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The AAAPS holds biennial conferences. The first AAAPS conference "Australia in the Pacific - the Pacific in Australia" was held in January 2006 at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The second AAAPS conference "Oceanic Connections" was held in April 2008 at the Australian National University (ANU). The next conference will be held in April 2012 and hosted by the University of Wollongong in New South Wales.
1st AAAPS Conference: 24-27 January 2006
The first AAAPS conference was held from 24-27 January at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, representing history, anthropology, politics, health, museums, galleries and cultural heritage, theatre and dance, literature, cultural studies, and archives. The four day conference showcased Australian excellence in disciplinary and interdisciplinary humanities research, scholarship and tertiary teaching about the Pacific Islands and included the formal launch of AAAPS. The conference developed into a forum for debate, collaborative projects and new directions in the presentation and preservation carried out by archives, museums and galleries as well as research and teaching in universities. The conference had a national focus and researchers and teachers as well as institutions, repositories, organizations, government and non-government agencies and independent scholars were represented from six states and territories. Dr Prue Ahrens (Griffith) organised the QPACifika program, Dr Susan Cochrane (UQ) the “Hunters and Collectors” panels and Prof Margaret Jolly (ANU) the postgraduate forum. The conference was hosted by the Centre for Social Change Research at QUT and held at the Carseldine campus, Brisbane. Major funding was provided by ICEAPS, the ARC Asia Pacific Futures Network and QUT. The conference convened by Dr Max Quanchi and Ms Samantha Rose.
2nd AAAPS Conference: 17-19 April 2008
The 2nd conference was held at the ANU in 2008. Dr Katerina Teaiwa was a co-organizer with Professor Stewart Firth, Head of the Pacific Centre, and Professor Margaret Jolly, Head of the Gender Relations Centre. This was a very successful event, attracting one hundred and forty registrants, eighty-five presenters and a vigorous program of cultural activities and dance performances. The conference commenced with a welcome to country by Ngunnawal elder Louise Brown. It was then formally opened by the Hon Duncan Kerr, Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs. The conference was punctuated by a series of exceptional keynote speakers: Dame Carol Kidu, the only female Member of Parliament in Papua New Guinea who spoke about the contemporary challenges for community development in Papua New Guinea; Professor Matthew Spriggs of ANU who explored Oceanic connections in deep time through the fascinating lens of Pacific prehistory and Ralph Regenvanu, Director of the National Cultural Council of Vanuatu, who spoke on kastom economi there and the threat to sustainable development occasioned by land speculation and real estate development by expatriates, including Australians, on coastal Efate and Santo. There was also an excellent plenary panel on undergraduate and graduate teaching in Pacific Studies which involved speakers from the ANU, the Queensland University of Technology, University of the South Pacific, Auckland University, and the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. The program ranged widely over topics of boundaries, environment, economies, education, governance, ideas and practices, performances, representations and subjectivities. Two recent films about Papua New Guinea were presented: Martin Maden's Crater Mountain Story and Verena Thomas' Papa Bilong Chimbu, the latter with the director present for discussion. The Pacific spirit and style of the conference was notable from the poignant opening ceremonies through several book launches to the last farewells. The conference was funded by the Pacific Centre and the Asia-Pacific Futures Research Network, Central and Pacific nodes, and by the fees of the participants. Many of the volunteers in this conference were students in the PASI 2001 Learning Oceania course. 3rd AAAPS Conference: 2010 The 3rd conference will be held in Melbourne, Victoria in 1010.