- 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: Tonga
"In the latest issue of the Pacific Economic Monitor, released yesterday (March 26), the ADB forecasts that the average rate of growth in its 14 developing member countries in the Pacific region will fall to 5.2%, as earlier gains from major foreign investments and public infrastructure projects fade. The performance of the region’s larger natural resource exporting economies (Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Timor-Leste) continues to drive the economic outlook, with these two economies comprising about two-thirds of the weight in the regional growth average..." [read more].
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.
Lindsay Cameron is a new PhD student in the School of Culture, History and Language. He currently lives in Melbourne and drives to Canberra once a month for campus events and library research. His research topic is “The Convergence of British and American Methodism in the South Pacific.” Dr Vicki Luker is the Chair of his supervisory panel.
Lindsay’s research is particularly relevant to the study of South Pacific history today as it is almost two hundred years since the first Methodist missionary arrived in Australia (1815). From Australia, Methodism spread to New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and other Islands of the Southwest Pacific. 2015 will mark the beginning of rolling bicentennial celebrations across the Pacific islands and will generate a heightened interest in the work of those early Methodists.
Lindsay is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Methodist Church, a branch of the global Methodist family with its roots in North America (most Methodists in the South Pacific follow a Methodist tradition that is British in origin). In 2012, a new regional conference was formed for the Wesleyan Methodists in the South Pacific, initially incorporating four South Pacific national churches. Some of these churches have British heritage and others have American heritage. The key question being posed by these Methodist communities now is “What factors are still present in Methodism in the South Pacific that have resulted in the abiding identity as Methodists and the ready desire to belong to a wider Methodist affiliation?”
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).
A fortnightly roundup of policy news in the Pacific by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy and the Development Policy Centre.
"There are three main messages contained in the recently released World Bank report ‘The economic costs of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Pacific Islands: a rapid stocktake of the situation in Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu‘ (available here [PDF]) (the report did not include analysis of Papua New Guinea)..." [read more].
The latest Praxis video discussion is informed by the November 2012 World Bank report on The Economic Costs of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Pacific Islands (with a focus on Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu).
Sustainable health financing in the Pacific is a new working paper from the University of Sydney, Burnet Institute and Fiji National University’s Centre for Health Information, Policy and Systems Research. A recent post to Devpolicy.org by Joel Negin (one of the main authors of the report) reviews this report and underlying assumptions about donor dependence in the health sector.
“The December 2012 edition of the Pacific Economic Monitor examines the fiscal position of ADB’s Pacific developing member countries and their budget plans for 2013. Special articles included in this issue focus on economic management and growth prospects in smaller Pacific island economies” [read the report].
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.”
Women Leadership in Peacebuilding Program 2013 Academic Scholarship (deadline for applications extended)
The Pacific Institute has just received news from The Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding (PCP) that the deadline has been extended on applications for The Women Leadership in Peacebuilding Program 2013 Academic Scholarship. This scholarship is intended to meet all of the costs associated with the completion of a Graduate Certificate in Peacebuilding at the Center for Justice and Peace Building (CJP) in Eastern Mennonite University (Virginia) in the USA. There is no official application form – applicants are required to submit the following documents to Lita Stolz (email@example.com) at PCP by or before 15 December 2012;
- Two letters of recommendation in support of the applicant
- Official university transcripts (if the applicant has completed tertiary study)
- Current resume or CV of applicant
- Two page essay outlining why the applicant is interested in the program and how she hopes to use the degree
- For those who have not completed any undergraduate studies who wish to apply, a 4 -5 page essay is required which should explain how the applicant’s life experiences have prepared her for graduate-level study.
EuropeAid has issued a call for proposals for ‘Supporting culture as a vector of democracy and economic growth’ under the EU thematic programme Investing in People. Deadline for submission of concept notes is 18 December 2012. The call includes two lots with the following specific objectives:
- Lot 1: Encourage cultural expressions which promote diversity, intercultural dialogue and human and cultural rights, in the context of reconciliation, conflict resolution and democratisation
- Lot 2: Strengthen capacities of cultural actors for the development of a dynamic cultural sector contributing to economic growth and sustainable development
Full documentation is available on the EuropeAid website call ref. 133529. Most individuals and non-government organisations in Pacific islands nations and territories are eligible to apply (consult the list of beneficiary countries or territories).
