Professor John Dademo Waiko was born to Oro Province, Papua New Guinea, in 1944. He studied at the newly established University of Papua New Guinea and obtained a MA degree in African History at the University of London before going on to graduate from the Australian National University with a PhD in Social Science - the first degree of its kind to be awarded to a Papua New Guinean. After his doctoral thesis, which he wrote in his mother tongue and translated into English for the purpose of examination, he played an active role in reform in vernacular education and promoted its regional and international recognition in the UNESCO arena. He was appointed the first Papua New Guinean Professor and Head of History at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1986, where h e remained until being elected to the national parliament in 1992. Dr Waiko has published numerous monographs, chapters and articles on contemporary Papua New Guinean history, culture, education and politics. From 1996 to 2002 he served country as Minister for Education and Minster of Foreign Affairs.