- Annual General Meeting of The Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS), 10 May 2013
- Dr. Hsiao-chun Hung returns to the Mariana Islands
- Vote buying prevalent in Indonesia and the Pacific
- The end of the Pacific? Sea-level change and Pacific Island livelihoods
- Politics, development and security in Oceania
- Kago, Kastom and Kalja: The Study of Indigenous Movements in Melanesia Today (Cahiers du Credo) (Volume 2)
- In conversation with Sir Mekere Morauta
- Engendering objects: Dynamics of Barkcloth and Gender among the Maisin of Papua New Guinea by
- Another Port Moresby community bulldozed
- Reflections on the PNG Budget Forum: Can devolved funding be effectively utilised
- European Investment Bank backs remote aviation investment in the South Pacific
- Lifting skills in the Pacific: using infrastructure procurement for skills transfer
- Fiji constitutional referendum? Unlikely
- CDI Policy Paper: Comparing Across Regions: Parties and Political Systems in Indonesia and the Pacific Islands
- SSGM’s ‘State of the Pacific’ Conference (25-26 June 2013)
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Tag Archives: Australia
Annual General Meeting of The Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS), 10 May 2013
Annual General Meeting of AAAPS (AAAPS 2013 AGM flyer)
12:00 – 5:00pm, 10 May 2013
McDonald Room, Menzies Library, Australian National University, Canberra.
(Lunch and afternoon tea are provided)
The 2013 AGM of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS) will commence with a public talk by Dr. Keith Camacho from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), titled: “Militarized Incarceration: The U.S. Military Tribunals of Guam, 1945-1949”.
Lunch will follow Dr. Keith Camacho’s talk before the AGM proper (2-5pm). In addition to dealing with the formal business of the AGM, we hereby give notice of the special resolution that will take place regarding changing the name AAAPS into AAPS (see the AAAPS 2013 AGM Agenda). This is an important resolution and your attendance is much appreciated.
We very much look forward to seeing you in May!
Anna-Karina Hermkens and John Taylor (AAAPS secretaries)
For catering, please RSVP by May 3 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edited by David Hegarty and Darrell Tryon. This publication, Volume 7 in the Studies in State and Society in the Pacific series, is now available in PDF View Online ePub mobi or print copy formats from ANU Epress.
“The chapters in this volume canvass political change and development across the Pacific Islands from a variety of perspectives, each contributing to the analysis of a region growing in complexity and in confidence. They fall neatly into three sections: Oceania and its Inheritance; Oceania – Current Needs and Challenges; and Oceania and its Wider Setting.
The new states of the Pacific have demonstrated considerable resilience, and in many cases, an extraordinary capacity to bounce back from difficulty and to maintain optimism for the future. The continuing professionalisation of public management across the region is building on that tradition. The growth of civil society organisations is also beginning to play a positive role in policy and implementation. Donors are becoming more coherent in their strategies, more attuned to the realities of generating development outcomes in small island states, and are beginning to acknowledge and map progress.
This book explores these themes of governance, development and security that signal both continuity and change in the Pacific’s pattern of islands.”
A small ceremony was held on 22 March 2013 to mark the First Anniversary of the establishment of Vanuatu’s High Commission in Canberra. For more about this and future events, visit their new website.
Report on PACE-Net Key Stakeholder Conference: Connecting Research and Innovation for development in the Pacific (Suva 12th – 14th March 2013)
“Enthusiastic discussions on results of the three year Pacific-European Network on Science and Technology (PACE-Net*) were held by more than 120 delegates from about 17 Pacific and European countries and territories [pictured above] at the final PACE-Net Conference hosted by the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Suva Fiji from 12-14 March 2013.
The Fijian Minister for the Environment, Colonel Samuela Saumatua, in opening the Conference, emphasized the need for policies to be founded on good scientific information, particularly because of the Pacific’s vulnerability to global change. He acknowledged that this was an area that needed strengthening in the Pacific.
Mr. Andrew Jacobs, head of EU delegation in Suva, stressed the EU’s active involvement in: regional and global areas of common concern; capacity building; and its continued commitment to research and development. VC & President of USP, Prof. R. Chandra outlined USP’s commitment, as a regional organisation, to increasing the role of science and technology in regional policy development, in capacity building and in networks with other Pacific Island Universities. Mr. Jimmie Rodgers, Director General of SPC, underlined the importance of research for Pacific countries to respond to their challenges and to improve their development. For this, he adds that research institutes, policy makers, regional organisations, private sector will have to all work together.
PACE-Net results included: strengthening the EU-Pacific bi-regional dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I); identifying the general absence of regional and national ST&I policies and plans in the Pacific; catalysing the formation of the “Pacific Islands University Research Network” (PIURN); and assisting initiation of a national ST&I policy framework process in Papua New Guinea. In addition, PACE-Net raised awareness of the critical importance of the Pacific – a region of extraordinary physical, social and economic diversity –to global sustainability and of the vulnerability of small island nations to global change.
PACE-Net developed policy briefs which present priority research and development needs in seven thematic areas in the Pacific, Climate Change in relation to: Freshwater in the Pacific; Agriculture and Forestry; Fisheries and Aquaculture in the Pacific; Natural Hazards; Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management; and Health. These identified opportunities for bi-regional research partnerships and projects to address priority areas.