The 5th Talanoa Oceania conference was held in Canberra from 9-10 November. Talanoa Oceania in Canberra and the Australian National University (ANU) Pacific Institute and Pasifika Australia units organized this conference. The conference was co-hosted by the ANU and the Canberra City Uniting Church. The conference was officially opened with the blowing of a conch shell as senior members of Talanoa Oceania in Canberra led in Pacific diplomats. Sioana Faupula, Chairperson of the Talanoa Oceania in Canberra Committee welcomed everyone and Rev Dr Jione Havea, foundational member of Talanoa Oceania, provided a context and background to the concept of talanoa and previous Talanoa Oceania conferences. Participants attended the conference from Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga.
Given that the conference was in its fifth year, a broad approach to the conference themes was taken as participants reflected on important social and economic issues for people of Oceania. The major themes included Pacific seasonal worker schemes, Pacific Islander migration and contributions to Australian life, mentoring and leadership, peace-building and conflict resolution in the Pacific, development, gender, education, religion, culture, Pacific capacity building, Kava in Australia, health and wellbeing and language and communication. The conference consisted of 36 presentations, from Canberra based Pacific diplomats, academics, representatives from non-government organisations, church community, journalists and local community members. The presentations were a mix of individual speakers, panel sessions, singing, documentaries and digital stories with the majority of participants being of Pacific Island descent. A significant feature of the 2012 conference was the strong focus on Melanesia including PNG, West Papua, Solomon Islands and East Timor [download a copy of the Talanoa Conference Booklet 2012].
The conference provided a tripartite forum in which diplomats and people of influence, academics and students and local communities in Australia were able to openly exchange views on key issues from temporary migrant worker schemes (Seasonal Worker Program and Regional Seasonal Employer Scheme) to peace-building and conflict resolution in the Pacific. In keeping with the spirit and essence of talanoa (to dialogue and to talk) the conference attendees and presenters were able to engage in lively and often spirited discussions and debates.
The conference celebrated local Pacific youth with two special events. First, was the Pacific Youth Showcase performance on the Friday night. Conference attendees and local community were treated to an evening that began with a Kava/Ava/Yaqona ceremony and included music and dance performances from ACT and Queanbeyan Pacific youth groups representing Aotearoa/New Zealand, Fiji/Rotuma, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga. A group of 10 senior secondary schools students from Beenleigh State High School also performed on the night. The second event was the Pacific Youth leadership forum hosted by Pasifika Australia. The forum began with a special opening by HRH Princess Angelika Tuku’aho who spoke on what it meant to be a young Tongan female leader. The forum also included presentations by Dr Roannie Ng Shiu (Pasifika Australia) and Matthew Bray, a medical student from Monash University. Although the forum was meant to be a closed session for youth only, the youth in attendance were able to discuss the key issues facing their generation today. These issues included helping their identity journeys, attracting youth back into Pacific churches, and strengthening their appreciation of their cultural heritage.
The conference was widely reported in local and national media with a news feature by ABC Canberra and two radio interviews for ABC Pacific Beat and ABC National Drive radio programs. Two media reports based on presentations at Talanoa Oceania 2012 are now online: Pacific migrants succeeding in Australia (Australia Network News) and Pacific Islanders find “promised land” in Australia (ABC Radio National). The conference was also officially photographed and videotaped by Julia Gray of Sunameke Productions. Plans are being made for a publication from the conference and the ANU is in discussion to potentially create a secretariat for Talanoa Oceania.
