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The Australian National University

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

Pacific Islands update 2009


Tuesday 20 October
Pacific Island Update, Museum of Contemporary Art




HE Mr Kamlesh Kumar Arya
Mr Arya is the Acting High Commissioner of the Republic of the Fiji Islands to Australia. Prior to this Mr Arya was a Member of Parliament, representing Laucala Indian Communal Constituency. During this time he served on a Sector Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Order and represented Fiji Parliament at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Conference Round Table on Land. In 2007 he was appointed to the National Council for Building a Better Fiji. Mr Arya has played a large role in community service in Fiji and has a strong commitment to serving and empowering disadvantaged groups, fostering good race relations and practicing good governance.

Sharon Bessell
Sharon is a senior lecturer at the JG Crawford School at the Australian National University.  Her teaching and research focus on gender and policy and policy for children identified as vulnerable or at risk. Over the past decade Dr Bessell has worked on social policy issues in Southeast Asia, the Pacific and Australia with a range of organisations including Save the Children Sweden, UNICEF and AusAID.  Dr Bessell holds a PhD in Politics from Monash University.

Ravi Corea
Ravi Corea is a Director and Principal Consultant at Link Asea Pty Ltd - a niche consulting firm that specializes in the application of modern ICTs to Knowledge Management. He has been a consultant to the World Bank in the East Asia and Pacific Region since 2003, initially on work related to the Global Development Learning Network (or GDLN) and more recently, in research. His experience includes ten years in academic teaching and research, in Universities in Sri Lanka and the UK. Thereafter he moved to PricewaterhouseCoopers in Sri Lanka, where he was a Director and head of Management Consulting, until his move to Australia in 2005. He has worked in international development since 1998, and is committed to the ideal of effective and sustainable development.

Matthew Dornan
Matthew is a PhD candidate at the Resource Management in the Asia-Pacific program, based in the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific.  His PhD focuses on the impact that renewable technologies can have on the economics and energy security of electricity supply in Fiji, and on how institutional structures in the electricity sector influence investment decisions in generation technologies.  Matthew has previously worked in Fiji, Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu as part of an Australian Government technical assistance program.

Ron Duncan
Ron is a 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 previous role was as Foundation Executive Director of the Pacific Institute of Advanced Studies in Development and Governance at the University of the South Pacific.

Patrick de Fontenay
Patrick is an Adjunct Professor at the Crawford School of Economics and Government, Australian National University. He was a former Director of the IMF Institute and has remained active in the training of officials from ministries of economy and finance, and central banks, most recently from the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, the Solomon Islands and Papua-New Guinea. His teaching and research focus on financial markets and institutions.

Jenny Hayward-Jones
Jenny Hayward-Jones is Director of The Myer Foundation Melanesia Program at the Lowy Institute. Prior to joining the Lowy Institute Jenny was an officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for thirteen years, serving in the Australian missions in Port Vila and in Ankara, where she was Deputy Head of Mission from 2004 to 2007. She worked as Policy Adviser to the Special Coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands from its inception in July 2003 and in 2004 and was a member of the election monitoring delegation in Solomon Islands in 2001. Jenny holds a BA (Hons) in political science from Macquarie University; her Masters thesis for Monash University focused on governance and political change in Vanuatu.

Richard Herr
Richard taught at the University of Tasmania for more than thirty-five years and has held a variety of positions including Head of Department before he thought he retired in July 2008.  He now holds a Senior Lectureship in the Faculty of Law as well as an Honorary Research Associate’s position in the School of Government at the University of Tasmania.   He is currently also an adjunct professor at both the University of Fiji and at the Fiji Institute of Technology.  He earned a PhD in Political Science from Duke University in the United States and, during his academic career, he has published extensively on aspects of South Pacific affairs, Antarctic politics, parliamentary democracy, elections, and marine resource policy.