An information session on EU research and innovation framework programmes and mobility schemes detailed experiences in and opportunities for international collaboration between Europe and the Pacific. Research facilities were explored at the Conference which also further stimulated initiatives for research collaborations.
A range of recommendations for enhancing the use of research in policy formulation were developed including the creation of regional thematic task forces for research coordination.
Delegates from Tuvalu and Tonga spoke for all participants when they thanked the EC, IRD and the PACE-NET Consortium for their generous support for PACE-Net and concluded that both the project and the final Conference, organised and run by USP, were highly successful and valuable and that wide dissemination of the outcomes of PACE-Net would catalyse the development of national and regional research policy frameworks in the Pacific.”
[*Coordinated by IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement), PACE-Net (Pacific Europe Network for Science and Technology) is an INCO-NET funded by the European Commission. For more information on PACE-Net, visit http://pacenet.eu. For more about the March 2013 conference in Suva, visit http://suva-conference.pacenet.eu. The above text is taken from a PACE-Net media release issued after the conference.]
Selling the Sea, Fishing for Power A study of conflict over marine tenure in Kei Islands, Eastern Indonesia
Dedi Supriadi Adhuri’s new book, Selling the Sea, Fishing for Power A study of conflict over marine tenure in Kei Islands, Eastern Indonesia (Asia Pacific Environment Monograph number 8), is now available through ANU Epress in PDF View Online ePub mobile and print copy formats.
“… this book discusses the social, political, economic and legal attributes that are attached to the practice of traditional (communal) marine tenure… [It] pushes the discourse beyond the conventional approach which looks at marine tenure only as a means of resource management” to offer a more comprehensive definition of marine tenure. For those working in the areas of marine resource management and fisheries, this book is a critical and complementary reading to the conventional discourse on the issue.”
Applications are now open for the 2014 round of Australia Awards Scholarships. Information for applicants, (including details of who to contact with scholarship inquiries and cut-off-dates for applications) are available on AusAID’s website. You may also view eligibility and other criteria related to the Australia Awards Pacific Scholarships (AAPS) program on the AusAID site.
For the last two years a quiet educational revolution with profound implications for education outreach and collaborative teaching and research has been taking place across the entire breadth of the Pacific Islands. The project driving this new approach is called Connecting Moana: the common heritage of Pacific Islanders. It brings together major tertiary institutions across the Pacific Islands in a collaborative course writing and professional development exercise to design and deliver courses for Pacific Islanders on their history, culture, environmental management and external relations. The courses will be presented in a variety of media. The project has received overwhelming support from all tertiary institutions, with numerous academics volunteering to participate. Designed in the Pacific Islands for Pacific Islanders, this collaborative endeavour provides tangible benefits of enhanced course delivery and university outreach, reduced workloads through sharing resources, and enhanced research capacity through linking teaching and research collaboration. The author has been part of the organizing committee since the project’s inception.
Coordinated by Dr Morgan Tuimaleali’ifano and Dr Max Quanchi of the Suva campus of the University of the South Pacific, the project has won support from the University of Guam, the College of Micronesia’s Pohnpei campus, Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea, the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby, the University of New Caledonia, the National University of Samoa, and the University of French Polynesia. Recently, Taiwanese universities with large indigenous student bodies were also recruited to embrace the homeland of the Austronesian diaspora. In so doing, the project bridges the gap between the Anglophone and Francophone Pacific and reintegrates Taiwan as the ancient homeland of Pacific Islanders. This reconfiguration has done much to break down externally imposed language barriers and reshape conceptions of the region according to indigenous priorities and shared experiences.
Preparations are well advanced to trial the first course on the history of the Pacific before European arrival. This will be a Pacific wide, multi-campus undergraduate history course about Pacific societies, emphasizing and empowering Pacific perspectives and grounding students in their shared heritage – a heritage which transcends contemporary language and cultural barriers arising from colonial rule. Due to limited staff numbers and access to resources, few university undergraduate courses currently teach the early history of the Pacific Islands, or the histories of the whole region. This project will provide a collective and truly Pan-Pacific introduction to the history of the inhabitants of Moana (the increasingly recognized indigenous term for the Pacific Islands – formerly labeled as Polynesia, Melanesia and Micronesia).
A multilingual group of Pacific teachers, researchers and course designers with diverse and complementary expertise has been assembled. In addition to Dr Tuimaleali’ifano and Dr Quanchi of the USP Suva campus, the full project team consists of (from east to west across the Pacific) Professor Eric Conte of the University of French Polynesia in Tahiti, Dr Tamatoa Bambridge of the CRIOBE Research Centre on Moorea, Professor Lau Asofou So’o and Dr Louise Mata’ia of the National University of Samoa, Dr David Gegeo of the University of Canterbury, Dr Stuart Bedford of USP Port Vila and ANU, Dr Bernard Rigo of the University of New Caledonia, Dr Christophe Sand of the Institute of Archaeology in New Caledonia, Professor August Kituai of the University of Papua New Guinea, Dr Linda Crowl and Patrick Matbob of Divine Word University in Madang, Papua New Guinea, Professor Serge Tcherkezoff of the EHESS and ANU, Dr Paul D’Arcy of ANU, Dr Mariana Ben and Dr Delihna Ehmes of the College of Micronesia’s Pohnpei campus, Dr Anne Hattori and Dr Sharleen Santos-Bamba of the University of Guam, Professor Tong Yuan-Chao of the Taiwan Center for Pacific Studies, Nakao Eki Pacidal of Leiden University, and Professor Benoit Vermander of the Ricci Institute of Taiwan and Fudan University in Shanghai.
