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Below is a list of our past conferences. Please click on a title to view.
2008 Conference: "Oceanic Connections" - the second AAAPS Conference, Coombs Building and Coombs Extension, ANU, Canberra, April, 2008.
Conference Report (pdf)
Conference Report (html)
Conference Program (pdf)
Conference Program (html)
About the conference
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.
2006 Conference: "Australia in the Pacific – the Pacific in Australia" - the first AAAPS Conference, Carseldine Campus, Brisbane, QUT, January, 2006.
About the conference
The five day Conference showcased Australian excellence in disciplinary and interdisciplinary humanities research, scholarship and tertiary teaching about the Pacific Islands and included the launch of AAAPS (the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies) an initiative to promote the teaching and study of the Pacific in Australian universities. 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 of QUT, Brisbane.
The newly elected Executive Committee of AAAPS, Carseldine Campus, QUT January 2006. (Photo; Rod Ewins)
Aims and Intended Outcomes:
Aims of the conference (as stated in application for ICE-APS funding)
1. To enhance Australia’s international reputation in the field of Pacific Island Studies
2. To facilitate collaborative undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in Australian and regional universities and to review current teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in Australian universities
3. To review and consider possibilities for cross-discipline and multi-disciplinary teaching approaches
4. To host the founding/inaugural meeting of the Australian Association for the Advancement of Pacific Studies (AAAPS)
1. Interim Executive meeting, AGM and formal foundation of AAAPS
2. A collaborative, cross-institutional, multi-disciplinary conference about Pacific Studies in Australian universities and centres
3. A network between researchers, independent scholars, undergraduate and postgraduate teachers, professional associations and institutions
4. A regional linkage
5. A refereed and peer-reviewed publication for distribution to all universities, associations, and institutions in the region The outcomes were successfully achieved.
The conference also achieved a rewarding collegiality and shared experience among groups not normally linked in a single conference, and notably from beyond the university sector, including art/performing artists, independent scholars, centres and organizations, and institutions (galleries, museums and archives). In this busy but informal atmosphere, undergraduate and postgraduate teachers and students mingled with practitioners, researchers, gallery and museum directors and independent scholars. Although the conference was specifically targeted for Australian-based scholars working on the Pacific, an underlying theme of the conference as it progressed was the need to establish stronger regional links, and links with Australia’s Pacific communities. The publication of some conference papers will occur on EPrint (QUT’s electronic document library) and at the AAAPS General Meeting it was proposed the publication of the eight conference plenary papers become the first issue of the proposed AAAPS electronic journal. Three books were also launched at the conference; Tony van Fossen "Pacific futures", Prue Ahrens (ed), "Tour of paradise" and Max Quanchi and John Robson, "Historical dictionary of discovery and exploration in the Pacific Islands". The film 'The land has eyes' was also screened.
Conference highlights and principal activities
There were 32 delegates who did not present a paper, seven booksellers and nine student volunteer helpers from QUT’s Pacific Studies program. Media Publicity QUT’s Media Relations Office issued two press releases (10th January and 23rd January) and 53 email and FAX messages to identified recipients and this led to items in the Courier-Mail (18th January) and Bayside Star (25th January), and a series of interviews with delegates conducted by Radio Australia for the “In the loop" program. Notices advertising the conference also appeared in professional association newsletters, on-line newsletters and several list-servers that focus on Pacific Studies.
Difficulties: No difficulties were encountered in the planning and operation of the conference, other than the untimely absence, due to injury, for much of the conference of the Convenor, Dr Max Quanchi. In his absence Ms Samantha Rose, a PhD student at QUT, became effectively the co-convenor, and took over the main organizational tasks with the help of Ms Chanel Hopkinson, Administrative Officer of the Centre for Social Change Research, the host institution at QUT. Prof Grant McCall, (UNSW) interim President of AAAPS, Prof Margaret Jolly (ANU), Dr Susan Cochrane (UQ) and A/Prof Clive Moore (UQ) took on other convenor roles as they arose.
One difficulty was the late announcement, even on the day they were to present, by paper presenters that they were not going to attend, or in some cases not informing the organizers at all. This led to several program changes being announced on the opening day and updates being released each morning. Evaluations were received from 32 delegates.
The responses to nineteen questions regarding the venue, timing, program and other matters were in the main positive or very positive.
Financial Acquittals: The conference was supported by ICE-APS (the federally-funded International Centre of Excellence in Asian and Pacific Studies), The Asia Pacific Futures Research Network (APRFN), the Centre for Social Change Research (QUT), the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC) and QPACifika (a Southeast Queensland Pacific Art and Performing Arts project). A very small operating loss was covered by the Centre for Social Change Research, QUT Carseldine.
Max Quanchi and Samantha Rose , Co-convenors
In the News: