1976. In 1977 the department sponsored me to study at Popondetta Agriculture College (now University of Natural Resources and Environment Oro campus) for two years. I graduated in 1978 as an agriculturist specialising in livestock production.
I joined the Prime Ministers Department in 1979 after graduating from the agriculture college in 1978 and work with the department for six years as a field technical officer.
In 1984 I made up my mind to return to DAL so I joined them from in 1984. In 1988 I won a scholarship to study at Massey University in New Zeeland so I travelled down with my family and stayed there for three years, 1987 to 1989.
We returned home in 1990 after completing my three years of study in New Zeeland and worked with the New Zeeland Public Investment Programme in Papua New Guinea. They put me to look after the highlands region so I always travelled from Goroka all the way up to Enga as an agriculture officer specialising in livestock production. For three years (1990 to 1992) I served the highlands region.
The New Zealand-funded project was ceased in 1996 so from 1996 to 2000 the National Government took over and that’s when the funding dropped.

After 46 years of public service in the Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Mondurafa decided it was time for him to retire and concentrate on managing his own business.
He is s today running his own real estate business in Goroka as well as assisting local farmers in his area to master agriculture and make money out of it.
Raphael Mondurafa is married to Anna from Ungai-Bena and they have six children. The first born is a Smedical doctor, the second a civil engineer, the third an auto-electrician, the fourth a bankder, the fifth has died and the baby of the family is studying civil engineering at the PNG University of Technology.
Mondurafa was one of 22 DAL retirees who were farewelled in Port Moresby recently
“I could have been an account or a lawyer. It’s just that I had joined the wrong peer groups that influenced me badly so that’s why I ended up being who I am today. But I have no regrets.”