Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Price we pay for Being a Fiji Person: Is Fiji's Voice & Participation Important in this Pacific Village Online by Prof. PakYoong

Whilst it is a noble thought for Prof.Pak Yoong to have conducted & set up under New Zealand Aid a platform for ongoing dialogue for Pacific Nations, Fiji may very well be left out again. Is it a worry? Well, we think it is, as Fiji's voices and its ability to progress on a common ground with neighboring nations is vital.

Doors of opportunities opens & closes within the Pacific Rim and internationally where Fiji could very well benefit from. Developing Nations are progressing while Fiji explores their options of either stagnating or looking offshores to bigger players that have no vested interest in the basic Cultural & Human Rights Development of Fiji & its people.
Fiji, like a kid that has thrown most of his toys out of his cot, suffers the concequences of bad behaviour. Fiji remains the outsider within the 'Pacific Hood' all because of mischiefs created by Bainimarama and his current regime. Are the current Fiji Military regime so proud, that those within the ruling circle cannot come down their 'high horse'? Or is it so ingrained in corruptive activities that they are still trying to stitch up the loose ends in the event they are all hauled in to Nukulau island where George Speight is doing his time for the crimes he committed.

When I read Prof. Pak's announcement for this seminar, I felt sad for Fiji. As a Fijian-Kiwi, we are aware of some public dialogues, forums and/or opportunities that are blocked from us, simply because we are from Fiji. The minute you state the 'word', Fiji, it resonates negativity, infectious or virus-like effect, militarism, suspicion, Bainimarama-ism, rabuka-ism, coup-de tats etc.

Should we then alter our Community name Luvei Viti 'Children of Fiji' to 'Children of Kiwi-Fiji', maybe not, as we would like to keep our name as is. Bainimarama's current Military regime must change, not the people as he [FB]and his followers have committed Fiji & the people to a life of uncertainity and must be held accountable for their actions or inactions. Repercussions of their actions & mischiefs are causing grief to many Fiji people both in Fiji and living abroad.
A concerned Fijian @ Victoria University.
Luvei Viti Think Tank Group [luveiviti@myvuw]
Read on:

Facilitating regional co-operation in the Pacific: The emerging role of online communities of practice

Published 17 August 2009

One of Victoria University's finest teachers will reveal how he is bringing Pacific Island communities together through the internet in his inaugural professorial lecture tomorrow night.

Professor Pak Yoong has developed an international reputation as a scholar in the field of technology-enabled collaboration and knowledge management, and more generally the human side of information systems.

Tomorrow night he will present a work in progress report on one of his most recent endeavours—a multi-year action research project called the Pacific Village Online, which he is conducting in collaboration with the Commonwealth Secretariat and NZ Aid.

"Once a year, the heads of the public sector in the Pacific meet to identify regional issues and develop an action plan. The problem has been how to translate this plan into actions that can be implemented," he says.

With his expertise in Information Communication Technology (ICT), Professor Yoong is helping Pacific leaders do that. He will explain how an online community of Pacific human resource managers has evolved to take on this critical translation role.
"For a long time they would simply issue a communiqué at the end of the conference about key areas to work on, but there was no visible follow up. The cost of travel between Pacific islands was a big obstacle to more effective regional cooperation."
For the last two years Professor Yoong has been tackling the issue through annual conferences in Canberra where Pacific human resource managers are gaining expertise in ICT to facilitate Pacific cooperation within an online community of practice.

"One of the key ways to follow-up plans in the Pacific is through the use of ICT—they become an online community of practice through the use of email, teleconferencing and via the Pacific Village Online website," he says.
The website, which Professor Yoong helped develop, also provides Pacific public servants with an online forum, and an invaluable repository of material for knowledge sharing.

"This is a practical example of regional cooperation in the Pacific. I’m hoping it will provide another dimension of how regional cooperation can be enacted through the use of ICT."

Professor Yoong is currently working with the Commonwealth Secretariat to possibly extend the results to Africa, in the form of an Africa Village Online community as well.

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh says Professor Yoong has a reputation as one of the finest teachers in the School of Information Management, having previously won three Victoria teaching awards.

"He has also played a critical role in the School's development, first as founding Director of its Honours programme, and more recently as the Director of the Research Degrees programme and Chair of the Research Degrees committee within the School. Under his leadership the School has enjoyed considerable success both in attracting excellent PhD students and in improving the management of the programme itself."

Professor Walsh says Victoria's Inaugural Lecture series is an opportunity for new professors to provide family, friends, colleagues and the wider community with an insight into their specialist area of study.

"It is also an opportunity for the University to celebrate and acknowledge our valued professors."

The public lecture is at 6pm in the Hunter Council Chamber, Level 2, Hunter Building, Gate 1 or 2, Kelburn Parade, Wellington on Tuesday 18 August. To RSVP, email with 'Yoong' in the subject line.

1 comment:

  1. Whispers tells us that a Fijian Vic Uni student approached Prof Pak Young after his first seminar on same topic few months ago to see if they could extend the invite to a Fiji rep or contact in his forum.

    The answer as you can guess, was 'No'. This is strictly on a government level one that is neutral in their political stance.

    Hmmm, the student shared with others her stories as the person was a part of Victoria's Leadership Program.

    This does prove a point of either 'selective participation' or just 'downright exclusion on the part of an enthusiatic person of Fiji origin.'
    We at least thats the conclusion conclusion we drew. No other communication with Prof Pak except when we were advised that Luvei Viti (Children of Fiji) Community included Prof Pak in their email to Fiji Community Leaders advising about the email from the Commonwealth Society inviting all to the Big Commonwealth Conversation.


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