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The Pacific Economic Bulletin is not longer being published and will be incorporated into a new journal, Asia and the Pacific Policy Studies. To enquire about the new journal please email

Fiji update 2008

Suva Update

Tuesday 22 July
Fiji Community Update, Suva



Sharon Bessell
Sharon Bessell is a senior public policy lecturer in the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University.  Her research interests include children’s rights and their protection, child labour, gender issues, and social policy for vulnerable children. Over the past decade Dr Bessell has published and worked with a range of organisations on social policy issues throughout Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Australia, including UNICEF, AusAID, Save the Children, and the Centre for Democratic Institutions.  Dr Bessell holds a PhD in Politics from Monash University.

Mereia Carling
Maria Carling has been an advocate for child protection and the role of young people in the development of Fiji. She has undertaken research in the Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance at the University of the South Pacific. Prior to becoming a Child protection consultant for UNICEF Fiji in 2004, Mrs Carling was a Child Advocacy officer with the international organisation Save the Children.

Rajesh Chandra
Professor Rajesh Chandra is Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South Pacific, where he has worked for approximately 30 years. Over those years, he has made significant contributions to the international academic community. Professor Chandra was Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Universities’ Study Abroad Consortium and he was also a member of the Technical Advisory Committee exploring the feasibility of a Virtual University for Commonwealth Small States. Within the Pacific region, Professor Chandra was part of the Pacific delegation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development and he has attended the Pacific Island Leaders’ Meeting, the Commonwealth Education Ministers Meeting, the Forum Economic Ministers meeting, the Pacific Islands Forum and the General Meeting of the Association of Commonwealth Universities. He has been a visiting professor or research fellow at numerous institutions, including McGill University, the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies at Canterbury University, the National Centre for Development Studies of the Australian National University, and the Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center, in Honolulu.

Ron Duncan
Ron Duncan is the Foundation Executive Director of the Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance at the University of the South Pacific, and Professor Emeritus of the Crawford School of Economics and Government at the Australian National University. He is Editor of the Asian-Pacific Economic Literature journal and Joint Editor of the Pacific Economic Bulletin.  Ron’s research and teaching interests are in the economics and governance of developing countries, agricultural and trade policy, competition policy, primary commodity markets, and management of natural resources.  His primary developing country interests are in countries of the South Pacific and East Asia. 

Emele Duituturaga
Emele Duituturaga is a Youth and Gender consultant. She was also the former Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Women, Social Welfare, Poverty Alleviation and Housing for the Government of Fiji. Ms Duituturaga has a wide and varied background in social work, community development, research, training and policy analysis, gender and development, business administration and management, development banking and consulting, and public administration.  She has worked as a development consultant for the Asian Development Bank, AusAID, Canada Fund, NZAID, and the UNDP on projects in public sector reform, social welfare reforms, evaluation of donor funded projects and programme evaluation and technical assistance to PIANGO.  She has also worked for institutions such as the Pacific Regional Adolescent Health Project funded by United Nations Population Fund and the Pacific Women’s Resource Bureau at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.  She has a Bachelor in Social Work, a Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Management and a Masters in Business Administration.

Azmat Gani
Azmat Gani is an associate professor in the School of Economics at the University of the South Pacific. His interests include international finance, trade and public finance, health care funding, and development outcomes in Pacific island countries. Dr Gani has published journal articles for the Asia-Pacific Development Journal and the ASEAN Economic Bulletin, in addition to a recent book on the Fiji macroeconomy. He is also an editorial board member for the American Journal of Finance and Accounting and has been a Research Scholar at the University of Canterbury in the Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies. Dr Gani holds a PhD in Development Studies from Massey University.

Henry Haszler

Henry Haszler is a senior research fellow in the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance at Deakin University. Before moving to Melbourne, Mr Haszler worked for over 20 years at ABARE in Canberra as a commodity, trade and policy economist.  His research supported Australia’s Uruguay Round negotiations and the management of Australia’s wool reserve price scheme. Having shifted to the university sector in 1991, he currently leads a collaborative research project between Deakin University, the Ministry of Agriculture and Primary Industries in Suva and the Secretariat of the Pacific Communities in Noumea. Mr Haszler was President of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in 1995, and his research expertise includes microeconomic policy, particularly agricultural, environmental and industrial policy.

Peni Moore
Peni is co-founder and creative director of Women’s Action for Change, based in Suva, Fiji. This women’s civil society organization aims to help prisoners and offenders understand the impact of their behaviour and teach nonviolent ways of dealing with conflict. The group has worked to change attitudes towards domestic violence and has campaigned for equality, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, ability or sexual orientation. Ms Moore has been involved in several public campaigns, such as Peace Day, and is an active member of the Playback Practitioners—a theatre group who use drama as an educational tool.

Wadan Narsey
Wadan Narsey is a well respected economist and Professor at the University of the South Pacific where he has worked for more than thirty years. He is also a regular columnist for the Fiji Times and a former Fiji parliamentarian. Reflected in his book, titled To Level the Playing Field, Professor Narsey’s interests encompass many of the most pressing economic, political and social issues effecting Fiji and the Pacific.

Tevita Natasiwai
Tevita Natasiwai is an officer in the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture and Primary Industries. Mr Natasiwai has published on the demand elasticities for Fiji’s small island economy, and on the microeconomic implications of the Fiji sugar shock.

Biman Prasad
Biman Chand Prasad is a well known regional economist in the South Pacific region and is currently Professor of Trade and Development in the School of Economics at the University of the South Pacific. Dr Prasad has previously worked with the World Hindu Council in uniting the Hindu leaders of Fiji. He holds a PhD from University of Queensland, and is most interested in development issues and trade and public policy.

Mahendra Reddy
Mahendra Reddy is an Associate Professor and Head of the School of Economics, and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics, at the University of the South Pacific. He holds a PhD in development economics from the University of Hawai’i and has published widely in the areas of applied economics, labour markets, agricultural economics, and development issues.

Joeli Veitayaki
Joeli Veitayaki is Associate Professor and Head of the School of Marine Studies, and Coordinator fo the Marine Affairs Programme at the University of the South Pacific. He was the Winner of the 2007 Vice-Chancellor’s Prize for Research Excellence for his research into sustainable development in coastal Pacific Island communities. Dr Joeli Veitayaki is also the director of the Pacific Island’s branch of the International Oceans Institute. He has published widely and holds a PhD in rural development from the Australian National University.

Updated:  7 March 2011/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement /Page Contact:  CAP Web Team