Fiji – COI

Dr Niki Alsford


Prof. Alsford has extensive knowledge and experience working with Pacific Island nations. He is currently engaged in a longitudinal study of indigenous voices on climate change, and works closely with the Fijian community in the UK. He is Chair of the Austronesian Centre at the University of Central Lancashire and continues to work with the Council of Indigenous Peoples, Executive Yuan in Taiwan and the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines in Taipei.

Christina Toren


Christina Toren is an anthropologist with extensive field experience in Fiji over a period of 30 years; she works with indigenous Fijians, is fluent in standard Fijian, and is very familiar with all aspects of contemporary life in town and village. She was the Founding Director of the Centre for Pacific Studies at the University of St Andrews where she is a Professor of Social Anthropology. She has published five books and forty-plus papers on Fiji.

Dr Alumita L. Durutalo


Alumita Lawaniyavi Durutalo graduated with a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia in 2006. She has had a teaching career of over 27 years, 10 years as a High School teacher in Fiji and 17 years as a University academic staff at the University of the South Pacific and the University of Otago in New Zealand. Alumita’s main area of expertise is in Political Science and she has had extensive research and published in the area of Political Parties, Elections and Democratisation in the Pacific Island States. Some of her outstanding contributions nationally (in Fiji) and regionally (in the Pacific) have included:

  • Being a Committee Member for the Pacific Theological College, Institute for Research and Social Analysis (2011 – 2013)
  • Being appointed by the President of Fiji to be a Commissioner in Fiji’s Public Service Commission from 2006 – 2009; and
  • Being a Research Steering Committee Member for the AusAID Leadership Programme, promoting Good Governance in the Pacific from 2007 to 2008

Alumita has travelled widely and lived in different countries apart from Fiji and the Pacific Islands. These include the United States of America (4 years); Australia (4 years) and she is currently living and working in New Zealand.

Dr Stewart Firth


Stewart Firth is a Research Fellow at the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program, ANU College of Asia and the Pacific. He was Professor of Politics at the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji, 1998-2004. He co-edited From Election to Coup in Fiji: the 2006 campaign and its aftermath (2007), Politics and State-Building in Solomon Islands (2008) and The 2006 Military Takeover in Fiji: a coup to end all coups? (2009), all published by ANU E Press. His most recent book is Australia in International Politics: an introduction to Australian foreign policy, 3rd edn, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2011, and his most recent  article is on China in the Pacific Islands in the Journal of Contemporary China. He teaches Pacific Politics POLS2055 in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

Dr Geir Henning Presterudstuen


Dr Geir Henning Presterudstuen is a socio-cultural anthropologist and lecturer at the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at the University of Western Sydney, with a long-standing research interest in Fiji and the Pacific Islands. He has conducted long-term, multi-site ethnographic fieldwork in Fiji from 2009 where his work has predominantly focused on race and ethnic relations, performances of gender relations, transnationalism and economic anthropology. His publication record includes a number of journal articles and chapters on these topics and his ongoing research project includes Fijians experiences in the diaspora. He is willing to provide general information about Fiji and analyses of the social and economic situation in Fiji.

Dr. Yoko Kanemasu


Dr. Yoko Kanemasu, Senior Lecturer at the University of the South Pacific, has resided and undertaken scholarly research in the Pacific region for over 15 years. While much of her published research focuses on Fiji, she has undertaken primary research in Tuvalu and Kiribati, and is familiar with the history and socio-political and socio-environmental conditions of the three countries through her work as a sociological researcher and senior lecturer at USP, a regional institution owned by the governments of 12 Pacific island countries including Tuvalu, Kiribati and Tokelau. Dr. Kanemasu has extensive research and personal networks in all three countries, especially Tuvalu and Kiribati.