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Steady Hands Needed

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ISBN: 9781921536137 Year: Pages: 95 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459751 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Political Science
Added to DOAB on : 2012-06-14 11:46:24
License: ANU Press

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In this monograph, five former secretaries of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) reflect on their experiences and the challenges of their times. A far cry from the pukka fantasies of ‘Yes Minister’, their recollections reveal the realpolitik of the policy front line where the secretary must stay ahead of emerging themes and issues in Australia’s international relations while simultaneously exercising governance oversight and providing leadership to a large, professional, diverse and dispersed organisation. From the Cold War to the War on Terror; from the floating of the dollar to GATT and the WTO; managing relations big and small, within our region and without; through relentless administrative reforms, technological change and changes of government; steering DFAT requires ‘steady hands’. This collection of public lectures presented in 2006 to the Australian Institute of International Affairs (AIIA) offers an invaluable resource for those with an interest in recent Australian history, foreign policy and public sector administration

First Contacts in Polynesia

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ISBN: 9781921536021 Year: Pages: 241 DOI: 10.26530/OAPEN_459235 Language: English
Publisher: ANU Press
Subject: Anthropology --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2012-06-14 11:46:24
License: ANU Press

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This book explores the first encounters between Samoans and Europeans up to the arrival of the missionaries, using all available sources for the years 1722 to the 1830s, paying special attention to the first encounter on land with the Lapérouse expedition. Many of the sources used are French, and some of difficult accessibility, and thus they have not previously been thoroughly examined by historians. Adding some Polynesian comparisons from beyond Samoa, and reconsidering the so-called ‘Sahlins-Obeyesekere debate’ about the fate of Captain Cook, ‘First Contacts’ in Polynesia advances a hypothesis about the contemporary interpretations made by the Polynesians of the nature of the Europeans, and about the actions that the Polynesians devised for this encounter: wrapping Europeans up in ‘cloth’ and presenting ‘young girls’ for ‘sexual contact’. It also discusses how we can go back two centuries and attempt to reconstitute, even if only partially, the point of view of those who had to discover for themselves these Europeans whom they call ‘Papalagi’. The book also contributes an additional dimension to the much-touted ‘Mead-Freeman debate’ which bears on the rules and values regulating adolescent sexuality in ‘Samoan culture’. Scholars have long considered the pre-missionary times as a period in which freedom in sexuality for adolescents predominated. It appears now that this erroneous view emerged from a deep misinterpretation of Lapérouse’s and Dumont d’Urville’s narratives.

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