PANEL DISCUSSION: Anticipating the first Solomon Islands elections since RAMSI

Event details

Panel discussion

Date & time

Friday 22 February 2019


Hedley Bull Theatre 2, Hedley Bull Centre (130), Garran Road, ANU


James Batley, Dr Transform Aqorau, Dr Kerryn Baker, Dr Terence Wood



Solomon Islands will hold national elections on 3 April 2019; the first since the departure of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) in June 2017.

In the lead up to the election the Department of Pacific Affairs (DPA) will be hosting a panel which will include distinguished guest Dr Transform Aqorau and leading academic experts on Solomon Islands politics and governance.

The panel will discuss a range of issues such as electoral politics, the role of constituency development funds, election administration, security issues, the experience of women candidates and voters, and implications for the future.

DPA is the leading global centre for research on Pacific governance. During the elections DPA will be managing an observation project covering up to 16 constituencies. The project will be the second of its kind led by DPA in Solomon Islands, and the sixth of its kind in the Pacific region.


James Batley
James is a Distinguished Policy Fellow with DPA. From 1997-1999 he was Australia’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, and from 2004-2006 he served as the leader of RAMSI. He has held numerous other senior positions within the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) in Australia and internationally.


Dr Transform Aqorau
Transform is an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the University of the South Pacific, and a former Legal Advisor to the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat and Legal Adviser and Deputy Secretary in the Solomon Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Transform has authored various journal, magazine and newspaper articles and delivered papers and addresses at international seminars and conferences spanning more than 20 years. He received his PhD in Law from the University of Wollongong.

Dr Kerryn Baker
Kerryn is a Research Fellow in Pacific Politics with DPA. Her PhD thesis examined campaigns for parliamentary gender quotas in the Pacific Islands region. Her main research interests are electoral politics and electoral reform in Melanesia and the broader Pacific Islands region, with a particular focus on women’s political representation.

Dr Terence Wood
Terence is a Research Fellow at the ANU Development Policy Centre. He undertakes research on Melanesian politics, and his PhD research focused on voter behaviour in Solomon Islands.

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