Bung Wantaim Seminar Series with Almah Tararia and Anita Togolo


Almah Tararia and Anita Togolo


Virtual event


Thursday, 29 October, 2020 - 14:00 to 15:00

The Bung Wantaim seminar series brings together Pacific Islander Higher Degree Research (HDR) students and HDR students who study the Pacific to showcase their important research from across the Australian National University (ANU). Bung Wantaim is a Tok Pisin word signifying a ‘true coming together’. During this series, presentations will be given by a variety of scholars from different perspectives and different disciplines to share their knowledge with the Pacific research community at ANU.

For the first seminar in this series, Almah Tararia will discuss women’s political participation and decision making at the local level in Papua New Guinea. Anita Togolo examines the evolution of the local business development program (LBD) and Indigenous entrepreneurship in Papua New Guinea.

This seminar will be held on Zoom and recorded. There will be a Q&A session after each presentation.


Almah Tararia, Department of Pacific Affairs, ANU

Almah will explore women’s political participation and decision-making at the local-level in Papua New Guinea. She will examine the opportunities and potential for women’s leadership across three local institutions: District, LLG (and ward) and village in New Ireland Province. Specially, she examines what women do and how they collaborate and negotiate to have a voice in the public domain and the structural positions and personal characteristics of women who have achieved leadership status. By choosing to examine the daily lives of women and men, the main objective of this study is to provide a nuanced analysis of women’s political participation at the local-level (Haley and Zubrinich, 2016) . It does this by looking at individual influential women, the institutions that enable the women power and the cultural systems and processes that enable leadership. It examines the factors (genealogies, marriage, and residence) that allow women to stand and speak, make decisions and exercise influence.

Anita Togolo, Department of Pacific Affairs, ANU

Anita examines the evolution and implementation of the local business development (LBD) program associated with Ok Tedi Mining Limited (OTML). OTML is a state-owned enterprise operating a copper and gold mine in the Western Province of Papua New Guinea, and the mine is one of a number of large-scale resource projects central to Papua New Guinea’s economy. There is little research in this area that takes into account the factors that contribute to a successful or sustainable local landowner business, and the relationships between local landowners and the department in a resource company that manages the local business development program. This research investigates and contributes to knowledge of Indigenous entrepreneurship in PNG’s resource sector by providing insight into Papua New Guinean business practices, and the vital role such departments play. This presentation will discuss some of these findings, and the implications they have in ensuring local business development programs create long-term benefits for project affected landowners beyond mine closure.

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