L/R: Rachel England (moderator), with event speakers Pip Louey and Amelia Faotusia (c) Australia Awards Women's Leadership Initiative

L/R: Rachel England (moderator), with event speakers Pip Louey and Amelia Faotusia (c) Australia Awards Women's Leadership Initiative

The Blue Economy in the Pacific: Promise or Potential?

6 September 2021

To mark World Ocean’s Day 2021, DPA co-hosted an event with the Australia Awards Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), titled ‘The Blue Economy in the Pacific: Promise or Potential?’. Held on 8 June 2021 at the Hedley Bull Centre at ANU, the event was moderated by Rachel England of the ANU Fenner School and featured Pip Louey, DPA PhD scholar and Amelia Faotusia, WLI participant and ANU Master of Environmental Management and Development scholar from Tonga.

Watch the full event recording below.

About the event

The event was co-hosted by DPA and The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI). WLI is an Australia Awards enrichment program, helping Pacific scholars to build their skills and networks in order to take on leadership roles in their workplaces, communities and countries. It aims to increase the number of women who hold positions of influence in all sectors and spheres of Pacific society, whilst deepening Australia’s relationships with its Pacific neighbours. DPA is funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Pacific Research Program.

About the Speakers

Rachel England (Moderator) is an Environmental Scientist / Feminist Geographer and keen photo-storyteller based at the ANU’s Fenner School of Environment & Society. Her PhD research has involved collaborating with women of the White Grass (Tanna island, Vanuatu) and Nyikina-Mangala (west-Kimberley region, Australia) communities to explore their ways of being, knowing and doing sustainable development and to critique the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2019, Rachel co-founded the ANU’s Fenner Decolonial Research and Teaching Circle (The Fenner Circle) alongside two Indigenous PhD scholars (Kate Harriden and Sam Provost) – a yarning circle which looks directly at issues relating to the decolonisation of academia (in particular, the sciences), and has grown in membership to 70+ people across the campus since its inception.

Rachel is a member of the ANU Pacific Institute Board, an Environmental Policy lecturer, the previous student representative on the ANU Climate Change Institute advisory panel, and a partner investigator with the Jean Monnet SDG Network based at RMIT (Melbourne). Prior to starting her PhD, Rachel worked as an environmental consultant with Alluvium Consulting Australia, as a policy officer within two Australian Government departments, and as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development (AYAD) plant scientist within the Samoan Quarantine Service.

Pip Louey has recently commenced a PhD at the ANU in the Department of Pacific Affairs. Her research explores the evolution of the blue economy in the Pacific Islands, with a particular interest in the way that this emerging ocean agenda is being translated to material outcomes on the ground.

In 2020, Pip undertook a research internship at the Pacific Network on Globalization (PANG) where she contributed to the Drawing the Blue Line campaign. She continues to work as the Engagement officer for the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council. Pip was a recipient of the Australian Foreign Affairs Next Voices Award in 2019, with her award-winning article, “A Pacific Overstep?”, being published to the Our Sphere of Influence: Rivalry in the Pacific edition.

Amelia Faotusia is an Australia Awards scholar and Women’s Leadership Initiative participant currently completing a Master of Environmental Management and Development at the ANU. Prior to commencing her Award, Amelia was an economist within the Development Aid Unit of the Tongan Government’s Ministry of Finance. She also represented Tonga at the inaugural nine-month Pacific Ocean Finance Fellowship Programme 2019-20.

Amelia believes sustainable ocean conservation is not only vital to the livelihoods of Tongans, but also to reducing global warming. She is interested to discover effective financing modalities to help build her country’s capacity for ocean finance and conservation.

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