La Trobe strengthens Pacific engagement

La Trobe University staff and students engaged in Pacific-focused research, partnerships, study and teaching have come together to create a new Pacific Research Community (PaRC).

The PaRC brings together academics and students from across different disciplines to share their Pacific knowledge, experience and networks.

The research community will provide a strong resource for La Trobe University and for the broader Pacific community in Melbourne, including academics from other institutions.

La Trobe senior lecturer Dr John (Jack) Taylor is the chair of the PaRC steering committee and an anthropologist who studies in Vanuatu.

“The Pacific is already an area of research strength at La Trobe University. The PaRC and the newly formed Pacific Student Association (PSA) will create a strong sense of belonging for Pacific students at La Trobe and encourage more students to study here,” Dr Taylor said.

As part of La Trobe University’s 50th anniversary celebrations, PaRC will also be delivering a four-part public seminar series throughout 2017. The aim of the seminars is to re-energise debate about the Australia-Pacific relations. Speakers from the Pacific will cover issues including art and activism; climate change; youth and culture; and health and social change.

Associate Professor Chris Roche, Director of the Centre for Human Security and Social Change at La Trobe is an international development specialist who has engaged with the Pacific for many years.

“By bringing everyone together in the PaRC we are creating something unique that will increase the university’s research quality and impact. It will also strengthen our collaborations with partner organisations in the Pacific,” Associate Professor Roche said.

“We are excited to be able to present the seminar series to the wider community and create a forum that will build up La Trobe’s existing networks and research in the Pacific Community.”

The official launch of the PaRC and PSA was held on March 16.

Media Contact: Dylan May – - 9479 5353 / 0407125909

Photo: rujhan_basir/Pixabay