Partnership to chart Queensland’s Pacific linkages

Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Noumea
Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Noumea. Photo credit: John Golling, National Gallery of Victoria.

A new partnership between Griffith University and the University of Queensland will showcase Queensland’s extensive Pacific research expertise.

Funded by Study Queensland,Associate Professor Sven Schottmann, Director of Internationalisation (Arts, Education and Law) Griffith University, and Dr Gerhard Hoffstaedter from UQ’s School of Social Science will document, index and map Queensland’s Pacific expertise — from tropical architecture and agriculture to cultural heritage, marine environment, medical research and more.

Assoc Prof Sven Schottmann
Assoc Prof Sven Schottmann

Associate Professor Schottmann said they will produce an interactive showcase of Queensland’s role as Australia’s premier Pacific knowledge hub and develop resources for exporters, education sector stakeholders and governments.

“This is timely given the growing attention Australia is paying to our Pacific partners. This project aims to make a small but meaningful contribution to building closer ties with some of our closest neighbours,’’ he said.

“Queensland is Australia’s Pacific state, and is well linked to the Pacific. Our universities have extensive partnerships across the region. Queensland universities, for example, account for a large share of Pacific-bound New Colombo Planmobilities. In 2019 alone, NCP-funded studentsfrom Queensland will be going to Fiji, NewCaledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, theSolomon Islands and Vanuatu.”

Dr Gerhard Hoffstaedter
Dr Gerhard Hoffstaedter

Dr Hoffstaedter added that trans-national research collaborations, expertise which helps safeguard and improve livelihoods, health and cultural heritage across the region, and close personal ties of friendship between local academics and their Pacific island counterparts all play important roles in strengthening links.

The Pacific Linkages project is co-funded with the support of the Queensland Government’s International Education and Training Partnership Fund, managed by Study Queensland within Trade and Investment Queensland.