12th – 24th May

‘We are bringing to your homes 17 remarkable films’

‘What kind of tickets are available?’
‘You can either buy a Festival Pass which will grant you access to all of the films (A$60 for an individual or A$80 for more than 1 person viewing films), or you can purchase individual tickets for each film you would like to view $8 (for an individual) or $10 (more than 1 person).’

For more information see

Measuring individual-level multidimensional poverty in South Africa

ANU School of Demography Seminar

Date and Time: Tuesday 20 April 1.30-2.30pm

Location: Room 1.23 RSSS Building and By Zoom (details below)

 Presenter: Dr Helen Suich

Title:  Measuring individual-level multidimensional poverty in South Africa

The Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) is a gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty, assessed across 14 economic and social dimensions of deprivation. I this seminar, I will introduce the IDM as an individual measure of multidimensional poverty, and provide highlights from the South African country study. Data was collected from more than 8,500 individuals across South Africa, in 2019. I will provide examples of how this innovative tool can provide rich insights into the different patterns of deprivation, and use the data to highlight some of the important differences in the experiences of men and women and across age groups. I will present data from a range of dimensions which illustrate how individual-level data enriches our understanding of multidimensional poverty and can better inform poverty reduction policies and programmes designed.

Helen Suich is an independent researcher, focusing largely on issues of poverty alleviation, rural development and natural resource management, and the design and evaluation of projects and programs designed to achieve these goals. Helen worked as a senior research fellow in the IDM programme at ANU, and led the IDM South Africa Country Study.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 895 2018 9486
Password: 144496

Additional Resources provided by Helen Suich

There are a wide range of resource available for those who are interested in the results of the South African survey and the methods used for the analysis. There are six briefing notes, describing the results for the main sample, as well as the analyses by gender, by age group, by disability status and by rural/urban locality. The sixth summarises the South African country study and the revised data analysis methods. Accompanying documentation includes reports describing the revised methods in detail, as well as providing all of the revised results. A comprehensive report published in May 2020 summarises the initial analysis of both the main sample and the purposive sample, which is available here. There is also a series of videos, one summarising the South African country study, one for the overall results of the main sample, based on the revised analysis methods, and one each describing the results by gender, age, rural/urban locality and disability status.
More information about the ANU-led Indonesia study can be found here.

Seminar on Implications for Agricultural Research for Development in Southern Africa

Public Seminar: History matters – Implication for Agricultural Research for Development in Southern Africa

Speaker: Henning Bjornlund, Research Professor in Water Policy and Management at University of South Australia. Since 2013 he has worked on a Research for Development project funded by ACIAR and lead by ANU

Date: 1pm, Thursday 29 Apr 2021

Venue: Frank Fenner Seminar Room
141 Linnaeus Way, Acton ACT 2601,

Also available online via Zoom

For more information and to register go to 




This text was kindly provided by Maureen Hickman, Editor of the Royal Commonwealth Society ACT Branch’s Newsletter.  A fuller report will be available in the next issue: see  https://www.rcsact.org


The challenges facing democratic systems in the Commonwealth was the subject of a Workshop at Government House, Canberra, in March, attended by 32 students from 13 Commonwealth nations including Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia, hosted by the Governor-General, the Hon. General David Hurley, to mark Commonwealth Day in 2021.

The Workshop, on ‘Mending Democracy’ was organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society’s ACT Branch and led by Professor Carolyn Hendriks of the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU and Professor Jolyon Ford of the ANU Law School. ‘

‘Although emphasis on various aspects of democracy varied according to particular conditions in participants’ home countries – all of which have endorsed the principles of Democracy, Rule of law and Human rights that underpin their Commonwealth membership – there was unanimous agreement on trust and inclusion as the main areas needing ‘repair’.

In developing countries in Africa, aspiring MPs were said to be ‘visible for two months leading up to the election and, after handing out gifts of T-shirts and sweets, then disappearing for years until the next election’. As another student put it, why do politicians value 50 million ‘likes’ on Facebook when most of their people don’t have access to the internet, and where young people  –   representing up to 60 per cent of the population – have no jobs and no education in the political process that would motivate them to vote?

All this, together with long queues on voting day, play their part in eroding trust in a political system, which, without local community engagement, is opaque and inaccessible to the vast majority of people. ‘

‘At the plenary session, Professor Hendriks, pointing out that these were big issues, asked for ideas of how they might be achieved.   The answers ranged from reviving the ‘protest culture’ of previous generations to reforming ‘the institutions’, described as ‘the source of most problems due to them not working well’.

As the Workshop drew to a close, the Governor-General played a major role in the summing up, concluding that Democracy is nor a finished product and would evolve. 


