Articles on Pacific Islands

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Nauru’s parliament would have been rebuilt in Queensland, but with less power. CdaMVvWgS/Wikimedia Commons

How the entire nation of Nauru almost moved to Queensland

In the 1960s, with the phosphate boom over and Nauru's economy in ruins, Australia offered to move the entire nation to Queensland's Curtis Island. But with no sovereignty on offer, the deal collapsed.
The recent arrests of nearly 1,500 protesters in Jayapura are part of a broader systematic oppression of Papuans by the Indonesian government. Reuters/Darren Whiteside

Finding a dignified resolution for West Papua

Solving the problem of West Papua in a dignified manner should involve not only Indonesian authorities but also Papuans and the international community.
The site of the hillfort of Vugala, northern Viti Levu island (Fiji). This was one of many hillforts in the area – home to a few hundred people according to reports from the 1840s – that were probably established around AD 1400 in response to conflict resulting from a food crisis that had come about as a result of an enduring fall in sea level. Patrick Nunn

Rise and fall: social collapse linked to sea level in the Pacific

Rising seas are one of the major concerns of Pacific Island nations, and looking at past sea-level change can help understand the future.
More frequent disasters – such as Cyclone Pam which struck Vanuatu this year – will leave Pacific islands struggling to recover. Edgar Su/Reuters

Pacific islands are not passive victims of climate change, but will need help

As Prime Minister Tony Abbott attends the Pacific Island Forum summit today, attention has again turned to how the low-lying islands will deal with global warming.
Marshal Admiral Yamamoto’s bunker in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, which was the wartime headquarters of the Japanese in the south-west Pacific. AAP/Lloyd Jones

Remember the Pacific’s people when we remember the war in the Pacific

The Pacific War played out as a colonial war in the Pacific. It was brutal for non-combatant civilians in its path, and its impact epitomised the dehumanising capacity of both war and colonialism.
An historian reading the government White Paper on developing northern Australia will realise we’re actually heading all the way back to the 1890s. andrew matthews/Flickr

Northern development plan shows Australia’s fraught vision of our tropics

The federal government's recent White Paper on developing northern Australia has disturbing echoes of the 1890s, a time when unbridled capitalism and indentured labour developed the North.
Australian has moved swiftly to fly relief aid and personnel to Vanuatu but has been less responsive to Pacific Islanders’ pleas to act on climate change. AAP/Dave Hunt

Vanuatu disaster exposes limits of Australian internationalism

While Australia’s leaders express concern for the people of Vanuatu, the welfare of poor states is a commitment from which Australia is walking away.
Monitoring fishing vessels could be a growth industry in the tiny Pacific island nations that govern the world’s largest tuna fishery. AAP Image/Xavier La Canna

The Pacific islands ‘tuna cartel’ is boosting jobs by watching fish

A tiny handful of Pacific island nations control more than 50% of the world's tuna fishery, and their efforts to monitor international fishing vessels are set to become a major source of jobs.
Just over a decade ago this boy posed in front of a mound of weapons handed in during a gun amnesty in the Solomon Islands. Today he lives in a nation that is gun-free by law. AAP/Military Public Affairs/W02 Gary Ramage

The Pacific region lives up to its name with disarming success

One sprawling region stands apart for having largely avoided, and at times even reversed, the steady global proliferation of illegal firearms and death by gunshot.
A Fijian election officer shows a ballot to scrutineers at the 2006 election. Last month’s election resulted in a stronger vote for female MPs. AP Image/Peter Williams

Fiji’s women speak up in growing numbers inside parliament

In a region that has long had the worst representation of women in politics in the world, Fiji’s recent election delivered some good news: one in seven Fijian MPs are women, while the parliament now has…
Robinvale footballers have been recruited into an active campaign to heal community divisions, which includes playing an annual Harmony Match. Facebook/Robinvale Football Netball Club

A world away from the MCG, every round is multicultural round

Standing in the social rooms of Robinvale Football Netball Club on presentation night is perhaps like standing in any sports club in regional Australia when their vote count is on. There are the usual…

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