Students

Alois Ndrewou was a lecturer in land studies, agricultural education and extension at the University of Goroka prior to commencing his doctoral studies at Curtin University in 2015. His research examines the impact of Cocoa Pod Borer (CPB) on the livelihood responses of farmers in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea.

Elizabeth Bakri Dumu, is a business analyst with Bank South Pacific (BSP) Port Moresby. Elizabeth received an Australian Awards Scholarship (Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade) and is studying a Masters by Research degree at Curtin University. Her research looks at the use of mobile phones by rural smallholder farmers and how it could be used as a tool to improve livelihood options.

Esley Tiale Peter is a Socio-economic Research Assistant with Papua New Guinea Cocoa Coconut Institute  (CCI) under the Enabling Environment Program. Esley has received a John Allwright Scholarship (ACIAR) and commenced a Masters by Research degree at Curtin in 2018. His research investigates the effectiveness of private extension service to the rural smallholder farmers, and how it has improved rural communities that have not been reached by public extension services.

Jennifer McKellar has Master’s degrees from the Australian National University (ANU) in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development, and Culture Health and Medicine, and recently worked as a researcher at the Centre for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Jennifer has received a Curtin University Scholarship and commenced her PhD with the Pacific Livelihoods Research Group in 2019. Her research investigates how gender relations are adjusting to changing relations of commodity crop production in Papua New Guinean coffee farming communities. Her fieldwork will be undertaken in the Eastern Highlands Province.

Joachim Lummani is an agricultural socio-economist working with the PNG Cocoa Coconut Institute (CCI), East New Britain. He has received a John Allwright Scholarship (ACIAR) and commenced his doctoral research at Curtin University in 2013. His research looks at how households responded to CPB in terms of their livelihood strategies to sustain their social and economic returns to labour, in both short and long term.

Robyn Slarke has worked in Papua New Guinea for over 30 years as an activist and film maker promoting women’s rights. She has received a Curtin University Scholarship and is currently undertaking a PhD at Curtin. Her research investigates women’s leadership in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, and in particular, women’s movement between traditional and non-traditional gender roles.

Past Students

Emmanuel Germis is a socioeconomic researcher with Papua New Guinea Oil Palm Research Association (OPRA), West New Britain. He received a John Allwright Scholarship (ACIAR) and completed his Masters by Research at Curtin in 2019, for which he received a letter of commendation. His research investigated migration to agricultural frontier zones, and how migrants negotiate and maintain access to customary land to ensure livelihood security.

Dr. Graham Thompson received a First Class Honours at Curtin University in 1998. His research focused on the impact of population pressures and land shortages on young families living and working on oil palm Land Settlement Schemes (LSS) in Bialla, West New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Graham now teaches in the Curtin Geography department.

Madeleine Stephens is a journalist. She received a New Colombo Plan Scholarship (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and completed her Honours degree at Curtin in 2018, for which she received a First Class award. Her honours research project explored factors driving dietary change, with a focus on rice consumption and its effect on women’s labour amongst oil palm smallholders in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea.

Matilda Hamago is a Training Course Coordinator with the Papua New Guinea Coffee Industry Corporation Limited (CICL) . Matilda received a John Allwright Scholarship (ACIAR) and completed her Masters by Research at Curtin in 2019. Her study investigated the role and impact of female extension officers on the participation of women in export crop production in Papua New Guinea.

Senny Kapia-Mendano is a Plantation Executive at New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL). Senny completed her Masters in 2012 at Curtin University. Her research examined the effectiveness of extension services provided by the Oil Palm Industry Corporation (OPIC) for the production of oil palm to smallholder growers in Hoskins, West New Britain Province, Papua New Guinea.

Sean Ryan is a Research Associate at Curtin University. He received an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship and completed his Masters at Curtin in 2015. His research examined inter and intra household factors associated with unequal educational attainment among oil palm smallholders in Papua New Guinea.

Stephanie Harris received a New Colombo Plan Scholarship (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) and completed her Honours research at Curtin University, for which she received a First Class award in 2017. Stephanie’s research explored the difficulties of saving money in West and East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. 

Susan May Inu is a Business Advisor at Market Development Facility (MDF), Papua New Guinea. Susan received a John Allwright Scholarship (ACIAR) and completed her Masters at Curtin University. Her research looked at the influence of socio-economic factors on farm investment decision-making and labour mobilisation in smallholder coffee production in the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea. Previously, Susan worked as a researcher at the Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC).

Dr. Reuben Sengere is a socio-economist with Papua New Guinea’s Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) and an adjunct research fellow in the livelihoods program. He has a background in agriculture, science communication and social sciences.  Reuben’s research investigates the socio-economic factors influencing farming practices of smallholders in Papua New Guinea. Reuben received a Curtin University Scholarship and completed his PhD at Curtin in 2017, for which he received a letter of commendation. His thesis examined the rise, fall and revival of the coffee industry in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Dr. Veronica Bue is a Senior Lecturer at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology (UniTech). She teaches agricultural extension and rural sociology. Her research areas include: household food security, household dietary intakes and patterns, smallholder livelihoods and evaluation and impact assessments of farmers’ skills uptake and practice change.  Veronica received a John Allwright Scholarship (ACIAR) and completed her PhD at Curtin in 2013. Her thesis investigated the role of smallholder farmers in sustaining household food security in WNB oil palm Land Settlement Schemes (LSS). Veronica is currently examining opportunities and constraints faced by women in their engagement in small, medium and large-scale agricultural enterprises in the Morobe Province of Papua New Guinea.


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