The 2023 Myanmar Update aims to understand, celebrate, and explicate the Myanmar people’s resistance to the 1 February 2021 coup. The military’s violent crackdown on what was initially a peaceful popular uprising provoked a near-countrywide revolutionary movement, which has brought together an array of different political, ethnic, and religious groups fighting for the shared goal of ending military rule. While differences exist in objectives and strategies, the establishment of organisations like the National Unity Government (NUG) and the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), as well as the numerous other formal and informal alliances, has arguably created an unprecedented sense of unity among Myanmar’s diverse peoples and raised widespread hope that this time the struggle may succeed.    

The conference seeks to explore the complexities of the revolutionary struggle; the effects of the coup on the state and economy; and, the myriad ways in which the people in Myanmar are coping with deepening violence and poverty.

  • How has the coup and the popular response to it reshaped Myanmar politics?
  • How are new armed groups forming, and how are they sustained?
  • What has happened to the civil disobedience movement?
  • What are the social, economic, and psychological implications of continued violence?
  • How is the diaspora contributing to the revolution?
  • How can foreign governments and the international aid community best support resistance to dictatorship?

We aim to address these kinds of questions, among others, in this conference.

The conference will take place at The Australian National University on Friday 21 July – Saturday 22 July 2023.

The two-day conference will feature scholars and experts from Australia, Myanmar, UK, North America and around the regions.

There are also pre-conference events on Thursday 20 July that we will list on our conference program with more information:

Convening Committee

  • Cecile Medail - Visiting Fellow, Department of Political and Social Change, ANU,
  • Morten Pedersen - Board member, Myanmar Research Centre, ANU,
  • Yuri Takahashi - Lecturer and Convenor of the Burmese Program, ANU,
  • Samuel Hmung - Research Officer, Myanmar Research Centre, ANU,


The 2023 ANU Myanmar Update is supported by the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, the International Development Research Centre, Canada, the International IDEA, and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Conference Participation

We would love for you to join us in person, in the Auditorium, Australian Centre on China in the World Building #188 on the ANU Campus, on Friday 21 July and Saturday 22 July. 

The 2023 Myanmar Update will be live streamed via Zoom Events. Please note no Q&A from the online audience, and some sessions are in-person only, we apologies for this inconvenience.

Please register in-person and online tickets via Zoom Events. You will get both in-person and online tickets via Zoom Events. If you have any queries, or need assistance to register in the Zoom Eevents platform, please let us know. Email: 


Free of charge

  • Reception for the launch of exhibition and guest lecture (20 July 2023)
  • Pre-conference dinner for speakers, chairs and invited guests (20 July 2023)
  • Conference reception (21 July 2023)
  • Morning tea and afternoon tea (21 July 2023)
  • Afternoon tea (22 July 2023)
  • Lunch for speakers, chairs and organisers (21-22 July 2023)

Fees for general participants

  • Conference lunch (21 & 22 July) is proudly provided by the Australia Mon Association in Canberra: $10 per meal for participant.


Pre-conference Events (Thursday 20 July)

8.30am-4.30pm Early Career Researcher workshop (by invitation)

4.30-5pm Launch of Myanmar Update photo exhibition by Mayco Naing (Artist and Curator)

Venue: Auditorium Foyer, Australia Centre on China in the World Building 188, Fellows Lane, ANU

  • Introduction by exhibition curator Mayco Naing
  • Photo exhibition by Mauk Kham Wah and Mayco Naing
  • Video documentary -1 minute per day in the 60 days following the coup by M. (screening all day on 21-22 July only, CIW seminar room)

5-5.30pm Refreshments (for exhibition and guest address)

5.30-6.30pm Guest Lecture - De-‘Area Studies’-izing Burmese History: the African (and African American) ‘Burma” Experience in the Twentieth Century

Venue: Auditorium, Australia Centre on China in the World Building 188, Fellows Lane, ANU

  • Michael Charney, SOAS, University of London

7-8.30pm Preconference Dinner (by invitation) 

Day 1 (Friday 21 July)

Venue: Auditorium, Australia Centre on China in the World Building 188, Fellows Lane, ANU

9-9.30am Welcome

  • Welcome to the Country by Paul Girrawah House, First Nations Portfolio, ANU
  • Opening remarks by Helen Sullivan, Dean of the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

9.30-10.30am Keynote Address 

Chair: Nick Cheesman, ANU

  • H.E. Zin Mar Aung, Minister of Foreign Affairs, National Unity Government of the Union of Myanmar (online)
  • Discussant: Tun Aung Shwe, Representative to Australia of the National Unity Government of the Union of Myanmar

10.30-10.45am Morning Tea

10.45am-12.45pm Political Update

Chair: Andrew Selth, Griffith University

  • Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Ye Myo Hein, Wilson Center (online)

12.45-1.45pm Lunch Break

1.45- 3.15pm Panel 1: The Revolutionary Movement

Chair: George Lawson, ANU

  • Samuel Hmung and Michael Dunford, Australian National University - “Understanding Myanmar’s Civil Disobedience Movement”
  • Ellen, McMaster University, Canada - “Women's agency in armed struggles in Myanmar's Spring Revolution”
  • Lukas Nagel, Griffith University - “Creative resistance and nationalism among youth activists in post-coup Myanmar”

3.15-3.30pm Afternoon Tea

3.30-5pm Panel 2: Revolutionary Governance

Chair: Jane Ferguson, ANU

  • Gerard McCarthy and Kyle Nyana, Erasmus University - “Governing revolution: Post-coup insurgent social order in Chin State and Sagaing Region” (online)
  • Tay Zar Myo Win, Deakin University - “Emerging local governance in Anyar”
  • Khin Zaw Win, Tampadipa Institute - "Reimagining the goals of the Spring Revolution"

5-6.30pm Conference Reception (In-person only)

Venue: Auditorium Foyer, Australia Centre on China in the World Building 188, Fellows Lane, ANU

  • Promotion of Art Exhibition: How to quantify FEAR? by artist and curator Mayco Naing 

Day 2 (Saturday 22 July)

Venue: Auditorium, Australia Centre on China in the World Building 188, Fellows Lane, ANU

9.30-10.00am Book Launch: "Myanmar in Crisis" (In-person only)

  • Book author: Michael Dunford, Australian National University 
  • Discussant: Cecilia Jacob, Australian National University 

Book Sale - A limited number of books are available for sale for AUD $25 (card only).

10am-12pm Economic Update and Humanitarian Issues 

Chair: Paul Burke, ANU

  • Jared Bissinger, Independent analyst
  • Tom Kean, International Crisis Group
  • Anne Décobert, and Tamas Wells, University of Melbourne -“Myanmar’s humanitarian crisis and the conflict paradox for local aid organisations"

12-1pm Lunch Break

1-3pm Policy Panel & Closing Remarks (In-person only)

Chair: Morten Pedersen, UNSW Canberra 

  • Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Khin Zaw Win, Tampadipa Institute
  • Jared Bissinger, Independent analyst
  • Representative, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

3-3.15pm Afternoon Tea

3.15-4.45pm Burmese Language Roundtable: "Researching and reporting in post-coup Myanmar" (In-person only)

Venue: Seminar Room, Australia Centre on China in the World Building 188, Fellows Lane, ANU

Chair: Samuel Hmung, ANU

  • Swe Win, Myanmar Now 
  • Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung, University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Khin Zaw Win, Tampadipa Institute


မြန်မာဘာသာ စကားဝိုင်း၊ “အာဏာသိမ်းပြီးမြန်မာနိုင်ငံတွင် သုတေသနပြုလုပ်ခြင်းနှင့် သတင်းတင်ဆက်ခြင်း”

သဘာပတိ - Samuel Hmung (ANU)

  • ဦးဆောင်ဆွေးနွေးသူ - Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung (University of Massachusetts Lowell)ဆွေဝင်း (Myanmar Now)၊ ခင်ဇော်ဝင်း (Tampadipa Institute)

This Executive Education course has been postponed, due to circumstances beyond our control, until April 2024.

This tailored Executive Education course is recommended for anyone interested in increasing their knowledge and skills in Indigenous Diplomacy.

It is particularly recommended for those working in the Australian Government to deliver its Indigenous Diplomacy program, and will be useful to anyone working in or with First Nations communities.

The weaving of the mat is symbolic and identifies …. the preparation of a coming together of different people and communities. You have to weave the mat before you can sit on it. You have to make the relationships.
- Uncle Gabriel Bani, Wagadagam Elder

Course details

Dates: Mon 13 - Fri 17 November 2023.
Cost:  $3,650 per participant.
Deadline: Registrations close Tues 31 October 2023. Early bird registrations close Wed 11 October 2023.

