‘Too Close to Ignore’ book launch

16 Mar 2020

On the morning of Monday 16 March, Professor Mark Moran, Group Leader for Development Effectiveness at the Institute for Social Science Research presented the research from his ARC Discovery Grant-funded project based in the South Fly District of Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait Islands. The findings were published as a book by Melbourne University Press.

Professor Mark Moran and Professor Mark Western

Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Indigenous Engagement at UQ, introduced Professor Moran, who then described the development context of the borderland region, including the Torres Strait Treaty and its implications on the PNG side. He explained that villages adjacent to Treaty villages that were excluded from the Treaty receive little in terms of development aid and made the point that it is not in Australia’s best interest to allow such low levels of development to persist at the border. He also spoke to the complex treatment of the border as a site for the application of Indigenous affairs, border management and foreign aid interventions, which overlap and contribute to tensions and asymmetric livelihood outcomes in the region.

Professor Moran concluded the seminar by outlining a series of recommendations, which were developed from both the research findings and through consultation with South Fly and Torres Strait residents and leaders.

The seminar was attended by the director of ISSR, Professor Mark Western, the QLD State Director of DFAT, representatives from Abt Associates, and colleagues from multiple UQ disciplines. 

Too Close to Ignore: Australia’s Borderland with Papua New Guinea and Indonesia will be released on 31 March, and is available for pre-order from the MUP website.