PNG: Take 'interfering' Australia to world court
Part 2: A system no longer working effectively

Position on Pacific ‘contradictory’ say academics


THE ORGANISERS of a major forthcoming conference on the Pacific say they have identified “a contradiction in Australia’s role in the Oceanic region”.

“Official institutions are attempting to increase their influence in the region,” say the organisers of Oceanic Transformations, yet Australians learn less and less from their educational institutions and media about this region.”

They were commenting on the failure of the Federal Government to ensure its new draft curriculum for years 1-10 in primary and secondary schools gives due attention to the Pacific.

The Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS) will hold its Oceanic Transformations conference in Melbourne next month.

Academics, postgraduate students, journalists and people with an interest in the Pacific region will meet at Melbourne’s Victoria University from 8-11 April.

Prominent Pacific Islanders such as 'Alisi Taumoepeau, former Attorney General of Tonga, Dr Lyndes Wini, of the vector-borne disease control program in the Solomon Islands, and Siula Bulu of Vanuatu’s ‘Won Small Bag’ theatre group will speak at the conference.

Also among the diverse range of speakers will be Wep Kanawi, former PNG senior civil servant turned HIV-AIDs activist, and Mosmi Bhim, human rights proponent from Fiji.

The conference seeks to incorporate the study of Pacific Island countries more thoroughly in school and university educational curricula.

Papers in anthropology, history, politics, international relations, economics, health, the environment, education and culture form the backbone of the conference.

Cultural activities by members of Pacific Island groups in Australia will also form a major part of the program.

More information: See Fragments of Attitude

To register: Visit the AAAPS website at

Read the AAAPS’s recently launched strategy for the Study of the Pacific in Australia at


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Paul Oates

Any serious consultation process must provide sufficient advance notice of the times and venues arranged for the consultation seminars.

There are claims that the venues and times in some cities were only available for a matter of hours prior to the meeting being held.

This looks like a classic case of a 'fait accompli' and the schools curriculum having already been stitched up and ready to go into print. It begs the question that perhaps the venues and times were only known to those who were safe to invite?

I refer to comments at

Perhaps a few more should challenge the process and give a reality check to whoever was supposedly running an effective 'consultation' process?

I have responded to the advertised e mail address that I wish to offer some suggestions but 'answer came there none'.

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