This 5-day intensive course provides participants with opportunities to listen and learn from Indigenous Elders and authorities from a range of nations – Kaurareg (Thursday Island), Mawng (South Goulburn Island, NT), Ngambri (Canberra), Wiradyuri (Central New South Wales) and Yolngu (East Arnhem Land).

The participatory and immersive workshop is a unique opportunity to learn about the traditions and ongoing life of Indigenous sovereignties in Australia and their distinct ways of making diplomacy. The workshop includes extended sessions on diplomacy from each group of Elders, a session on Indigenous Youth Perspectives on Diplomacy, and seminars delivered by academics and experts on:

  • Indigenous Rights at the UN
  • Indigenous Trade & Investment
  • Indigenous Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The program also features a range of out-of-the-classroom learning activities: a public roundtable debate on The Voice; a trip to sites of significance to local Indigenous communities; a film screening; and social events.

See draft program pdf, in the attachments in the right column, and also at the bottom of this page.

Participants will be supported in translating their knowledge back to the workplace and sharing it with others. They will be asked to present short reflection notes at the end of the workshop.

Dhuwal workshop bukmakku limurruŋ Yolŋuw ga Balandaw. Ga limurr dhu marŋgithirr rrambaŋi dhiyakiyi yäkuw workshop-ku yurru Diplomacy-w. Yolŋu walal ga marrtji beŋur Thursday Island-ŋur, Canberra-ŋur, South Goulburn Island-ŋur ga beŋur East Arnhem Land-ŋur. Napurr dhu nhumalaŋgal melkum Yolŋuw dhukarr ga limurr dhu maḻŋ’maram rrambaŋin dhukarrnydja ga melgurrupan märrma’lil world-lil ga rrambaŋi djäma guŋga’yunamirr bawala’mirriŋur.

This workshop is for everyone. All of us learn together about Indigenous diplomacy in both traditional and contemporary platforms. The traditional owners of Thursday Island, Canberra, South Goulburn Island, and
East Arnhem Land will come to deliver the workshop. We will show you the ways in which two different worlds - Indigenous and non-Indigenous - work and help each other in many places.
- Aunty Joy Bulkanhawuy, Yolŋu Elder


Hero image: Yannima Pikarli Tommy Watson, Untitled, 2016. acrylic on Belgian linen, 151 x 244 cm. ANU Art Collection. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Craig Edwards in memory of Edmund Charles Edwards and Alan Edmund Edwards, teachers, 2018. Photo by Rob Little. Courtesy the artist and Yanda Art, Alice Springs.

Penny Wong with the 2022 cohort of Indigenous Diplomacy students.
Penny Wong with the 2022 cohort of Indigenous Diplomacy students.
Indigenous Diplomacy course 2022 - Welcome to Country
Indigenous Diplomacy course 2022 - Welcome to Country

DRAFT Program

Day 1 - Monday 13 November

Read more

8.30am - Gathering

9.00am - Welcome to Country

9.45am - Introduction to workshop

10.45am - Session 1 - Knowing each other well

12.00pm - Lunch

1.00pm - Session 2 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Ngambri Team

2.30pm - Afternoon tea

3.00pm - Session 3 - Indigenous rights at the UN

4.45pm - End of Day 1 teaching

7.00pm - The Voice: What next? (public event)

8.30pm - End of Day 1


Day 2 - Tuesday 14 November

Read more

8.45am - Gathering

9.00am - Session 4 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Yolngu team

10.30am - Morning Tea

11.00am - Session 5 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Yolngu team

12.00pm - Lunch

1.00pm - Session 6 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Mawng team

2.30pm - Afternoon tea

3.00pm - Session 7 - Indigenous trade & investment

4.00pm - Session 8 - Young Australians in International Affairs

5.30pm - End of Day 2

Day 3 - Wed 15 November

Read more

8.45am - Gathering

9.00am - Session 9 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Kaurareg team

12.00pm - Lunch

12.30pm - Bus tour - visit to local Indigenous sites

5.00pm - Return to Canberra

7.00pm - Social event (tbc)

10.00pm - End of Day 3

Day 4 - Thursday 16 November

Read more

8.45am - Gathering

9.00am - Session 10 - Indigenous Women's Diplomacy

10.30am - Morning Tea

10.45am - Session 11 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Wiradyuri team

