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Curtin University
Australia-Asia-Pacific Institute (AAPI)

AAPI 2017 Seminar Series


2017 Seminar Series

Coordinated by Graham Seal and Sue Summers

Seminar 1

Seminar title: Implementation challenges in different approaches taken by food and nutritional projects: A case of operational research in Nepal

Speaker: Dr Jagannath Adhikari, Adjunct Research Fellow, Sustainable Livelihoods Research Programme, Curtin University

Time and date: 12.30 – 1.30pm, Monday 13 March 2017

Venue: Health Sciences Boardroom (400:405) Curtin University 

Abstract: Food and nutritional security has continues to be a formidable problem in developing countries, which has led to various interventions - the outcome has not been commensurate with the investments. In this context, this paper examines the challenges of projects taking different implementation modalities and different technical approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity in Nepal. Particularly, it looks at the projects implemented through government institutions, through community, and through private sector. In terms of technical approaches, it looks at the projects following food-based, community development-based and health-based approaches. The advantages/disadvantages and challenges of these implementation modalities and technical approaches are analysed so as to draw lessons for optimizing benefits of such projects. 

Seminar 2

Seminar title: The Albany Desert Mounted Corps Memorial as an affective landscape

Speaker: Professor John Stephens, Curtin University Associate

Time and date: 12.30pm – 1.30 pm, Monday 3 April 2017

Venue: Health Sciences Boardroom (400:405) Curtin University 

Abstract: Outrage in Australia and New Zealand followed the destruction of the ANZAC Desert Mounted Corps Memorial during the 1956 Suez Crisis. Dedicated to First World War Anzac troops the memorial had stood on the edge of the canal at Port Said since 1932. Despite anger in Australia and worry over its condition and whereabouts, it could not be recovered as Egypt had severed diplomatic relations with Australia and New Zealand for their alliances during the Suez Crisis. On Egypt’s insistence, repatriation of the memorial to Australia became contingent on normalizing diplomatic relations. Fervent argument about where it should be relocated accompanied the decision to place the reconstructed memorial at Albany overlooking King George Sound in Western Australia. 

Recently it has become a site of national Anzac ceremony during the Anzac Centenary Commemorations and landscape work has linked it emotionally with the nearby National Anzac Centre. Amid growing global interest in commemoration of all kinds and a resurgent Anzac ideology this presentation addresses the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial as an affective landscape shaped by the emotionally charged circumstances of its repatriation to Albany and its recent renovation and commemorative use.

Seminar 3

Seminar title: Is employability at the core of higher education, or is it someone else’s job?

Speaker: Professor Dawn Bennett

Time and date: 12.30pm – 1.30 pm, Monday 8 May 2017

Venue: Health Sciences Boardroom (400:405) Curtin University 

Abstract: ​Employability has received significant attention in recent years, but what is it and who is responsible? This presentation will trouble higher education’s focus on functional aspects of employability such as the ability to succeed at interview. Rather, it will emphasise the cognitive and social aspects through which learners develop as individuals, professionals and social citizens. As such, employability is defined as the ability to find, create and sustain work and learning across lengthening working lives and multiple work settings. This focus reflects a fluid labour market in which work is transforming and workers are increasingly mobile, meaning that employability has to be maintained across the career lifespan. This has significant implications for higher education in terms of broadening the focus from a graduate occupational goal to a lifelong professional orientation. Hence, the educational goals of employability development relate to both initial preparation and to graduates’ ability to think: to traverse multiple work transitions by developing and engaging personal epistemologies of practice.

Seminar 4

Seminar title: Older workers in the creative industries

Speakers: Associate Professor Sophie Hennekam, La Rochelle Business School, affiliated professor at IRGO University of Bordeaux, France, and visiting academic, Curtin University

Time and date: 12.30pm – 1.30 pm, Monday 12 June 2017

Venue: Health Sciences Boardroom (400:405) Curtin University 


This presentation is about older workers in the creative industries that draws upon quantitative and qualitative data and highlights the challenges that older workers face. Both employed and self-employed workers are included.

The findings reveal that self-employment is often not a choice for older workers, that they are forced into this type of employment given difficulties finding permanent work as a result of negative stereotyping. Older employed individuals often face different issues should they want their employers to make adaptations to their work or work load without feeling stigmatised by being offered age-awareness policies or practices.

Implications for organisations are also discussed.