The course materials will be made available in electronic and printed formats across Moana to allow local campuses to supplement areas where local teaching expertise is lacking, to modify into locally appropriate programs, and to free already over-stretched staff from developing new courses. These benefits will allow smaller Pacific Island universities to concentrate on completing post-graduate studies and research, and to forge regional research networks of staff and students. In a parallel development, a research network linked to the project has already started which focuses on Pan-Pacific indigenous marine ecosystem management practices across history.
While the Moana project has benefitted from generous start-up funding from the French Pacific Fund, the project organizing committee is now seeking additional funding to push the project through to the delivery stage in late 2013 or early 2014. Building on the past 2 years of experience and preparation, the Moana Pan-Pacific course can be online and in print within a year for $AUD50,000. A number of potential financial partners and aid donors are currently being investigated, but suggestions for funding would be warmly received by the Moana organizing committee and their collaborators! Please contact Morgan Tuimalealiifano email@example.com or Alan Max Quanchi firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you can assist with this initiative.
[* "View of the Island of Tinian: Dugout Canoes from the Caroline Islands", from 'Voyage Autour du Monde sur les Corvettes de L'Uranie' engraved by Coutant, published 1825, Berard, A. and Taunay, Adrien Andre.]
The Pacific Institute has produced a Japanese language video in which Professor Tessa Morris-Suzuki and Dr Keiko Tamura reminisce about The Late Hank Nelson, former Professor of Pacific History at the ANU. The video may be viewed on the ANU’s Youtube channel – http://youtu.be/YvYh9QvpCzo.
This video aims to raise awareness of Hank’s pioneering research and of the Hank Nelson Memorial Endowment. The Pacific Institute would like to express its gratitude to Dr Tamura and Professor Morris-Suzuki for their enthusiastic involvement with this video and Jamie Kidston for media support.
UN climate change negotiations: The role and influence of the Alliance of Small Island States (report)
The Pacific Institute and Climate Change Institute at the ANU were privileged to host a public lecture on 19 February by Her Excellency Ms Marlene Inemwin Moses (pictured left), Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Nauru to the United Nations and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AoSIS). Ambassador Moses was welcomed to the ANU by Assoc. Prof. Colin Filer, Co-Convenor of the ANU’s Pacific Institute and by Mr Gregory Andrews, Assistant Secretary, Finance, Forests and Development Branch, International Division of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. The event was the first public lecture to be held in the new Barton Theatre at the ANU.
Ambassador Moses began with a brief history of AoSIS (founded 1990) and a description of the central role of AoSIS in UN climate change negotiations, making special mention of the fact that “the first UN proposal calling for a multilateral approach to tackling the dilemma, what would eventually become the Kyoto Protocol, was drafted by Nauru and submitted [by AoSIS] under the chairmanship of Trinidad and Tobago in 1994.” She then proceeded to elaborate on the controversial new climate change initiative supported by AoSIS – the Loss and Damage provisions – put on the agenda at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNCCC) in Doha in November last year.
Ambassador Moses presented an eloquent and impassioned case for the need to include loss and damage provisions in the ongoing climate change negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC). In her presentation, she detailed AoSIS’s three-part plan:
- “The first component recognizes that managing climate impacts demands acquiring baseline historical information about weather hazards and quantified assessments of a variety of new risks. The data should be used to guide the development and implementation of country-specific measures that reduce exposure to climate impacts in the first place.
- The second part resembles insurance systems commonly found in the developed world and would cover countries for costs associated with sudden climate impacts, such as tropical storms, hurricanes, floods, and droughts. This is particularly relevant for small islands because our populations tend to be concentrated in highly vulnerable coastal zones. What’s more, the elevated risks we face often make the cost of insurance premiums prohibitive, if coverage is available at all.
- Finally, the plan calls for the creation of an international solidarity fund that would compensate countries for economic and non-economic losses stemming from slow-onset climate impacts, such as sea-level rise, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, saltwater intrusion and desertification. This could include lost revenue to the tourism and fishing industries, cultural impacts, and, in the worse case, the cost of relocation should islands become uninhabitable.”
Ambassador Moses was emphatic about the need for all nations to engage on the issue of dangerous climate change, noting that for some Pacific countries it was not merely a concern, or a challenge for development, but an existential threat to communities, their lands, and their cultures. She made special mention of Kiribati and Tuvalu, which faces the paradoxical threat of a lack of water (through sustained drought) and rising sea-levels. Yet while the threat of dangerous climate change is profound in the Pacific, Moses noted that this problem is shared by many states and gave poignant examples of recent climate-related disasters around the world. This, she said, is the reason the 40 nations of the Alliance of Small Island States are united with the Least Developed Countries (LDC), the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) and the G77/China in their call for the inclusion of Loss and Damages provisions in the UNFCCC.
