ANU DPA Bougainville Independence Referendum Symposium

Event details

SSGM Event

Date & time

Thursday 10 October 2019


Australian Centre for China in the World Auditorium, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU
ANU Canberra


Anthony Regan and others



On 23 November 2019, an unprecedented referendum will take place in Bougainville and Papua New Guinea, the culmination of more than 20 years of work towards peace. Bougainvilleans will be asked whether they wish to remain an integral part of Papua New Guinea, but with enhanced autonomy, or to become an independent nation. There are great uncertainties about the referendum, its immediate aftermath and what kind of future may await Papua New Guineans and Bougainvilleans, whatever the result may be.

In this symposium we will hear from players in the political and legal processes that have led to the referendum, as well as influential community voices. These speakers will be joined by some of Australia’s leading authorities on Bougainville politics and society. *

The symposium will engage with key questions such as:

  • What is the current state of play in the lead up to the referendum?
  • What are the expectations and concerns of the Papua New Guinean government and the Autonomous Bougainville Government?
  • Views from Bougainville civil society: what challenges and opportunities does the referendum pose?
  • How has Papua New Guinea approached the issue of Bougainvillean independence aspirations?
  • What are the implications of the referendum for Papua New Guinea?
  • What are the economic implications of independence or enhanced autonomy, for Papua New Guinea and for Bougainville?

The Australian launch of a new publication by DPA’s Anthony Regan – The Bougainville Referendum: Law, Administration and Politics – will take place during the catered lunch break.

*The exact speaker line-up for this symposium is yet to be finalised. Registered attendees will be updated about participants coming from Papua New Guinea as they are confirmed.

This event is funded by the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Pacific Research Program

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