12.15 - Lunch

1.00pm - Session 12 - Indigenous Intellectual Property

2.00pm - Session 13 - Diplomacy ceremony and wrap up with elders (yarning circle)

3.00pm - Afternoon tea

3.30pm - Session 14 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Mawng team - dance

5.15pm - End of Day 4 teaching

6.30pm - Indigenous stargazing tour and talk, including BBQ at Mount Stromlo

9.30pm - End of Day 4

Day 5 - Friday 17 November

Read more

8.45am - Gathering

9.00am - Session 15 - Indigenous Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

10.30am - Morning Tea

11am - Session 16 - Translating knowledge to work

12.30 - Lunch

1.30pm - Session 17 - Presentation, course evaluation and final wrap up

3.00pm - End of the course

Professorial Lecture Series 

This public lecture is the first in a series of four lectures that aim to celebrate our esteemed academics and showcase their areas of expertise in research and teaching.



While time is commonly considered a universal, objective fact of life, it is also an important political tool. The political significance of the actions and events it coordinates in establishing social order causes notions of time to differ both between nations and within them. After 1910, when Japan annexed Korea, changes in schools, the workplace, and public life began to become undergirded by the fast growing appeal of a capitalist cosmopolitanism and the symbolism of timepieces and leisure.

Professor Roald Maliangkaij explores the introduction of time management systems in Korea under Japanese colonial rule (1910–1945) and examines the impact of new holidays, hourly pay, and punctuality on workers, the general public, and tourists. Why and how were the new time systems and concepts promoted and adopted? What forms of resistance did they encounter? Answers to these questions inevitably foreground the experiences of urbanites, but Roald seeks to incorporate also the experiences of the rural population.



6-7pm Academic Lecture

7-7.30pm Networking drinks & canapes


About the Speaker

Roald Maliangkaij is a Professor at the School of Culture, History and Language in the College of Asia and the Pacific.

Roald specialises in Korean cultural industries, heritage preservation, performance, and fandom from the early 20th century to the present. He teaches and conducts research on popular culture in East Asia and is frequently asked to give talks on aspects of the Korean wave, including K-pop, advertising, consumption, fashion, and cinema.

Roald currently serves on the editorial boards of Korean Studies (Univ. of Hawai`i) and the Journal for Korean and Asian Arts (Korean National University of Arts).

Read more about Roald's profile here.


Please join PhD candidate Lauren Bland as she provides an update during her research journey.

Lauren's research delves into the evolving dynamics of partnerships for climate crisis resilience building in the Pacific region, with a specific focus on Aotearoa and its engagement with Pacific nations. Through critical analysis, it will aim to uncover the benefits and challenges of the Aotearoa-Pacific partnership and shed light on its impact on the Pacific’s capacity to build resilience against climate-related challenges. Central to this, is the examination of resilience discourse in climate and development policy frameworks, addressing the complexities and critiques surrounding this concept in a pluralist social landscape. This research is grounded in qualitative methods and seeks to contribute to a deeper understanding of building valuable partnerships for climate crisis resilience. It aims to provide policy recommendations for meaningful collaboration in the Pacific region, with a strong emphasis on climate justice and more profound Pacific engagement by Aotearoa. 

Event Speakers

Lauren Bland

Lauren Bland

Originally from Ngunnawal (Canberra) having moved to Aotearoa in 2014, Lauren Bland is a PhD candidate from the University of Canterbury based in Ōtautahi (Christchurch). She holds a BA in political science and media and communications and an MA focused on democracy and human rights development in Cambodia.

Please join PhD candidate Ms Leituala Kuiniselani Tago-Elisara as she provides an update during her research journey.

Leituala Kuiniselani Tago-Elisara’s doctoral research re-examines the Boe Declaration and security in the Pacific. It explores the application of the conceptual framework, A Malu i Fale e Malu i Fafo, and an indigenous methodology embedded in Pacific philosophies and epistemologies. The seminar will explore how using indigenous framing can help to decolonise a regional security framework that is relevant, responsive and resonates with Pacific people. This seminar will also highlight the challenges and practicalities facing researchers when conducting security studies research in the Pacific region. This mid-term review seminar will include reflections upon fieldwork, ahead of the data analysis and thesis write-up processes. Using examples from Fiji, Kiribati and Samoa, some key lessons and observations will be shared that may be of benefit to other scholars and researchers.

Event Speakers

Ms Leituala Kuiniselani Tago-Elisara
PhD Scholar

Leituala Kuiniselani Toelupe Tago commenced her PhD with DPA in 2020. She is a regional public servant with extensive leadership experience in the Pacific region.

Join us to explore the ongoing development and challenges of Pacific regionalism over the past decade.

Joel Nilon has spent the last 10 years working on issues that are at the heart of Pacific Regionalism. His presentation will explore the ongoing development and challenges of Pacific regionalism over the past decade, emphasising the significant issues Pacific Island Countries have united around, including climate change, ocean governance, environment and resource management, social inclusion, security, and economic issues. His presentation will also unpack the various shifts in framing and perspective, with a focus on the Blue Pacific Narrative, a strategic vision that grounds Pacific regionalism in the aspirations of Pacific peoples and their unique context, and calls for a more coherent, inclusive and impactful approach to regionalism. His presentation will also discuss why. despite the narrative's endorsement at the highest levels and efforts to integrate its principles across various sectors, the narrative has not yet achieved its full potential as a catalyst for deeper regionalism. Joel's presentation will conclude with recommendations for enhancing Pacific regionalism, focused around the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and the Review of Regional Architecture, to ensure that the region's development reflects the collective ambitions of its peoples.

Photo by Jovi Waqa on Unsplash

Event Speakers

Joel Nilon

Joel Nilon

Joel Nilon was a Policy Adviser at the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat for the past 9 years, during which time he also supported the Office of the Secretary General. He focused on driving and advancing the Pacific's strategic policy frameworks - including the Framework for Pacific Regionalism and more recently the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent.

Dyah Ayu Kartika addresses the impact of anti-gender movements on gender-related issues and policies in Indonesia and their broader implications for the country's democracy.

The fight for gender equality in Indonesia achieved substantial gains after the country’s transition to democracy began in 1998. However, such gains have prompted a backlash from conservative movements, and in particular from Islamist groups. Such groups oppose feminist values and agendas, and instead promote religiously conservative interpretations of gender roles. Islamist groups have mobilised against a range of gender-progressive laws and regulations, including a bill proposed in 2022 on sexual violence. Importantly, women-led alliances of conservative Islamist groups are at the forefront of opposition to feminist-inspired legal change. The backlash against gender activism is not isolated to Indonesia. Scholars argue ‘anti-gender movements’ have been growing all around the world. Anti-gender movements oppose emancipatory claims on gender, sex, and sexuality and cast such claims as a moral threats. The movements have recently gained prominence as part of a broader rise in right-wing populism and democratic backsliding around the globe. 

Against this backdrop, my doctoral research project asks: What explains the recent rise in women-led anti-gender activism in Indonesia, and what has been its impact on women’s rights in the country? How similar and how different is this form of anti-gender activism to what analysts observe in other parts of the world, and in particular other Muslim-majority countries? To answer these questions, the project will use counter-movement theory as the overarching analytical framework, emphasising the dynamic interplay between social movements, counter-movements, and the state. In doing so, this project will offer the first systematic investigation into the growing visibility of anti-gender movements in Indonesia, with a view to reflecting on how such movements contribute to, or are impacted by, broader problems of democratic regression.


Dyah Ayu Kartika (Kathy) commenced her PhD studies in February 2023. She previously worked as a research analyst in a Jakarta-based think tank, the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC). She was also part of the Indonesian fellows for New Mandala, an academic blog hosted by The Australian National University, to provide analysis on gender issues during Indonesia’s 2019 election.

We cordially invite you to an evening celebrating the highly anticipated launches of three extraordinary publications.

1. Islands of Hope: Indigenous Resource Management in a Changing Pacific 

Edited by: Paul D’Arcy, Daya Dakasi Da-Wei Kuan
Publisher: ANU Press

The first book to be launched, Islands of Hope, is a distinguished collection of essays that illuminates the indomitable resilience and strength exhibited by Pacific Island communities in the face of numerous challenges. Featuring the work of esteemed contributors from across the region, including many DPA staff and students, this volume offers a poignant glimpse into the lives and cultures of Pacific island nations. Join us as we acknowledge the authors’ work and celebrate their contributions to this publication.