We would like to give a special thanks to all of the Talanoa Oceania 2012 Organising Committee. This includes members of the Pacific community representing Talanoa Oceania in Canberra: Sioana Faupula (Chairperson), Nacanieli Rika (Secretary and Co-Convenor), Stella Naimet (Treasurer), Nicole Alexander, and Kepueli Vaka (Director of Pacific Youth Showcase). We would also like to thank the members of the Committee representing the ANU Pacific Institute and Pasifika Australia: Dr Roannie Ng Shiu (Co-Convenor), Cathleen Nansen, George Carter, Joel Nilon and Dr Mike Cookson.
Finally, the Talanoa Oceania 2012 Committee would like to acknowledge the generous support of the following sponsors: ANU Pacific Institute; ANU Equity Office and Pasifika Australia; ANU College of Asia and the Pacific; State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program (SSGM); “Engendering Persons…” (Prof. Margaret Jolly’s ARC Laureate Project); Pacific Islands United; Canberra City Uniting Church and Canberra Region Presbytery; and the ACT Office of Multicultural Affairs.
Pacific Buzz (November 14): Pacific elections wrap | Fiji election preparations | Call to reorient PNG spending to boost recurrent budget | Agriculture and land in PNG | More
A fortnightly roundup of policy news in the Pacific by the Pacific Institute of Public Policy and the Development Policy Centre is now available.
Please note that changes to the submission deadline (now 15 December 2012) and additional information for applicants is on a more recent post to Outrigger.
The Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding (PCP) is offering (16) scholarships to qualified women from Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, West Papua, Tonga, Samoa, and Vanuatu, to attend the “Women’s Peace Leadership Academic Cohort Program” (WPLP) offered in collaboration with the Center for Justice and Peace Building (CJP) in Eastern Mennonite University (Virginia) in the USA. (more…)
A summary of the presentation by Siosi C. Mafi, Governor of the National Reserve Bank of Tonga to the 2012 Pacific Update (powerpoint slides and video also available).
This report investigates urbanization trends across the 14 Pacific developing member countries of the Asian Development Bank. It examines the history of Pacific urbanization, current state of infrastructure and service provision within urban areas, and systems of urban governance.
An obituary to the Late Dr Elizabeth Wood-Ellem has just been published in The Age. The Pacific Institute would like to acknowledge ‘Bessie’ Wood-Ellem’s life-long association with Tonga and her remarkable knowledge of the Tongan royal family (read her PhD or subsequent monograph, Queen Salote of Tonga: The Story of an Era 1900-1965). Radio National’s Pacific Beat broadcast a tribute to the Late Dr Wood-Ellem on 11 September 2012 that featured an interview with Assoc. Prof. Helen Lee. ['Bessie' Wood-Ellem wrote an obituary to the Late King George Tupou V for Outrigger earlier this year].
8:30am-5:30pm, SSGM Meeting Room (#5119), Coombs Building #9, ANU.
This workshop investigates the experience of writing political life history in the Pacific Islands. We are interested in the reflections of practitioners writing in this genre: how they went about constructing a story and the impact this process had on them. Themes include narrative and identity formation, storytelling and memory, ethics and research integrity, style and audience, and future challenges and disciplinary significance (program).
If you would like to attend or have any questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
15th Tonga Research Association Conference: “Walking backwards to the future – Holomui ki Mu’a” (7-13 July 2013)
Auckland University of Technology (AUT), Manukau Campus [download flyer].
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) recently launched its latest state-owned enterprise (SOE) benchmarking study, entitled Finding Balance: Benchmarking the Performance of SOEs in PNG. This is not only the first time that PNG has participated in the study series, but the first time that the financial performance of PNG’s SOEs has been made publicly available. The study compares PNG’s SOE portfolio over a 9-year period with that of 5 other countries in the Pacific (Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands and Tonga), and finds that while PNG’s SOEs have produced net profits that are in the upper range of those in the countries benchmarked, they have done so at a substantial cost to the government in terms of ongoing fiscal transfers and other subsidies, and limited service delivery, particularly in rural areas... [read more].
The latest issue of Exchange Magazine, the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) newsletter, is now available and features stories of volunteers assisting with pearl industry development in Tonga, UN communications work in PNG and speech pathology in Fiji (and the Pacific).
