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One day in the life of a fruit picker

When I went fruit picking in January, I had already been writing about horticultural labour for more than a year, and it was strange to so suddenly be actually engaged in it. Many little aspects of the work, it turned out, just weren’t visible from afar. Others, the situation with piece rates for example, I didn’t understand as well as I thought. In this blog, and the next, I describe some of these impressions of harvest life, and...

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Malaria elimination in the Asia-Pacific: the COVID-19 threat

Battling COVID-19 in the last year has put into perspective the challenge of battling an infectious disease that kills so many across the world every day. For malaria, those daily deaths have been going on for millennia. World Malaria Day reminds us of the progress we have made against this age-old killer and how far we still have left to end a disease which – in addition to the terrible cost in human lives – strains health...

  • Lady Roslyn Morauta
    L
  • Sarthak Das
    S
4 min read
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Foundations of classroom change in developing countries: a review

Foundations of classroom change in developing countries, by Gerard Guthrie, was self-published online this year and is available for free download. Foundations is an important, two-volume work of research, synthesis, and advice. Volume 1: Evidence draws together the findings on classroom change from all 142 ‘developing countries’. This evidence is organised by distinct groups of countries with similar cultural values. Extensive...

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Who we are and what we eat: policy, ethnography and blueberries

This COVID summer, seeking to better understand migration and food in Australia, I took leave from the ANU and went fruit picking. In this series of five blogs, I draw on this experience to sketch some of the stories behind how our food gets on the table, convey a picker’s perspective on the policy issues that matter, and contemplate what it all means for the national conversation about who we are and what we eat. Agriculture and...

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One last hurdle, and uncertainties in PNG politics as 2022 approaches

After overcoming a court challenge to invalidate his election, and adjourning parliament to avoid a vote of no confidence against him, James Marape has one last hurdle to overcome before the 2022 national election: a potential vote of no confidence when parliament sittings begin on 20 April 2021. Patrick Pruaitch, who in December 2020 was nominated as the opposition’s candidate for prime minister to challenge James Marape, withdrew...

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RSE review I: employers and community, not just governments

In his recent book The third pillar: How markets and the state leave the community behind, leading economist Raghuram Rajan uses an extensive historical account to show that society is based on the evolution of three key social functions: markets, the state and community.[1] Rajan contends that markets and the state have developed and become powerful over time but have weakened communities as a result, limiting the latter’s role as a...

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A Fijian business surviving COVID without tourists or government help – just

The small and stunningly beautiful town of Savusavu on Vanua Levu in Fiji played host to the TV reality show Australian Survivor for its last three seasons. The local economy did well from the filming, with many local contractors hired to help, and Australian TV crews a regular sight at the town’s restaurants and bars. But, like all international visitors, the show has stayed at home this last year. Instead, a very real game of...

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Samoa’s historic election result

Nearly 60 years since independence, and 39 years after the Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP) took over the reins as government, a new dawn is on the horizon in Samoa. For the uninitiated, voters in Samoa went to the polls on Friday last week. Preliminary results have the HRPP and the Fa’atuatua I le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) Party locked at 25 members each. Independent MP Tuala Iosefo Ponifasio has emerged as the likely kingmaker...