The Department of Pacific Affairs’ biennial State of the Pacific (SOTP) conference will take place on 4 and 5 September 2024 at The Australian National University in Canberra.

Registrations for this event will open in June.

A Pacific Research Program flagship event, the State of the Pacific Conference brings together leading academics, policymakers, business leaders, civil society representatives and the media to present on, discuss and debate current issues of interest concerning the Pacific Islands region. SOTP 2024 will involve the presentation of new research and analysis from prominent Pacific figures and scholars and others deeply interested and engaged in the Pacific. It will generate discussion on the factors shaping our collective forward-looking research agenda on the Pacific Islands region.

The Pacific's Place in the World

The countries, territories and communities of the Pacific Islands have received increased attention lately, generating interesting discussions about how the region situates itself within, and relates to, the rest of the world. The theme of this year’s conference, The Pacific’s Place in the World, seeks to engage with evolving narratives constructed both within the Pacific, and by those outside the region, in terms of its own identity and its contribution to the defining global debates of our time: self-determination and decolonisation, climate resilience, migration and integration, and the elimination of inequality. Two keynote addresses will focus on particular self-determination journeys in the Pacific: one by President Moetai Brotherson of the government of French Polynesia, and the other by Theonila Roka Matbob, one of five female members of, and a minister in, the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Discussions will continue with two panels on self-determination, one on decolonisation and the other on processes seeking ‘external self-determination’. Two parallel streams of presentations will deal with numerous other issues, including: Pacific criminology; disability inclusion and equity; inclusive political systems; migration policy; geopolitics, one panel on external engagement and another on Pacific perceptions; AUKUS; digital connections to the world; environmental peacebuilding; education transformations; climate change mitigation; and challenges of cross-border displacement. We anticipate a focus on many different countries, territories and communities, including the Banaban and Rabi Islander communities of Kiribati and Tokelau; Bougainville; Fiji; Guam; Federated States of Micronesia; French Polynesia; Kiribati; New Caledonia; Papua New Guinea; Samoa and Solomon Islands.

Keynote Speakers

Elected by the Assembly of French Polynesia as the first Polynesian President of French Polynesia in May 2023, Moetai Brotherson grew up in French Polynesia, before gaining experience as a computer and telecommunications engineer in France, Japan, Germany and the USA. He returned to Tahiti over 20 years ago. In 2004, he joined the pro-independence Tavini Huira'atira party. From 2005 to 2008, he held the position of Head of French Polynesia’s Post and Telecommunications Department. From 2011 to 2013, he served as Chief of Staff to Vice President of French Polynesia Antony Géros. In 2014, he became a local councillor for Faa'a, the most populous district in the territory. He was elected to the National Assembly of France in 2017 and re-elected in 2022, and was also elected to the Assembly of French Polynesia in 2018 and 2023. In Paris, as a member of the National Assembly, he stood out for displaying his Polynesian language, shirts, tattoos and lavalava. When he became the youngest President of French Polynesia in May 2023, he resigned from the National Assembly. Mr Brotherson is known for his outspoken nature, consensus-building approach, listening skills, humanist values, and ‘quiet force'. He is passionate about photography, writing and new technologies, he is a chess player and a former rugby stalwart. He advocates a referendum on self-determination for French Polynesia to be held by the 2030s, for reparations to be made for nuclear testing, and for Papeete to be included in the discussions on France's Indo-Pacific strategy. He supports imposition of a moratorium being on the exploitation of the seabed of French Polynesia, and for resources to be pooled with the Oceanians.

An elected member, since 2020, of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) for the Ioro constituency (which includes the derelict site of the previous giant Panguna copper and gold mine), Theonila Roka Matbob has the distinction of being one of only five female members, and only two that represent any of the ABG’s 33 single-member (‘open’) constituencies, rather than one of the 3 regional constituencies each reserved for 1 female and 1 (male) former combatant representatives. Currently Minister for Community Government, she has been one of the 14 ABG ministers since her 2020 election, and in 2024 is one of 3 female Cabinet members. In her very early years, she grew up during the Bougainville conflict. Since 2020 she has been the lead complainant in an ongoing significant case initiated under an OECD treaty, with support of the Melbourne Human Rights Law Centre, against mining giant, Rio Tinto, till 2016 majority shareholder in Bougainville Copper Ltd, the operator of the Panguna mine, 1972-1989, alleging serious human rights and environmental abuses.

The 2024 SOTP will be opened by the Hon Pat Conroy MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

Discussing AI, Automated Systems, and the Future of War Seminar Series

Experts agree that future warfare will be characterized by countries’ use of military technologies enhanced with Artificial Intelligence (AI). These AI-enhanced capabilities are thought to help countries maintain lethal overmatch of adversaries, especially when used in concert with humans. Yet it is unclear what shapes servicemembers’ trust in human-machine teaming, wherein they partner with AI-enhanced military technologies to optimize battlefield performance. In October 2023, Dr Lushenko administered a conjoint survey at the US Army and Naval War Colleges to assess how varying features of AI-enhanced military technologies shape servicemembers’ trust in human-machine teaming. He finds that trust in AI-enhanced military technologies is shaped by a tightly calibrated set of considerations including technical specifications, namely their non-lethal purpose, heightened precision, and human oversight; perceived effectiveness in terms of civilian protection, force protection, and mission accomplishment; and, international oversight. These results provide the first experimental evidence of military attitudes for manned-unmanned teams, which have research, policy, and modernization implications.

About the speaker
Lieutenant Colonel Paul Lushenko,
 PhD is an Assistant Professor and Director of Special Operations at the US Army War College. In addition, he is a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member, Senior Fellow at Cornell University's Tech Policy Institute, Non-Resident Expert at RegulatingAI, and Adjunct Research Lecturer at Charles Sturt University. He is the co-editor of Drones and Global Order: Implications of Remote Warfare for International Society (2022), which is the first book to systematically study the implications of drone warfare on global politics. He is also the co-author of The Legitimacy of Drone Warfare: Evaluating Public Perceptions (2024), which examines public perceptions of the legitimacy of drones and how this affects countries’ policies on and the global governance of drone warfare.

About the chair
Emily Hitchman is the Research Officer on the Anticipating the Future of War: AI, Automated Systems, and Resort-to-Force Decision Making project. Emily is a PhD scholar at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre focussing on the history of the Glomar (‘neither confirm nor deny’) response in the national security context. She is also a 2023 Sir Roland Wilson Scholar, and has appeared on the National Security Podcast speaking about her research, and as a panellist at the 2022 Australian Crisis Simulation Summit speaking about the future of intelligence. Emily has worked professionally across the national security and criminal justice public policy space, including in law enforcement and cyber policy, and holds a Bachelor of Philosophy from The Australian National University.

This seminar series is part of a two-year (2023-2025) research project on Anticipating the Future of War: AI, Automated Systems, and Resort-to-Force Decision Making, generously funded by the Australian Department of Defence and led by Professor Toni Erskine from the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

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Amy King and Wenting He explore the enduring concept of 'self-reliance' (zili gengsheng) in Chinese political discourse over a century.


The idea of ‘self-reliance’ (zili gengsheng) has endured in Chinese political discourse for nearly a century, transcending profound changes in China’s political, economic, and strategic circumstances. While ‘self-reliance’ is frequently misinterpreted as economic isolation or autarky, we instead show that ‘self-reliance’ has always been comprised of three interlocking pillars: autonomy, interdependence, and order-shaping. These three pillars sit in tension with one another, and yet have accommodated and co-existed with one another since the earliest articulations of the idea. Drawing on discursive institutionalism and its understanding of ‘ideational resilience’, we argue that this tripartite structure, replete with internal contradictions, has enabled Chinese leaders since the Republican era to reinterpret and usefully deploy the idea of ‘self-reliance’. Our findings underscore the resilience of key Chinese foreign economic policy ideas; and the ideational logic driving Xi Jinping’s apparently contradictory pursuit of ‘technological self-reliance’, open global markets, and greater connectivity with the developing world.


About the speakers

Amy King is an Associate Professor in the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre at The Australian National University, and Deputy Director (Research) in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. She is the author of China-Japan Relations after World War Two: Empire, Industry and War, 1949-1971 (Cambridge University Press, 2016). The holder of an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship and a Westpac Research Fellowship, she leads a team researching China’s role in shaping the international economic order.

Wenting He is a PhD candidate in International Relations at The Australian National University. Her PhD project investigates how China’s ambiguous understanding of market-state relations has shaped its interpretations of economic crises and subsequent engagement with international economic order. Her recent publications unpack the constructive ambiguity of national interest in the context of U.S.-China relations.

About the chair

Wesley Widmaier is a Professor of International Relations at The Australian National University. His research addresses the interplay of wars, crises, and change – and the ways in which stability can cause instability, a concern that spans International Political Economy and International Security debates. He is the author of Presidential Rhetoric from Wilson to Obama: Constructing Crises, Fast and Slow (Routledge, 2015) and Economic Ideas in Political Time: The Rise and Fall of Economic Orders from the Progressive Era to the Global Financial Crisis (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Previously he was a Section Chair of the International Political Economy section of the International Studies Association.

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This seminar series is part of a research project on How China Shapes the International Economic Order, generously funded by the Westpac Scholars Trust and the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, and led by A/Professor Amy King from the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

From heart-to-heart chats to 'national conversations', dialogue is often held up as a model of responsible and productive interaction. Yet at times, calls for more dialogue seem to mask monological presuppositions that 'everyone' will end up agreeing to the same thing.

In this talk, Professor Matt Tomlinson examines the different meanings of monologue and dialogue and the ways they are related in political and religious speech. Drawing on detailed and long-term ethnographic research in Fiji, Samoa, and Australia, he describes the ways in which political and religious speakers make claims about what counts as dialogue, who gets to participate, and what happens when dialogue fails to take shape or falls apart. Examples come from diverse contexts ranging from casual kava-session conversations to formal chiefly oratory and from spirit mediums’ dialogues with the dead to preachers’ assertions of what they consider universal truths. In examining the relationship between monologue and dialogue, Matt explores themes of challenge, vulnerability, consensus, and commitment. Ultimately, monologue and dialogue can be seen as always co-present tendencies in particular political and religious speech genres.



6-7pm Academic Lecture

7-7.30pm Networking drinks & canapes


About the Speaker

Matt Tomlinson is Professor at the School of Culture, History and Language in the College of Asia and the Pacific.

He is a sociocultural anthropologist who studies the relationship between language, politics, and religious ritual. His work focuses on how people organise themselves to communicate with 'extrahuman' figures (including God, ancestors, and spirits) and what social effects such ritual communication has.

Matt's diverse research interests encompass various aspects of Oceania, including Fiji, Samoa, and Australia. He delves into language, culture, religion, ritual, theology, Christianity, and spiritualism.

Read more about Matt's profile here.


Professorial Lecture Series

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



Join DPA Doctoral Candidate Kevin Pullen as he presents his Thesis Proposal Review on the partial implementation of the BPA.

Please note that this is a hybrid event. For online attendance please sign up to obtain the Zoom link. Access link will be delivered via email upon registration.

The Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) ended the most serious and costly conflict in the Pacific since the end of the Second World War. An example of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), the BPA is a detailed and complex set of arrangements. These arrangements include provisions for demilitarisation and the certification of weapons disposal, territorial autonomy and a referendum on Bougainville’s long term political future. In the 23 years since the agreement was signed, peace within the Autonomous Region of Bougainville has, for the most part, been sustained. But what might explain this absence of conflict, and to what degree has the implementation of the BPA achieved its stated goals?

In this seminar, Kevin will outline the direction of his proposed research, that will draw extensively on his experience and observations supporting the Bougainville peace process, to examine how the design of the BPA has impacted implementation, and the likely impact this could have on the risk of civil war recurrence.

Event Speakers

Mr Kevin Pullen
PhD Scholar

Kevin has lived and worked in Papua New Guinea for more than a decade.

China, Development and International Order Seminar Series

This seminar examines the Soviet occupation of Northeast China (Manchuria) and Nationalist China’s industrial reconstruction efforts in the years following Japan's defeat in World War II. During the Second Sino–Japanese War (1937–1945), China’s Nationalist government cultivated heavy industry SOEs in the inland region. Following Japan’s surrender, the Soviets initially occupied Manchuria, extracting copious industrial equipment from Angang and other Japanese enterprises. Despite this, Manchuria retained superior industrial facilities compared to other parts of China. After the Soviet retreat in the spring of 1946, the Nationalist government consolidated and restructured formerly Japanese enterprises into large-scale Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including Anshan Iron and Steel Works (Angang). The Nationalists partly reconstructed these SOEs by employing resident Japanese engineers while building on their experience running SOEs in the inland region and sending for Chinese managers and engineers from inland. The Japanese and Nationalists thus unintentionally provided the foundations for the Chinese Communist Party’s socialist industrialization after 1948. In this seminar, Koji Hirata will reflect on how this moment of post-war industrialisation shapes our understanding of development, international order, and developmental states in world history.

About the speaker
Dr. Koji Hirata is a research fellow in the School of Philosophical, Historical, and International Studies at Monash University. After graduating from the University of Tokyo, he completed his M.Phil in modern Chinese history at the University of Bristol. He then spent several years in Taiwan, China, and Russia, studying the Chinese and Russian languages, before moving to California to do his Ph.D. in history at Stanford University. He was a Research Fellow (JRF) at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge before coming to Monash. Koji’s research touches on modern China, Japan, and Russia/Soviet Union with broader implications for the global history of capitalism and socialism. His first book, Making Mao's Steelworks: Industrial Manchuria and the Transnational Origins of Chinese Socialism will be published by Cambridge University Press in July 2024.


About the chair
Amy King is Associate Professor in the Strategic & Defence Studies Centre at The Australian National University, and Deputy Director (Research) in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs. She is the author of China-Japan Relations after World War Two: Empire, Industry and War, 1949-1971 (Cambridge University Press, 2016). The holder of an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship and a Westpac Research Fellowship, she leads a team researching China’s role in shaping the international economic order.


This seminar series is part of a research project on How China Shapes the International Economic Order, generously funded by the Westpac Scholars Trust and the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, and led by A/Professor Amy King from the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please contact the event organiser.

Join Dr Mercy Masta as she will explore strategies for involving men in supporting women's leadership in the Pacific.

Please note that this is a hybrid event. For online attendance please sign up to obtain the Zoom link. Access link will be delivered via email upon registration.

Mercy Masta will be presenting on a new research paper which delves into strategies for involving men in supporting women's leadership in the Pacific. It stresses the need for deliberate engagement with men and fostering critical reflection on privilege. The research was published by Australia Awards Women Leading and Influencing (WLI) and co-authored by experts from La Trobe University and the Pacific region, the paper offers practical recommendations to effectively include men in gender equality efforts while cautioning against counterproductive approaches. The study addresses the pressing issue of gender inequality in the Pacific, particularly concerning high rates of gender-based violence and low levels of women's political representation.

Event Speakers

Mercy Masta
Campus Vistor

Dr Mercy Masta is a Pacific Visiting Fellow with the Department of Pacific Affairs at ANU.

Join our panel discussion about the 2023 New Zealand election and its impact.

Want to know more about the recent New Zealand election? Join our exceptional panel of Aotearoa New Zealanders as they unpack the ‘why’ and ‘what next' of the 2023 general election and what it could mean for Pacific countries and people.

The evening includes a brief background of the recent election, a facilitated discussion among three outstanding New Zealand academics based in Australia, and a Q&A session.


Professor Dominic O’Sullivan (Te Rarawa, Ng­āti Kahu) is Professor of Political Science at Charles Sturt University, adjunct professor at Auckland University of Technology, and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society Te Ap­ārangi.

Dr Areti Metuamate (Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa ki te Tonga, Ngāti Haua) is an educationalist and Vice Warden at Ormond College, University of Melbourne

Dr Kerryn Baker is a Research Fellow in the Department of Pacific Affairs at The Australian National University.

Facilitated by Jayden Evett, a PhD candidate and New Zealand studies specialist with the Department of Pacific Affairs.

NOTE: this is a hybrid event. For online attendance please sign up to receive the Zoom link. Pre-event canapes will be held in the atrium from 5.30pm. 

Join three Francophone emerging scholars for a fascinating panel which covers France’s strategy in the Indo-Pacific.

Please note that this is an in-person event.

French territories in the Pacific Ocean are often under-analysed in Anglophone settings. Join three Francophone emerging scholars for a fascinating panel which covers France’s strategy in the Indo-Pacific as it pertains to the Pacific region; France’s role in reconciliation in New Caledonia; and the geopolitics of French Polynesia.


Clara Filippi is a Nouméa-born PhD candidate, descendant of convicts sent to New Caledonia, with a Caledonian mother and European father. After studying Social and Political Sciences and International Relations in Quebec and Europe, she is now pursuing her doctoral degree at UCLouvain. In her thesis, she studies reconciliation processes and memory, as well as the (non-) transmission of recent history (period call “Events”) in New Caledonia. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the ANU.

Raihaamana Tevahitua has degrees in geopolitics and public law. He has worked in the export and tourism sectors. His interests include overseas para-diplomacy, island development, climate and environmental issues, technological advances, multifaceted security and strategic competition. He aims to promote the interests of the people of Oceania in the contemporary strategic context.

Marvin Girelli is a PhD candidate at the University of French Polynesia. Marvin's work focuses on the French presence in the South Pacific after the nuclear tests; his field of research includes History, and International Relations.

This seminar will discuss Bougainville's delayed post-referendum process, ABG's push for independence, consultations & disagreements.

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

The referendum for Bougainvilleans on Bougainville’s future political status, 23 November to 11 December, saw 97.7 per cent vote for independence and 1.7 per cent for ‘greater autonomy’. The referendum result was not binding on PNG, but neither was the referendum purely advisory or consultative for PNG. Instead, the Bougainville Peace Agreement (BPA) and PNG Constitution mandate a three-stage post-referendum decision making process in relation to the results - mandatory consultation between PNG and the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG), then decision-making by the PNG Parliament, with the possibility also arising of any ‘differences’ about the referendum being referred to a three stage inter-government dispute resolution process. Unlike the BPA provisions on weapons disposal, autonomy, and actual conduct of the referendum, the BPA contains no provision on either incentives for implementing the post-referendum decision-making arrangements, or a time-table within which they should operate. Despite general agreement before the referendum that post-referendum consultations should begin very soon after the referendum, they in fact did not start for 18 months, in May 2021. Despite hopes of ABG Leaders being raised in the first two consultation meetings that PNG was close to agreeing the ABG demand for early recognition of Bougainville independence, by the third meeting, in December 2021, it was clear agreement was not close, and the ABG declared the consultations over. The focus of effort then shifted to discussion of how a decision would be reached on the referendum results, and officials negotiated the terms of an agreement signed by the leadership in April 2022 – the Era Kone Covenant – which envisaged the two governments agreeing on how the results would be tabled in the PNG Parliament and a decision made on the results. Over a year later, with no agreement reached on those matters, the PNG Minister for Bougainville Affairs made a statement to the Parliament on 13 June 2023, on the next steps, which should see the results tabled later in 2023, and after a Parliamentary Committee conducts a nation-wide ‘awareness and consultation’ process, debate and a decision by Parliament would be possible in 2024. The ABG has made strong criticisms of aspects of the minister’s proposals.

This seminar will discuss: why the post-referendum decision-making process began so long after the referendum: the ABG position on independence advanced in the consultations; why the ABG is seeking PNG agreement to Bougainville independence; why the consultation meetings ended in December 2021; the basis for disagreements over the process since then; issues involved in both tabling of the referendum results in, and decision-making about the results, by the Parliament; why a decision of Parliament on independence for Bougainville can be expected in 2024.

Event Speakers

Anthony Regan

Professor Anthony Regan

Anthony is a constitutional lawyer who specialises in constitutional development and conflict resolution. He has been an adviser to Bougainville parties in the Bougainville peace process since 1994, and has been involved in the Solomon Islands and Sri Lanka peace processes, and the constitution-making process in Timor Leste.

We have heard enough now about US-China rivalry in Asia but not enough about its implications for the region. Join us and our three panelists to unpack this and more.

Chair and Speaker:

Chanintira na Thalang (Associate Professor, Thammasat University, Thailand): Unpacking Thailand’s Perceptions of and Position Amidst the US-China Rivalry


Ketian Vivian Zhang (Assistant Professor, Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University): China’s Gambit: The Calculus of Coercion

Wen-Qing Ngoei (Associate Professor of History, College of Integrative Studies, Singapore Management University): Singapore and U.S. Informal Empire in Southeast Asia

Speaker Profiles:

Chanintira na Thalang is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University. Her current research interests include ASEAN, Global IR, ethnic conflicts and security in Southeast Asia. She is the author of a number of books written in Thai. Her work has also been published in English in a variety of academic journals such as International AffairsNations and NationalismAsian SurveyElectoral Studies, the Journal of Current Southeast Asia, the Australian Journal of International Affairs and Asian Ethnicity. More recently, she co-edited a volume entitled, International Relations as a Discipline in Thailand: theory and practice published with Routledge in 2019 and two special issues published in The Pacific Review and Contemporary Southeast Asia in 2022.

Ketian Vivian Zhang is an Assistant Professor at George Mason University. She studies rising powers’ grand strategies, coercion, economic statecraft, and maritime disputes, with a focus on China. Her research has appeared in International SecurityJournal of Strategic StudiesJournal of Contemporary ChinaAsia Policy, and Journal of Indo-Pacific Affairs.

Wen-Qing Ngoei is Associate Professor of History at the Singapore Management University (SMU). He received a PhD in the history of U.S.-Southeast Asian relations at Northwestern University. Following postdoctoral stints at Northwestern University and Yale University, he taught history at the Nanyang Technological University before joining SMU. His first book, Arc of Containment: Britain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia (Cornell) traces how British decolonization strategies intertwined with anticommunist nationalism and anti-Chinese prejudice in Southeast Asia to usher the region from formal colonialism to U.S. hegemony. He has published in journals such as Diplomatic History and Journal of American-East Asian Relations.

Zoom information will be sent in the confirmation email.

For more information, contact the GRADNAS (The Graduate Research and Development Network on Asian Security) Coordinator, Dr. Stuti Bhatnagar at

This event is the eighth in the GRADNAS Seminar series of 2023 that showcases the cutting-edge academic research on Asian security by GRADNAS members. It presents an exciting opportunity for research exchange involving the network, providing a regular occasion for GRADNAS scholars to share and receive feedback on their ongoing and published research. Join us as we celebrate and showcase the excellent research by GRADNAS members and friends. Visit our website here.

If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please contact the event organiser.

At the height of the 2020 protests, the Thai government implemented vigorous online censorship to curb public criticism of the monarchy. In doing so the government cited its obligation to safeguard Thailand’s ‘cyber sovereignty’, which is the focus of this talk. I argue that this concept is constructed as a tool that can be wielded opportunistically to ensure regime security, which largely depends on the security of the throne. Notably, the Thai state’s construction of cyber sovereignty is modeled on territorial sovereignty: it has elements of territorial nationhood, insofar as cyberspace is treated as if it has a physical existence. However, this conceptualisation of cyber sovereignty is flawed: it elides the significant differences between these two forms of sovereignty, particularly regarding sovereign power and its limits. Despite its flawed nature, the Thai case is part of a wider ongoing debate about cyber sovereignty, whereby some countries promote tighter Internet controls while others support a more liberal cyber regime.


About the speaker

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is Associate Professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University. He is the chief editor of the online journal Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia. His forthcoming book, as editor, is titled Rama X: The Thai Monarchy under King Vajiralongkorn and will be released in the Summer by Yale University.


Join us for a talk on cyber sovereignty and government control of the internet, drawing on Thailand's online censorship during the 2020 protests. Pavin argues that cyber sovereignty is used as a tool for regime security and is flawed in its model of territorial nationhood. This discussion is part of a wider debate on internet control.

Does international affairs fascinate you? Gaining insights from industry representatives can help you clarify your career aspirations and make informed choices.

ANU Careers and the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs warmly invite International Relations, Diplomacy, Security Studies, Pacific Studies, and Political Science students to attend the upcoming panel discussion on future careers and meet potential employers. This is an opportunity to hear from a range of organisations (private sector, consulting, the UN and the Australian Government) so that you can better understand the job market and help you plan ahead for your career after study.

The speakers for the panel are:

*David Brown - Operations Manager at Systems Planning and Analysis

*Louisa Minney - Director in Advisory at PwC

*Maria Shumusti- Communications Officer at World Food Program (WFP), Fiji office; and

*A representative from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Agency

Gain insights from the speakers on what their organisations do and opportunities they offer students.

The ANU Careers team will also discuss how to find information about the job market and job search strategies including how to understand job advertisements.

Event Speakers

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Louisa Minney

Louisa is an experienced senior executive with over 20 years’ experience in facilitating strategic change across government, multi and bi-lateral organisations and academia in Australia and internationally.

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David Brown

David joined SPA Australia following a 24-year career as a Weapons Engineer with the Navy. David served on submarines and warships. His shore postings in capability development stimulated his interest in using operations research to provide mission-focussed, evidence-based decision support for complex and critical topics.

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Maria Shumusti

Maria finished a Master's in International Relations at ANU in 2020. Maria oversees the communications and media for WFP in the Pacific. She is currently running the Donate Responsibly campaign that informs people about why during disasters, not all goodwill does well and highlight effective and responsible ways to donate.

To welcome our new students and kick-off the new semester, please join us for our first Bell School ‘In conversation’ event with three practitioners across the disciplines of international affairs, security studies and Asia-Pacific politics.

Moderated by Professor Paul Hutchcroft from our Department of Political and Social Change, our speakers will share their perspectives on the importance of studying these disciplines in the context of today’s world, the importance of Asia and the Pacific region to Australia, their personal stories and advice on career paths.

This event is an opportunity for students to make new connections, expand their network, and learn about potential career paths.

Event Speakers

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Ridwaan Jadwat

Ridwaan Jadwat is First Assistant Secretary, Southeast Asia Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has held the role of Australia’s Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation since December 2018.

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Celia Perkins

Celia is Deputy Secretary Security and Estate Department of Defence (Formerly First Assistant Secretary Strategic Policy 2019-2021) and ANU alumna.

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Fiona Terry

Fiona is Head of the Centre for Operational Research at International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC) in Geneva and PhD alumna from the ANU Department of International Relations.

Moderated by Dr Katrin Travouillon from our  Department of Political and Social Change, the panelists make two key arguments. Firstly, the term ‘interference’ is not confined to actions that challenge a regime’s leadership, but may also encompass acts of shoring up regimes that lack popular support. Secondly, China’s ‘non-interference’ rhetoric is not demonstrated in the context of Cambodia, where it has on multiple occasions, interfered to reinforce Prime Minister Hun Sen’s leadership.

To illustrate the above arguments, the discussants will touch upon the history of Beijing’s interference in Cambodia with a focus on areas where Hun Sen’s regime backs China’s geostrategic interests.

This panel discussion will examine China’s non-interference policy, taking Cambodia as a case study.

Event Speakers

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Sovinda Po

Sovinda is a PhD candidate in International Relations at Griffith University and a Senior Research Fellow at the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace. His research agenda evolves the relationship between China and mainland Southeast Asia and the strategic use of minilateral institutions by both major powers and small states.

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Dr Kearrin Sims

Kearrin is a critical development scholar trained in sociology and international relations. Through ethnographic research methods and extensive in-country fieldwork, Kearrin examines the uneven ways in which development projects and interventions are encountered and experienced by vulnerable communities.