Students visit Hawaii for ANU Pacific Islands Field School

26 December 2014

Fifteen ANU students have spent 21 days in Hawaii as part of the ANU Pacific Islands Field School.

The students, from across all seven ANU colleges, are the fifth group to travel on the annual Pacific Islands field school, organised by the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, under the leadership of Pacific Studies Convenor Dr Katerina Teaiwa.

The in-country work included seminars at the University of Hawaii (UH), the East West Center, visits to a native canoe making project, a homeless shelter, the Kamehameha Schools, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Iolani Palace, and Bishop Museum.

Students also did practical assignments, maintained an online blog of their experiences, and attended formal classes and tutorials by staff from ANU and UH.

Some students even learnt a Hawaiian hula, performed at a function ANU students hosted to thank their Hawaiian hosts.

“The annual field school is an extremely valuable opportunity for ANU students to learn more about their Pacific neighbours by actually engaging with them in the Pacific, rather than simply reading about them in books and journal articles from Canberra,” said tutor, Areti Metuamate, a PhD Student in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific.

This year’s field school coincided with the Inaugural ANU-UH Distinguished Lecture, delivered by ARC Laureate Professor Margaret Jolly.

The Distinguished lecture is one of a number of initiatives from a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities, signed in June.