Seminar 5

Seminar title: Emerging inequalities in educational opportunities in Papua New Guinea

Speakers: Sean Ryan, Dr Gina Koczberski and Professor George Curry, Department of Planning and Geography, Curtin University

Time and date: 12.30pm – 1.30 pm, Monday 7 August 2017

Venue: Health Sciences Boardroom (400:405) Curtin University 

Abstract: This seminar focuses on the educational levels of farming households who migrated from the mainland of Papua New Guinea to the island province of West New Britain in the early 1970s to take up state agricultural land to cultivate export cash crops. Most migrants had high expectations that their resettlement in West New Britain would provide a path to a better life for themselves and their children by providing land for cash cropping and better health and educational services.

Now, nearly 50 years on, our research shows that whilst average adult education levels among migrant households are higher than the national average, they are still low considering that most children do not finish primary school and the retention rate from primary to secondary school is low. This is surprising because most migrant families have access to regular and relatively high income and reside close to primary schools. 

These results raise a number of questions, especially given that previous research suggests that economic growth and improvements in infrastructure leading to reduced travel time to school should boost school enrolment rates. This presentation will discuss why, in one of the most prosperous agricultural areas of PNG where families have good access to primary schools, the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education has not been met.  

Seminar 6

Seminar title: A 'New Cold War' in the Indo-Pacific region? 

Speaker: Dennis Rumley, Professor of Indian Ocean Studies, Curtin University

Time and date: 12.30pm – 1.30 pm, Monday 4 September 2017

Venue: Health Sciences Boardroom (400:405) Curtin University 


  • "The post-Cold War is over, and a new era has begun. Cold War 2.0, different in character, but potentially as menacing and founded not just on competing interests but competing values" (Wintour, Harding and Berger, 2016).
  • "I do not accept there will be a new Cold War" (Paul Dibb, 2016).

It is argued in this seminar that one of the principal inhibitors of sustainable security and stability in South and Southeast Asia and in the broader Indo-Pacific is that the Cold War has yet to end. For example, Japan is in conflict with all of its nearest neighbours. It has yet to sign a peace treaty with Russia and is in dispute over its so-called “Northern Islands”. Other international boundary disputes remain to be resolved. China and the Korean peninsular are divided. Cold War attitudes, perceptions and misperceptions are still an inherent or implied part of the psyche of some senior Indo-Pacific decision-makers. Strategic concepts and postures reflecting containment, ‘constrainment’, sphere of influence, expansionism and territorial competition, among others, thus still inhabit the rhetoric of the regional security environment. Regional strategies can therefore be ‘interpreted’ within the framework of Cold War ‘logic’, thus impeding regional security cooperation since Cold War realist logic implies conflict while idealist globalist post-Cold War logic implies cooperation. The ‘old’ Cold War has thus been perpetuated, reinforced and reinterpreted as a ‘new’ Cold War due to geopolitical competition over global and regional primacy. Even within this process of geopolitical competition, ‘old geopolitical concepts’ such as ‘pivot’ and ‘Indo-Pacific’ have also been reinterpreted and reused to justify ‘new’ strategies that ultimately continue to foster a ‘new’ Cold War in the region. Ultimately, the ‘Cold War mentality’ prevails.

The seminar will be divided into three parts: The first briefly describes some of the causes of the New Cold War; the second part contextualises this for South Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific Region and the third part describes the process of post-Cold War strategic diplomacy arguably designed, in part, to create New Cold War structures.

Seminar 7

Seminar title: Nyungar performance, culture and activism

Speaker: Distinguished Professor Anna Haebich

Time and date: 12.30pm – 1.30 pm, Monday 2 October 2017

Venue: Health Sciences Boardroom (400:405) Curtin University 

Abstract: Forthcoming.

Seminar 8

Seminar title: The Pedagogies of Human Rights

Speakers: Dr Caroline Fleay, Dr Lisa Hartley, Professor Baden Offord, Dr Elfie Shiosaki and Dr Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes, Centre for Human Rights Education

Time and date: 12.30pm – 1.30 pm, Monday 6 November 2017

Venue: Health Sciences Boardroom (400:405) Curtin University 

Abstract: Researchers in the Centre for Human Rights Education have an ongoing concern to develop new conceptual and methodological insights for the teaching of human rights, specifically from a perspective that values social and cultural diversity and different ways of knowing.

In this seminar, we will contextualise the role of pedagogy itself as a core method of communication, language and discourse of human rights. We explore the question of what characterises and informs a critical pedagogy of human rights? From a shared position of activating human rights through considerations of diverse identities, histories, cultures, religions, philosophies and practices, our paper will discuss some of the signature pedagogies that have become germane to how we do human rights education. We will highlight, example, how we engage with refugee rights, Indigenous rights and LGBT rights within a critical human rights teaching framework.

A key argument posed in this seminar will be that a meaningful approach to human rights requires a radical pedagogy that focuses on questions of social justice and human co-existence.