2. Federated States of Micronesia's Engagement with the Outside World

Authored by: Gonzaga Puas
Publisher: ANU Press

Federated States of Micronesia's Engagement with the Outside World delves into the intricate history and relationships that have shaped the nation's engagement on a global stage. This book provides profound insights into the multifaceted interactions that have moulded the Federated States of Micronesia's position in the world.

3. The Cambridge History of the Pacific Ocean Vol 1&2

General Editor: Paul D’Arcy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Cambridge History of the Pacific Ocean comprises a comprehensive chronicle of the Pacific's illustrious past, present, and future. This magnum opus stands as a testament to the tireless efforts of its authors, who have meticulously crafted a comprehensive account of the region's history. The essays by various distinguished authors emphasise the impact of the deep history of interactions on and across the Pacific to the present day how the postcolonial period shaped the modern Pacific and its historians.

Please join us as we celebrate the launch of these three exceptional publications that traverse the history and future of the Pacific. This celebration will take place in the Coombs Tea Room HC Coombs Building, Australian National University on Tuesday 25 July from 5-7pm.

Light refreshments will be served.

Visiting Fellow, Professor Nina Nurmila presents her latest research “Re-reading fiqh from equal gender perspective in response to the high divorce rate in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia”, in a seminar organised by the ANU Indonesian Students’ Association.

Nina Nurmila is Professor of Gender and Islamic Studies at the State University in Bandung, Indonesia. She is well known both for her academic profile and as a female ulama (Islamic scholar). 


If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please contact

Since the passage of a new anti-terrorism law in 2018 that allows for preventative strikes against suspected terrorists, law-enforcement agencies in Indonesia have redoubled efforts for early detection of threats from violent extremism. Much of the emphasis has been on tracking and monitoring the propagation of extremist ideology as a pathway to violent behaviour. Some of these measures, such as the enforcement of ideology tests for civil servants and the arrest of political opponents on dubious terrorism charges have led to criticism about shrinking civic space in Indonesia.

A critical but often overlooked, element of early detection in the CT/CVE effort has been the deployment of Indonesia’s vast network of neighbourhood leaders for monitoring and surveillance. This paper examines how different parts of the Indonesian state mobilise neighbourhood leaders for CT/CVE and how these grassroots leaders respond. It draws on qualitative evidence from Surabaya, where the 2018 suicide bombings triggered a city-wide effort to task neighbourhood leaders with counter-terrorism surveillance. Early findings suggest that while these leaders can play a critical role in coordinating emergency response in moments of crisis, social constraints on their authority prevent them from playing a long-term role in detecting or reporting extremism. 


About the speakers

Sana Jaffrey is a research fellow at the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University.

Rofhani is an associate professor in the Department of Islamic Theology and Philosophy, Sunan Ampel State Islamic University (UIN Sunan Ampel), Surabaya, Indonesia.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a hybrid event and will take place in-person as well as on Zoom.

The Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC) has been operating for 20 years, a partnership between the ANU and the universities of Melbourne and Sydney, and mainly focused on records in languages that are otherwise under-represented on the web. The urgent task the PARADISEC focusses on is finding and digitising analog tapes that are at risk of loss, as there is a deadline of 2025 after which tapes will become unplayable. As they built the necessary structure to hold and describe these files, they also broadened the holdings to include manuscripts, photographs, film, dictionaries, text collections, and other representations of language or cultural performance. PARADISEC also holds a significant number of born-digital files arising from fieldwork over the past 20 years.

A major development over time has been the relationships that PARADISEC has established with agencies in the Pacific, like the Vanuatu Cultural Centre and the Solomon Islands National Museum, to support their digitisation programs and to return materials that were previously only held in Australia.

In this seminar Nick Thieberger will show how PARADISEC's new systems can increase access, permitting sub-collections to be delivered to local cultural agencies containing material relevant to that country. He will outline how PARADISEC works, some highlights of its Pacific collection, and how to find material in the collections.



Nick Thieberger, University of Melbourne

Nick Thieberger set up the Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre in the late 1980s, then worked at AIATSIS. His PhD research was in Vanuatu and his main focus has become finding, digitizing, and providing access to language records, primarily through the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC) of which he is Director. He currently also leads the development of Nyingarn, a platform for manuscript sources on Australian languages. He is an Associate Professor in the School of Languages and Linguistics, University of Melbourne.