Sir Paulias Matane GCL, GCMG, KStJ, OBE

Paulias MataneSir Paulias Matane, GULL’s founding Chancellor, died at the age of 90 on 11th December, 2021. He was a remarkable national leader, role model, encourager and champion of GULL’s work and especially our approach to inclusive lifelong learning in low income and subsistence communities.

Paulias was born in East New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea on 21st September 1931 and was raised by his elderly grandparents. His grandfather told him that if he wanted to succeed in life, he had to be focused, have vision, set an objective, plan for it, and with total honesty, commitment and perseverance, he would reach his goal. He took up his grandfather’s challenge, going to school for the first time when he was seventeen years old. He later became a Teacher, Headmaster, Schools Inspector and then National Superintendent of Teacher Education. He has also been a Permanent Secretary, an Ambassador, a High Commissioner and Vice President of the United Nations General Assembly.

Sir Paulias was a recipient of many national and international awards and scholarships. He was also a radio and television personality and as a prolific author of more than 40 books and he regularly contributed to the media. On 26th May, 2004, he was elected as the eighth Governor General of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. In this capacity he facilitated the launch of GULL and its Statement of Recognition which he signed together with the founding Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea on 10th April, 2007. The signed Statement was freely offered in perpetuity in recognition of GULL’s provision of lifelong action learning to low income and subsistence communities around the world.

Richard Teare writes:

I first met Sir Paulias in 2004 when he’d just arrived in London after a long journey from Papua New Guinea. As a new elected Commonwealth Head of State he had come for an audience with the Queen of England. We talked and quickly realized that we shared a vision for the creation of an inclusive approach to lifelong learning that would serve the poorest. Sir Paulias later gave me one of his books that included a near complete blueprint for what we jointly developed and launched in October 2007 – the Global University for Lifelong Learning – GULL. This would not have been possible without his vision, generosity of spirit, encouragement, support and leadership. I give thanks for the life of a remarkable man who always encouraged me to keep going with GULL and was so proud of all that we accomplished during his tenure as GULL’s founding Chancellor.


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