The Hon. Duncan Kerr SC, MP
Duncan Kerr SC has been the Federal member for Denison in Tasmania since 1987. In the Keating Government he held the positions of Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, later serving in the shadow ministry before being appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs in November 2007. Before his election to parliament Duncan practised as a barrister and has served as Crown Counsel for Tasmania and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of PNG.

Malakai Koloamatangi
Malakai joined the National Centre for Research on Europe, at the University of Canterbury, in 2003. He has taught at the University of Auckland, and worked for the New Zealand Parliamentary Services. He has also worked as a consultant in various areas in the Pacific. He has led several projects as part of the Tongan political reform process. Currently, he is completing community consultations on political terms and ideas to aid participation by Tongans in political dialogue and activity. As well as his extensive research interests and community involvement in New Zealand and Tonga, Dr Koloamatangi regularly contributes media commentary in both Australia and New Zealand on Pacific Island issues.

Peter Larmour
Peter is a Reader in the Public Policy and Governance program at The Australian National University. He is currently doing research on anti-corruption policies and improving the effectiveness of aid. Peter also teaches a number of courses on corruption, anti-corruption, and public sector management. He has written widely on politics and government in the Pacific. His PhD was on land policy in Melanesia and he taught at the University of Papua New Guinea during the 1980s.

Siope V. ‘Ofa
Siope V. ‘Ofa served under the Tongan Government for more than seven years. Siope is completing his PhD Research on the impact of WTO’s commitments on the credibility of Telecommunications regulatory reforms in Small Islands Developing States at the Crawford School of Economics and Government, the Australian National University. His PhD Research focuses on five Pacific Islands early telecommunications regulatory reforms – Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.

Fabia Shah
Fabia is a Senior Education Advisor with the Australian Agency for International Development in Canberra. She extensive field experience in the education sector with a specific focus on Asia and the Pacific including teaching and technical assignments in Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu. She has recently returned to AusAID after working with a range of international development agencies including the ADB, GTZ/KfW, the EU and the UN. Fabia’s areas of expertise also include gender and social inclusion. Fabia joins the Education Thematic Group (ETG) of AusAID following 3 years in Pakistan as AusAID Chief Program Adviser with responsibility for education.

Katerina Teaiwa
Katerina is from Fiji and is Pacific Studies Convener at the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific running the teaching program. Her research focuses on cultural policy and cultural industries in the independent Pacific; cultural approaches to Pacific regionalism; the Pacific diaspora; and phosphate mining history and culture in Kiribati and Fiji. She is a consultant with UNESCO on intercultural dialogue and sustainable development, and Austraining International and ANU Enterprises on the Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development program.

Siosiua 'Utoikamanu
Siosiua was appointed Minister of Finance in 2001. Prior to this appointment, he was Governor of the National Reserve Bank of Tonga since 1991. He has previously held positions with the Tonga Commodities Board, Central Planning Department. Siosiua 'Utoikamanu holds a Masters of Social Science in Development Finance from the University of Birmingham at the United Kingdom, a Masters of Commerce and Administration (Hons) from the Victoria University of Wellington.

Michael Wesley
Michael Wesley is the Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Previously he was Professor of International Relations and Director of the Griffith Asia Institute at Griffith University, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Hong Kong and Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China. Prior to this, he was the Assistant Director-General for Transnational Issues at the Office of National Assessments, and a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of New South Wales.

Sonya Woo
Sonya is a Social Development Specialist for the World Bank's Social, Environment and Rural Development Unit. She joined the Bank in 1999 and is currently on an extended term assignment from Washington, D.C., with the Bank's Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and Pacific Islands country office in Sydney. As a development practitioner, Sonya provides strategic, operational and analytical support to the Bank's Pacific client countries in the areas of social protection (specifically urban workfare, livelihoods and second chance schemes), community development (with a particular focus on gender, poverty and youth-sensitive aspects) and conflict management. Prior to this assignment, Sonya was working in the Bank's East Asia and Pacific Regional Vice Presidency.


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