This section explores educational issues relevant to Papua New Guinea, the Pacific War and Australia’s greatest maritime disaster, the sinking of the Montevideo Maru: a largely unknown but powerful and poignant Australian WW2 story.

The World War 2 New Guinea Islands Education program is an online lesson for teachers which complements the Australian History curriculum. It enhances both students’ and teachers’ curiosity and imagination whilst exploring a war fought on what was then Australian territory in towns with multi-cultural populations.  Secondary students are provided with an opportunity to consider and discuss an Australian perspective of the Pacific War.

Included are lesson plans, background notes, worksheets, links, resources, templates and easy access to an electronic 15-minute version of the DVD Some Came Home, all to be used in conjunction or separately to support the delivery of this unit of work.

Activities can be completed by students, either as individual or group work, over two or three periods. They can also be broken into stand-alone sections with a brief background overview. Developed by teachers, the project can be adapted to specific requirements, student needs and time constraints.

Click here for study notes for use with the Some Came Home online video.  Please share with any history teachers that may wish to discover and teach this largely unknown but significant Australian history, which involves Australia’s greatest maritime tragedy, the sinking of the Montevideo Maru; massacres; the execution of an 11-year-old boy as a spy; and extraordinary and heroic escapes from what was Japanese occupied former Australian territory.

We provide a 15-minute educational version of Some Came Home, which you can view online or download as a ZIP file.  There is also a PDF file with background information on the people mentioned in the video.

The PNGAA can also provide assistance, as outlined in the President’s letter here.

The Rabaul & Montevideo Maru Group and PNGAA would like to acknowledge John Schindler’s assistance in providing Some Came Home for educational use.  Other titles, including the DVD The Tragedy of the Montevideo Maru, can be obtained from his website,

When the Australian War Memorial in Canberra completes its refurbishment, the Rabaul & Montevideo Maru Memorial will be reinstated and a must visit for school excursions.

Further information: [email protected]

Our National Myopia: The first Australian town to be attacked in WW2 was not Darwin: it was Rabaul. Read all about this neglected episode in Australia’s history here.