Published daily by the Lowy Institute

The Fix: Talking about the Pacific

An Interpreter weekly feature about issues, resources or helpful distractions that might otherwise be missed.

Feel good Friday (Sarah Friend/DFAT)
Feel good Friday (Sarah Friend/DFAT)
Published 30 Aug 2023 

We’re asking contributors to put together their own collected observations like this one – and as always, if you’ve got an idea to pitch for The Interpreter, drop a line via the contact details on the About page.

I’ve found my end-of-week treat, and it’s shareable.

Having spent my days leading up to Friday reading all things foreign policy and the Pacific, by the end of the week it’s a pleasure for the eyes to switch to a different mode to watch the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) The Pacific.

Hosted by Johnson Raela and Alice Lolohea, at just 28 minutes long, each episode is a bus-ride home – you might even squeeze in two.

They cover Pacific politics and other stories capturing the attention of the region. From a vote of no confidence in Vanuatu, would-be assassins planning a hit-job on former Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, Fiji’s first all-female professional tuna fishing crew, and the Pacific’s digital divide, to the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme and the pressure it places on families and marriages.

What I love most is that after a week of mostly listening, reading, and talking to people about the region, this brings it all to life for me.

Episodes don’t last online forever though – after a few weeks they go to the archives, so you’ve got to watch it regularly. Whoops – ABC have since got in touch to point out that full episodes and segments are available on its Facebook page. And after a long week at work, it might just be the thing you’re after.

Cover of Gordon Peake's book, Unsung Land, Aspiring Nation

And why not take a musical interlude? Charles Maimarosia – raised on a remote village on Malaita in Solomon Islands, is considered a cultural ambassador for his songs about customary knowledge. Get a taste of his music watching this live performance at Federation Square, Melbourne.

If you’re still after a good book though, Unsung Land, Aspiring Nation should be up next on your table. Gordon Peake is a great writer – he can make you laugh and cry all in the one chapter. And much like The Pacific, he brings the story of Bougainville and its challenged nation-building process to life.

Pacific Research Program

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