On the key question of the efficacy of climate change negotiations to date, Ambassador Moses was similarly resolute. She observed that “perhaps purposefully, the climate negotiations have become very much divorced from the decision-makers in capitals around the world who at the end of the day have to choose to solve this problem or not.” She also noted that in scientific and policy arenas and in the negotiations themselves, “complexity is too often used to disguise a lack of progress.” She expressed her profound concern that “fossil fuel interests hold undue influence in the capitals of the world” and belief that climate change is a “global problem that needs a global solution provided by global leaders….” stating that “if they believe it is a crisis, they need to go in to crisis mode. When there was a financial crisis, they moved into crisis mode – Well, my goodness, this is a crisis. That’s the way I feel about this situation… There has to be a revolution in the Climate Change Convention if we really want to make a difference.” On this issue, she did express optimism at recent comments by President Obama about climate change and her opinion that “we are closer to real action on climate from the United States than ever before.”
In a wide-ranging question and answer session that lasted half an hour, Ambassador Moses addressed some of the central issues related to the Loss and Damages provisions put forward at Doha. She also discussed the recent successes of Nauru (in its role as Chair of the Pacific Island States) at the recent Rio+20 Conference, where it helped ensure that the “blue economy”, climate change and key interests of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) were written into the final conference document, The Future We Want (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 66/288).
In conclusion, Ambassador Moses again stressed the need for greater recognition of the fundamental link between climate change and sustainable development – that states could not hope to meet their Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) or other aspirations when faced with threats posed to their very survival by climate change. “It was the Pacific island states that took the issue of climate change to the Security Council. We were told it could not be discussed there… but the Pacific was adamant and said it was an existential threat and that it had to be discussed there.” Although Nauru currently Chairs AoSIS, Moses also emphasised the need for climate change to be discussed widely in diverse fora and her belief that it was critically important such conversations not remain the preserve of the UNFCCC. This point resonated with the invitation she extended at the start of her lecture to all Pacific island students in the room, “to elevate our region’s engagement with the international community” and her hope that “our conversation today helps encourage you to become more involved in public service — whether at home or abroad.”
Ambassador Moses visit to Australia was sponsored by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. A copy of the paper she presented at the ANU is available through the AoSIS website.
In his latest post to Lowy's Interpreter, Professor Wadan Narsey offers his thoughts on Jonathan Schultz's recently completed PhD thesis, Overseeing and Overlooking: Australian Engagement with the Pacific Islands 1988-2007 (a full-text version is now available online through the University of Melbourne's Digital Repository).
by Assoc. Prof. Chris Ballard, Pacific History, ANU.
Karina Taylor, the archivist for the ANU’s Pacific Research Archives (PRA) since its inception in February 2007, is leaving us for an exciting position at the Alexander Turnbull Library in Wellington, New Zealand. The Pacific Research Archives is housed within the ANU Archives at the Menzies Library, and has already assembled a substantial collection of research materials on the Pacific, in addition to the major foundation collections of Burns Philp and CSR Ltd. The University Archivist, Maggie Shapley, has already indicated that the Pacific Research Archivist position will be retained and filled as quickly as possible.
During the past six years Karina has collected, arranged and described the papers of some 40 ANU Pacific scholars (including those of geographer Gerard Ward, linguist Stephen Wurm, anthropologist Marie Reay, and historian Brij Lal); significant collections from a further 15 individuals (including early British Solomons administrator C.M. Woodford, and dietitian Nancy Hitchcock); and the archives of about 10 different ANU departments and centres (including Pacific and Asian History, Linguistics, and Human Geography).
Karina has developed an impressive array of public interfaces for the archive, establishing a web-presence for the PRA (pacificarchives.anu.edu.au), producing brochures, delivering seminars and tutorials to graduate and undergraduate students, and mounting three exhibitions (CSR in Fiji; Pacific Health Programs, and For the People: Pacific Resources). She has also provided archival training to colleagues at the University of Papua New Guinea (pictured left with staff from UPNG’s Library), and presented aspects of her archival work and the collection at a string of major international conferences.
The full extent of Karina’s legacy will be evident in mid-2013, when lists of the collections of the Pacific Research Archives will be available on the new ANU Archives online database. Pacific scholars at the ANU and beyond are indebted to Karina for her achievements, and to the ANU Archives for its continued support for Pacific studies at the ANU. We wish Karina, Brent and Micah all the best for their move and their re-establishment as Kiwis, and we fully expect to maintain our ties with them in the future.
Stephen Howes (Director, Development Policy Centre) recently interviewed Michael Clemens, who leads the Migration and Development Initiative at the Center for Global Development (CGD). You may review a podcast or video of this presentation (with accompanying slides), or read an edited transcript of this interview in two parts, the first on the US Seasonal Worker Program, the second on Skilled Migration and the Australian Pacific Technical College (APTC).
"The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is a very important organisation. It is the only aid agency in Australia which has legislative backing, something that the much bigger AusAID lacks. More importantly... it is one of the largest funders of agricultural research for development in the world." Read a submission to the ACIAR Review by the Development Policy Centre at the ANU.