This new study from the Asian Development Bank benchmarks the performance of Papua New Guinea’s State-owned enterprises with those of Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Tonga; assesses the key drivers of this performance; and identifies successful reform strategies that can guide future policy action.
The Department of Family and Community Services (NZ) has just released A Cultural Framework for addressing violence in Fijian families in New Zealand. This is the latest document in the Pacific Conceptual Framework series which aims to explain meanings of family and violence – as well as set out key concepts and principles that promote family wellbeing – for seven Pacific immigrant communities in New Zealand (peoples from Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga and Tuvalu). This is part of the Pasefika Proud initiative of the NZ Ministry of Social Development.
Skills Tech Australia and the Rotary club of Redcliffe has a new initiative to repair old bikes and send them to Solomon islands and Tonga. Read more and listen to this ABC radio interview with Brett Richardson and Joe Martin, who started the scheme.
World Heritage Papers 34 has just been released. It is a compilation of documents and papers relating to UNESCO’s Pacific 2009 Programme (2000-2009) and includes reports of regional consultations, expert papers, progress and monitoring reports.
“Despite its extraordinary cultural and biological diversity, the Pacific is the most under-represented sub-region on the World Heritage List. To redress this imbalance, the Pacific 2009 Programme (2000-2009) was elaborated through several regional consultations and launched in 2003. The objectives of the programme were to ensure full membership of the World Heritage Convention in the Pacific to strengthen a collaborative sub-regional approach to its implementation, raise awareness about the World Heritage Convention and the potential benefits in the Pacific, build capacity for the Tentative Lists and nominations of properties for inclusion in the World Heritage List, promote trans-boundary and/or serial nominations, and build partnership among stakeholders involved. The Pacific 2009 Programme has contributed to the increased number of state parties (12 out of 14 Pacific SIDS) as well as World Heritage sites (10 in total in Pacific islands and territories) in the Pacific region as of September 2011.
As part of the World Heritage Papers Series, this document explores three key components of World Heritage: ‘Diverse Values and Interconnected Histories’; ‘Being Community in the Paciﬁc’ and ‘Building Capacity’. Also highlighted are case studies in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Palau and the Marshall Islands.” [the publication includes various articles by ANU researchers and Alumni. See also the July 2012 post to Outrigger, Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau): a new World Heritage site for the Pacific].
Call for papers – Labour migration in the Asia-Pacific: race, history and heritage (14-15 February 2013)
14-15 February 2013, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU.
In recent times, temporary migrant labour has been on the agenda of many of the countries of the Asia-Pacific, with governments of both sending and receiving countries interested in understanding, controlling and improving labour migration. The history of labour migration in the Asia-Pacific region has been extremely rich and its impact on peoples, places and things profound. Examples include Indian plantation workers in Malaysia and Fiji; Indonesian pearl divers, Afghan cameleers and Chinese gold miners in Australia; and Mexican workers in California’s agriculture sector.
Besides examining questions of race, ethnicity and cultural history, this research symposium aims to examine a wide range of tangible and intangible heritage forms, including monuments, tales, traditions, commemorative events, festivals, artworks, photography, performance art, cinema and literature. Reflecting this, the focus of this event will be inter-disciplinary, comparative and regional in focus. This symposium will provide an innovative opportunity for a broad range of people working in government, cultural institutions and academia to hear from leading experts on this topic which, given the ongoing debate on the national and global politics of labour migration, is becoming increasingly important.
Call for papers: please send 200 word abstracts with title and author biodata to Marshall Clark (email@example.com) by 1 November 2012. On a competitive basis, free accommodation and domestic airfares will be offered for one (1) postgraduate or ECR to present a paper. Please indicate if you would like to be considered for this offer.
This event – which will be held 14-15 February 2013 – has received funding support from the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) and ANU’s College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS). You may download an advanced notice flyer for this event.
Asia and the Pacific Policy Society Conference (incorporating a Pacific Roundtable and the 2012 Pacific Update)
6-7 September 2012, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU.