R J May is an Emeritus Fellow of the University. He was formerly a Senior Fellow in the Department of Political and Social Change, RSPAS, and at various times Head of the Department of Political and Social Change, Convenor of the Division of Politics and International Relations, Associate Director of RSPAS, and Convenor of the Centre for Conflict and Post-conflict Studies, Asia Pacific, and acting Director, North Australia Research Unit. Prior to that he was Senior Economist with the Reserve Bank of Australia, Field Director of the ANU’s New Guinea Research Unit, and foundation Director of what is now the National Research Institute (NRI) in Papua New Guinea. On retiring in 2005, he served as Research Adviser to the NRI (under AusAID’s Advisory Support Facility) until 2008 and continues work on and in Papua New Guinea. He has published extensively on Melanesia and on Southeast Asia (particularly the Philippines and West Papua).
With the death of Grand Chief Sir Michael Somare – the man who led Papua New Guinea to independence in 1975 and became Papua New Guinea’s longest-serving member of parliament – the Pacific has lost