Prof. Clive Moore (UQ) and Prof. Brij Lal (ANU) have been working to establish a Pacific series in the UQ ePress. The first publications in this series contain two new titles (the first in this list) and the reissue of five classic titles:
- Michael Kwa`ioloa and Ben Burt, The Chief’s Country: Leadership and Politics in Honiara, Solomon Islands
- Anthony van Fossen, Tax Havens and Sovereignty in the Pacific Islands
- Kay Saunders, Workers in Bondage: the Origins and Bases of Unfree Labour in Queensland, 1824-1916
- Paul M. Kennedy, The Samoan Tangle: A Study in Anglo-German-American Relations, 1878-1900
- Don Woolford, Papua New Guinea: Initiation and Independence
- Robert Norton, Race and Politics in Fiji
- David Hilliard, God’s Gentlemen: A History of the Melanesian Mission, 1849-1942
The Pacific Institute congratulates ANU Master’s graduates Ana Lautaimi Soakai (Crawford School) and Tauvasa Tanuvasa Chou-Lee (College of Law) and who were among 30 Pacific students studying in Australia to receive the Prime Minister’s Pacific-Australia (PMPA) Award last Thursday (6 December 2012). Here we offer extracts from an interview with Ana about her work and what she hopes to achieve with her PMPA Award. [Read more about Tauvasa and his PMPA in an earlier post to Outrigger.] Click the photo of Ana (top left) to see her with The Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor of the ANU (standing to her left) and Prof. Tom Kompas, Director of the Crawford School at her graduation ceremony last Friday.
Ana Lautaimi Soakai was born in 1984 and raised in the Ha’apai island group, Tonga where she attended a local primary school (GPS Pangai/Hihifo). She then moved to Tonga High School (THS), Nuku’alofa, and was Head Girl Prefect in her final year. After completing Form 7, she passed a bursary program and was awarded a scholarship from NZAID to study a Bachelor of Economics and Information Systems at the University of the South Pacific, Fiji. She completed her degree in mid-2007 and immediately began work in the Revenue Services Department (RSD) of the Kingdom of Tonga. The following year, she became a senior economist with the Project and Aid Management Division, in the Tongan Ministry of Finance. In late 2010, she received news that her application for an Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) was successful and in early 2011, she commenced a Graduate Diploma in International Development Economics (IDEC) at the ANU’s Crawford School. This year she completed her Masters in International Development Economics.
Ana’s Prime Minister’s Pacific Award (PMPA) will enable her to spend three months in Pacific Islands Trade and Invest (PITI), the ‘region’s lead export facilitation, investment and tourism promotion agency.’ PITI is a part of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat, and as such is responsible for promoting international industry and business opportunities for all of the 14 PIF member countries. Ana has met with staff from PITI and is already impressed by their professionalism. She is excited about her PMPA placement and believes her time with PITI will give her valuable new insights and a better understanding of issues related to economic development in the region. We are sure that her colleagues at Pacific Islands Trade and Invest will enjoy their time with her.
Ana has made a big impression at the ANU. Like her fellow ANU PMPA Awardee Tauvasa Tanuvasa Chou-Lee, she has made significant contributions to mentoring programmes for Pacific Islander youth in Australia run by Pasifika Australia. This year, in addition to her other activities and her Masters program, Ana was also President of the Toad Hall Resident’s Advisory Committee. She has loved her time as a student at ANU, particularly her time in residence at Toad Hall, where she has enjoyed the strong sense of community among postgraduate students from very diverse backgrounds. She has also greatly appreciated the support of her Pacific brothers at Toad Hall (from Samoa and Fiji) – most recently for the meals they cooked for her throughout her final exam period.
Ana’s sense of gratitude is infectious. In reflecting on her time at ANU, she expressed her appreciation for her fellow students and residents, but also for her extended family in Canberra and at home in Tonga, who have supported her emotionally and financially with her studies. Ana believes this inclusive and intimate approach to extended family is as fundamental to Pacific islands cultures as it is to her own wellbeing – it kept her from feeling isolated, lonely and homesick during the two years she lived in her small room in Toad Hall, away from her immediate family.
On Friday, 14 December 2012, in a graduation ceremony at the ANU’s Llewellyn Hall attended by her parents and members of her extended family (pictured left), Ana’s two degrees were conferred. For Ana, this was a moment for profound gratitude. One of seven children, her parents went to great efforts to ensure she and her siblings received a good education (she is the only university graduate in her family). Her Dad worked for 33 years as a linesman with the main electricity utility in Tonga (TPL) to pay for the children’s education. Her older brother worked as a fruit picker in the Emerald region of Queensland for 7 months earlier this year (under the Australian Government’s Pacific Seasonal Worker Scheme) to buy his own land in Tonga, but also set money aside each month to pay for Ana’s parents to come to Australia so they were able to attend her graduation. Ana’s gratitude for these and other blessings is ultimately to God. She believes “we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us.”
Conference: The South Pacific Agenda for Survival and Growth: A Framework for Coordinated Participation of Asian Donors?
11-13 December 2012, Port Vila, Vanuatu.
“The New Zealand Asia Institute of the University of Auckland has partnered with the Pacific Institute of Public Policy to host guest speakers and academics from the Pacific, New Zealand, China, Japan, Taiwan, Australia and United States (Hawaii)… A selection of academics will present papers on issues ranging from Chinese foreign aid in the South Pacific to the strategic priorities of the US in the Asia Pacific Region. Guest speakers will offer regional perspectives on foreign assistance from Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Tuvalu…” [read more].
The Pacific Institute congratulates ANU Master’s students Tauvasa Tanuvasa Chou-Lee (College of Law, pictured left) and Ana Soakai (Crawford School) who were among 30 Pacific students studying in Australia to receive the Prime Minister’s Pacific-Australia (PMPA) Award last Thursday (6 December 2012). Here we offer extracts from an interview with Tauvasa about his work and what he hopes to achieve with his PMPA Award. [We profile Ana Soakai in a post to Outrigger on 15 December 2012.]
Tauvasa Tanuvasa Chou-Lee (pictured above) was born in 1982 and raised in Port Moresby where he attended an international primary school, Tokarara High School, Port Moresby National High School and then the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG). He graduated from UPNG with a Bachelor of Laws degree with Honours in early 2005 and was admitted to the PNG Bar at the end of that same year after completing training at the PNG Legal Training Institute. In early 2006 he joined the Office of the Solicitor General, in Papua New Guinea’s Department of Justice and Attorney General. In 2011, he was awarded an Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) to pursue a Master’s degree in Law specialising in Government and Commercial Law. Tauvasa completes his degree at the end of this year and will return to PNG to re-commence his work as Deputy Solicitor General (State Defence) in the Office of the Solicitor General.
Tauvasa is passionate about his profession and hopes that the experiences he will gain through work experience supported by the PMPA scheme will help him make a significant contribution to efforts to improve the Office of the Solicitor General and the Department of Justice and Attorney General as a whole. With around 20 lawyers and an average load of around 400 cases per lawyer, lawyers in the Office of the Solicitor General need all the help they can get. Tauvasa notes “with charging and recovering costs that his office simply cannot cope with the current caseload and that they at times brief out matters to private law firms through the Attorney General often at great expense.” He is particularly concerned with workloads caused by serial litigants with often vexatious claims. Tauvasa feels keenly the responsibility of his office and recognises that “every time we lose a claim, we lose taxpayers’ money – money that could be spent on development, on improvements to peoples lives and livelihoods, especially in the rural areas where basic services and infrastructure are much needed.” He strongly believes that by working for the state (the primary client of the Office of the Solicitor General), he is working for the people of Papua New Guinea. He aims to help create a Government Legal Enterprise in PNG (an entity akin to the Australian Government Solicitor), which may advise and represent the Government of Papua New Guinea in courts and tribunals and help to de-politicise the work of his Office and that of the Department of Justice and Attorney General in the country.
Tauvasa is dedicated to his work in Papua New Guinea, even though the rest of his family live in Samoa. A citizen of PNG, he is one of a growing number of young Pacific Islanders whose familial connections span the Pacific Ocean. His Mother is from Central Province (with family from Baluan Island, Manus Province) and his Father is of chiefly Samoan (Tanuvasa from Manono) and Chinese ancestry. Tauvasa knows that this mix of culture, tradition and identity can be confronting for some, but for him it is about recognition of family and, as one Samoan saying goes, “People have more roots than trees.”
[See a media release about the 2012 PMPA awards on the AusAID website.]
"Senator Bob Carr is in Papua New Guinea this week on his first visit as Foreign Minister. He is attending the Australia-PNG Ministerial Forum and touring the Highlands region with his counterpart, the PNG Foreign Minister. Meanwhile, PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill has just concluded a six-day visit to Australia. Delivering speeches here at the Lowy Institute, at the National Press Club and at the annual PNG Mining and Petroleum Investment Conference in Sydney, the Prime Minister increased the visibility of his country in Australia and promoted a competent and optimistic image of his government..." [read more on the Lowy Institute's website].
by Dr Jack Taylor, Secretary, Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies.
The Annual General Meeting of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS) was held on 2 November at Melbourne University. It followed an excellent talk by Pacific journalist and broadcaster Nic Maclellan on major political, economic and social changes occurring in and around the wider Pacific region which are affecting the way island states and territories form groups and alliances with one another and with Australia and NZ.
The AGM was well attended and the committee received reports on the successful AAAPS conference held in Wollongong earlier this year (April 2012). At the AGM, the next AAAPS conference in Sydney in April 2014 was discussed, as were plans for a series of guest lectures, seminars and workshops in 2013.
AAAPS has difficult decisions to make about such things as whether to charge an annual membership fee, how best to provide an internet service to members and also to change its rules so that local branches or organisations with related objectives might be affiliated with AAAPS. Strategies and options will be considered by the committee, together with a proposal to change the name to Australian Association for Pacific Studies (AAPS), in a report to be submitted to the next general meeting in the first half of 2013.
The executive committee was elected. It comprises office bearers and members in Melbourne, the ACT, NSW, SA and Queensland. The present committee had been selected at the meeting at the Wollongong conference and had shown that the association can be run efficiently by email. Two student representatives were also elected.
The publications officers on the committee reported on the production of the newsletter, and called for contributions to the next one – intending to put out two newsletters a year.
AAAPS members include a wide range of people interested in encouraging Pacific Island-related studies, cultural and artistic activities, in Australia. They come from across Australia and the Pacific Region.
Membership inquiries should be addressed to the co-secretary, John Taylor, at the following email address: email@example.com.
The latest post to Devpolicy.org is a review of AusAID's recently commissioned Baseline study of the current status of engagement of Australian universities and research institutions in education for development. This report "was discussed at a Higher Education Forum hosted by AusAID on 6 November by a group of about 40 people from universities, AusAID, NGOs, the Australian Council for Educational Research, and government..." [read more].
‘Papua New Guinea in the Asian Century’ (Speech by The Hon Peter O’Neill, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea)
12:30-1:45pm, 29 November
Lowy Institute for International Policy, 31 Bligh St, Sydney [read more].
by Alison Fleming, ANU graduate in Pacific Studies.
