Richard Eves

Emeritus Professor


BA Hons (Adelaide), PhD (ANU)

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Richard Eves

Richard Eves, an anthropologist, has published widely on issues of social change in Papua New Guinea. His first book, The Magical Body: Power, Fame and Meaning in a Melanesian Society (1998), is a detailed study of social and cultural change in a rural community in New Ireland, where he has undertaken long-term fieldwork. Richard’s work now deals widely with contemporary issues in Melanesia, straddling the boundaries between anthropology, development and international health, with a particular focus on gender (including masculinity), violence (violence against women; sorcery and witchcraft-related violence) and the AIDS epidemic. He also has experience in consulting on issues of health, AIDS and gender-based violence in PNG, having been a research advisor on two AusAID funded projects and a consultant for Caritas Australia. Richard has undertaken qualitative research in numerous provinces in PNG (including Southern Highlands, Hela, Western Highlands, Chimbu, Western, Eastern Highlands, Morobe, Milne Bay and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville) as well as the Solomon Islands. With Leslie Butt, he co-edited the significant volume, Making Sense of AIDS: Culture, Sexuality, and Power in Melanesia (2008), a collection of anthropological papers on how the HIV epidemic in Melanesia is understood. In 2015, with Miranda Forsyth, he co-edited the volume, Talking it Through: Responses to Sorcery and Witchcraft Beliefs and Practices in Melanesia. Most recently, he completed research for the multi-year Do No Harm project, funded by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development. This project examined the relationship between women’s economic empowerment and violence against women in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. In addition to applied research focussed on gender, he is completing an ethnography of contemporary Christianity in PNG, looking particularly at the influence of Pentecostalism in New Ireland.

Stop violence against women and girls in PNG - UN Women

Do No Harm: Findings from PNG & Solomon Islands

Understanding the relationship between women’s economic empowerment and violence against women.


Do no harm Bougainville research

Richard Eves’ recent fieldwork in Bougainville advances SSGM’s collaboration with the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) on women’s economic empowerment.

Women in Bougainville

Bougainville young women’s leadership research

The Bougainville Young Women’s Leadership Research report, launched at the State of the Pacific conference in September, was the outcome of a research collaboration between Richard Eves, head of SSGM’s Gender, Health, Social Development and Migration cluster, the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) and the Bougainville Women’s Federation.

Do no harm research examines women’s economic empowerment among Coffee smallholders in the Eastern Highlands Province

Do no harm research examines women’s economic empowerment among Coffee smallholders in the Eastern Highlands Province

Richard Eves and SSGM PhD student, Asha Titus, spent five weeks in July/August in the Eastern Highlands Province (PNG) where they collaborated with CARE International to research women’s economic empowerment among smallholder coffee producers

Do No Harm Project

Women’s economic empowerment, now widely considered a critical component of poverty reduction and development programming, is an important goal of the current Australian aid program.

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