It’s a Thursday morning and as the first purple rays of sunlight creep over the horizon, I find myself on a wharf, making out faint shapes in the water, pulsing and throbbing to the sound of kundu drums and ritual chanting. I was privileged to be invited to see the Tambuan dancers of clans around Rabaul come into shore, worshiping and celebrating the lives of the Catholic nuns in the month of the Virgin Mary. As the sun rose it revealed five flotillas of dingys, each tied together with an outrigger that held their clan’s Tambuan, or in some cases three or four. These incredible masked dancers rose and rocked as the sound of the drums reverberated from the mountains. For me, this was yet another day in the office.
As Senior Project Officer with the International Heritage Section, Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, I have an opportunity to work on a range of projects that help support effective management as well as promoting and celebrating heritage in our region. These include supporting Chief Roi Mata’s Domain World Heritage Area in Vanuatu and engaging with our regional bodies such as Pacific Islands Museum Association and UNESCO to support them to work with heritage managers within our region. Today I am writing this blog from Papua New Guinea, where we have just concluded the Sustainable Cultural Tourism Conference in East New Britain. This is part of the Kokoda Initiative, a program delivered in a partnership between the Australian and Papua New Guinean governments, working towards sustainable development of the Owen Stanley Ranges and the Kokoda Track Region.
It doesn’t take long when working in the Pacific to realise that this particular part of the world functions on relationships – people to people connections. While in Canberra, position and pay scales seem to be the point of introduction for most public service events; within the Pacific we ask, “where do you come from” and “what is your story?” As one of ANU’s original Pacific Studies undergraduates, I had the opportunity to know and understand the region in ways which are inaccessible for many graduates. Through Pacific Studies, and working with Pasifika Australia, I was able to work with Pacific Youth, attend the Festival of Pacific Arts in 2008 and read the writings of Pacific scholars about their own region. This grounding in the rich and varied cultures of our closest neighbours has opened doors into some truly amazing experiences.
In 2009, I worked as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development in Mangaliliu Village, North Efate, Vanuatu. My job was to work with the Lelema World Heritage Committee, supporting them in site management and expanding and developing the tourism business. To begin with, I took part in two weeks of workshops, conducted in Bislama by a team of consultants from Stepwise Heritage and Tourism. A baptism of fire for a young volunteer, but having just completed the PASI linguistics course in Melanesian Creoles, I could not only understand the workshop but also facilitate sessions. It was a little shaky at first but I got the hang of it by the end. Throughout the year my position morphed and changed, I worked on everything from tourism to land use planning. This role marked the beginning of a close relationship with two truly inspiring communities and a team of people that I continue to work with. I have watched the Chief Roi Mata’s Domain World Heritage Project blossom and grow, supported by an an ever increasing alumni of devotees and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I have contributed in some way to progressing the protection and sustainable development of this region.
Field experience with its incredible highs and devastating blows, can teach lessons, both professional and personal more quickly than any academic learning, but I was well equipped with fundamental skills and insights through Pacific Studies to undertake this work with the people and communities of the Pacific.
In my daily work, connecting with people comes through culture, not through the bureaucracy of paperwork. More can be achieved in an afternoon under a mango tree than months over emails.
A set of six new exporting guides for Pacific Islands agriculture exporters have been released today. The guides are the result of a joint project between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I). They cover chilli, taro, coconut, coffee and vanilla bean (fresh and dry) exports from the Pacific Islands.
by Dr Rachel Hendery, Linguistics ANU.
[NB: Rachel's map is interactive and provides information on the research priorities for these various language communities. We have included it here to suggest just one of the many ways Google Maps may facilitate workshops, discussion, etc. in area-studies research.]
On 27-28 October, a workshop Continuity and Change: Grammars of the Pacific was held at ANU. Around 30 people attended, including visitors from the University of Auckland, the University of Newcastle, the University of New England, and the University of Canberra. Keynote talks were given by Prof. Jeff Siegel (UNE) on “Language transfer and grammatical change: Evidence from Pacific contact varieties” and by Assoc. Prof. Frank Lichtenberk (University of Auckland) on “Complementation in Oceanic: Focus on complementisers”.
One of the highlights of the workshop was a discussion on regional priorities for future linguistic research in the Pacific. Participants were asked to report on the most urgent or important research questions in the region they work in, and to consider for example, if approached by a new PhD student who wanted to work in that region, what sorts of projects they might suggest. This discussion led to a very useful list of priorities, in which we can clearly see the differences between the current research status of various regions, as well as some similar themes in current and future interests across the Pacific. The points brought up at this discussion are summarised by region below: (more…)
Prof. Hugh White and Dr Peter Dean, of the ANU’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre (SDSC), continue the debate on the ADF intervention in Timor on Lowy’s Interpreter.
Outrigger recently posted a note about the launch of the first centre for the study of Oceania in China.* In this follow-up post, we interview Prof. YU Chang-sen ((喻常森老师), the Deputy Executive Director of the Center for Oceanian Studies (COS) at Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU) about the Center and plans for its future.
What are the origins of the Center for Oceanian Studies in the School of Asia-Pacific Studies at Sun Yat-sen University and who is involved with the Center?
“As one of the top 10 ranked universities in China, SYSU** is committed to the internationalization of its teaching and research programs. (more…)
“For five years the Pacific Break music competition has been unearthing the unheard and unsigned sounds of the Pacific Islands.” If you missed the Pacific Break broadcast last weekend, you can catch up with most of the music (and all of the accompanying stories) on Radio Australia’s Pacific Break webpages.
The Department of Pacific and Asian History is sponsoring a largely informal “conversation” with Professor Matt Matsuda of Rutgers University on the morning of Tuesday 27 November (venue tba), prior to his participation in the RSAP Annual Symposium.
Prof Matsuda is a distinguished historian of Modern Europe, the French empire and Asia-Pacific and Pacific Island global and comparative histories. His principal publications include Pacific Worlds: A History of Seas, Peoples, and Cultures (Cambridge University Press, 2012); Empire of Love: Histories of France and the Pacific (Oxford University Press, 2005), and The Memory of the Modern (Oxford University Press, 1996).
Prof Matsuda has proposed a small selection of readings, including two chapters from Pacific Worlds, around which we might then build a conversation about Pacific history in the context of Asia-Pacific and World histories. If you are interested in attending this conversation (which will probably last for 2 hours before lunch together) please contact Dr Chris Ballard (firstname.lastname@example.org) to register and receive the readings.
4:30pm, Thursday 22 November 2012 in the Coombs Tea Room (Building 9).
The inaugural RSAP Enduring Ideas debate* brings together a potent cross-disciplinary mix of colleagues – Chris Ballard, Colin Filer, Mark Donohue, Nicole Haley, Stephen Howes and Joanne Wallis – to address the question: What is the most important idea relating to the Pacific generated at ANU? This discussion will be followed by a Pacific feast on the Coombs Tea Room deck. To assist with catering, please register: http://enduringideasspring2012.eventbrite.com.au.
* The Enduring Ideas series is sponsored by the Research School of Asia and the Pacific.
28-29 November 2012, Manning Clark Lecture Theatre, ANU
This is the third conference as part of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Universities Linkages, which brings scholars and aid practitioners together to discuss important development issues. The programme has a stunning list of keynote and other speakers and will run with 6 parallel sessions over two days (the keynote speakers are Robert Chambers, Gita Sen, Emele Duituturaga and Alan Fowler). Full details of the conference, including a complete list of speakers and abstracts is available on the conference website.
Unfortunately, this conference is already fully subscribed, with more than 450 registered participants, so we’ve listed papers relevant to the Pacific in the hope that you might contact the speakers directly to learn more about their work:
- Nicholas Bates (Albion Street Centre) – Monitoring and evaluation of HIV capacity building: communities taking the lead [PNG, Fiji]
- Paul Bedggood (Otago) – New Zealand ODA and building peace
- Jo Brislane (IWDA) – Experiences of the participation of women, and youth and other cross-cutting issues [Solomon Islands]
- Michelle Carnegie, Katherine Gibson, Katherine McKinnon (UMacq); Claire Rowland (Consultant); Joanne Crawford (IWSA and ANU) – Measuring change in economy and gender relations in semi-subsistent communities in Melanesia: Concepts, indicators, and tools
- Sid Chakrabarti (AusAID) – Experiences of accountability and partnership [Solomon Islands]
- Matthew Clarke (Deakin) – Sacred places and development spaces: a case study of churches and community development in Vanuatu
- Cath Conn, Kristel Modderman, Shoba Nayar (AUT) – At the limits of participatory development: meaningful participation by young sex workers in HIV policy and programmes
- Lauren Leigh Hinthorne (UQ) – Achieving participatory development communication through 3d model building: an example from East Timor
- Kathryn James (Nossal Institute) – Participatory research processes: partnering with people with disabilities and their organisations [PNG]
- Max Kelly (Deakin) – What role for local NGOs in rural livelihoods in Timor Leste?
- Di Kilsby (Consultant) & Joanne Crawford (IWDA and ANU) – Navigating ‘gender’ and ‘culture’: amplifying space for gender equality work by listening to local gender advocates [PNG, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste]
- Georgia Noy & Fatima Soares, Save the Children in Timor Leste – Barriers to children’s participation
- Barbara Pamphilon (UC); Barbara Chambers, Katja Mikhailovich, Lalen Simeon (PAU) – Enabling the co-construction of meaning: lessons from a PNG/ Australian research and development project
- Doris Puiahi (Live and Learn Solomon Islands), Patrick Mesia (ADRA, Solomon Islands), Jo Brislane (IWDA), Sid Chakrabarti (AusAID) – Experiences, opportunities and challenges of implementing a Strengths-Based Approach to development in the Solomon Islands
- Michele Rumsey (UTS) – Participatory models for building capacity for nurses and midwives [Pacific]
- Jane Shamrock (Masters student, USC) – The power of pictures: using Photovoice to investigate “lived experience of people with disabilities in East Timor”
- Beth Sprunt (Nossal Institute) – Inclusive education in the Pacific – sharing lessons as the momentum builds [Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, PNG, Solomon Islands]
- Pamela Thomas (ANU); Anna Naupa, David Momcilovic and Obed Timakata (AusAID Vanuatu) – Perspectives on participation and partnerships: Approaches to development planning and practice in Vanuatu
- Cathy Vaughan (UMelb) – Supporting dialogue in marginalised settings: Young Papua New Guineans and participatory research
- Joyce Wu (ANU) – Creating MAD (Men and Development) Men? A feminist reflection of anti-violence against women projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan & Timor Leste