Helen Suich Seminar on The Individual Deprivation Measure – South Africa Country Study Results

The Demography Seminar by Helen Suich will be on Tuesday April 20th. These seminars normally run from 1.30 to 2.30 pm although sometimes those via Zoom are held at different times. Please see the  post on this weblog dated 22/09/2020 on Helen’s research on The Individual Deprivation Measure: South Africa Country Study Results.

See: https://africanetwork.weblogs.anu.edu.au/2020/09/22/the-individual-deprivation-measure-south-africa-country-study-results/


ANU 2025 Survey

On March 23rd the Chancellor messaged all staff  about the consultations for the ANU 2025 Strategic Plan which had begun in February.

“The Vice-Chancellor and the senior staff leading development of the four ‘strategic pillars’ have already held six town-hall forums, with more than 500 staff and students in attendance; and the ANU 2025 team has received dozens of submissions and pieces of feedback.”

You can watch a copy of the town-hall recordings are available at https://www.anu.edu.au/about/strategic-planning/anu-2025-our-landscape/forums

“Today, we have launched the ANU 2025 survey. This is your opportunity to respond to some of the themes and ideas raised during the consultation. You can complete the survey here: https://anu.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1XD93mybdh75weW. “

The link may not be easy to use even by pasting into your browser without the full stop but gives the following information: 

“Questions in this survey were developed from ANU community feedback on the ANU 2025 Strategic Plan. We are again seeking your input before embarking on the next phase of the process.

This survey is open from Tuesday 23 March to 11.30pm Thursday 1 April and will take approximately 10 – 15 minutes to complete.

For more information on the development of the ANU 2025 Strategic Plan, you can visit www.anu.edu.au/about/strategic-planning/anu-2025-our-landscape. If you have any additional feedback, please e-mail ANU2025@anu.edu.au.”


Solidarity in Diversity Conference

The African Studies Group (ASG) in partnership with the Melbourne Social Equity Institute (MSEI) is hosting the ‘Solidarity in Diversity’ International Conference in July 2021. The call for papers is now open.

“The conference seeks to highlight the voices of, knowledge and experiences of people of African descent, and from other marginalised groups and communities. It is structured around three key themes: solidarity and diversity in academia; policy framing and engagement; and in practice and community intervention.”

The Solidarity in Diversity Conference will be held virtually from Monday 19 to Friday 23 July 2021. To access the poster and the detailed concept note google this link 


You may have to copy this link into your browser.




Atem Atem – Settlement Experiences of South Sudanese in Western Sydney

Atem Atem PhD Presentation

Families in Western Sydney In the Search for the Good Life: Settlement Experiences of South Sudanese

This research explores the settlement experiences of South Sudanese humanitarian migrants who have arrived in Australia between late 1990s and late 2000s. South Sudanese came to Australia in the search for the good life. They came with high settlement expectations and aspirations. However, on arrival South Sudanese humanitarian migration became a public concern with authorities declaring the settlement policy a failure in 2007.

Atem’s PhD examines the settlement experience of South Sudanese humanitarian migrants in Western Sydney through charting the pre-migration and post-migration forces shaping immigrant experiences in Australia. The thesis prioritises the perspectives of South Sudanese migrants through exploring how South Sudanese traditional ways of life, socio-cultural, economic and political arrangements were reshaped by war, displacement and asylum experiences before their arrival in Australia. The thesis also investigates how migrants navigated societal and institutional responses in Australia using theories of social justice and social citizenship to examine the constant dialogues between migrants and the host society over the meaning of Australian identity and migrant settlement.

Jean Martin Room, Beryl Rawson Building and via Zoom

Mon. 22 Feb 2021
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm AEDT

To Register

Government House Workshop Invitation

This network has received a flyer (shown below) from Bradley Innes of the Royal Commonwealth Society (ACT Branch). The RCS is seeking expressions of interest  from students from Commonwealth countries to attend an afternoon of workshopping at Government house on Tuesday the 9th of March. The workshop shall be conducted as part of the celebrations of Commonwealth week, where the workshop’s theme will focus on democracy in the modern era. The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for aspiring leaders to hear from leading ACT scholars as well as meet Australia’s current Governor General. 

If you have any further questions on how to apply or more about the workshop in general, please read the following flyer or please feel free to get back in contact with Bradley.

The Royal Commonwealth Society (ACT Branch) has been asked to help facilitate a Student Workshop at Government House in Canberra during Commonwealth Week 2021.

The Government-General, HE the Hon General David Hurley AC DSC, will be inviting a select group of up to 30 students from Commonwealth countries studying in Canberra to participate in a Workshop on a theme relevant to democracy in the modern Commonwealth. It will feature a keynote speaker and group discussions.
This is a unique opportunity for Commonwealth students to learn about the topic from senior scholars, as well as participate in meaningful conversations about the Commonwealth in its current landscape.
The provisional details are as follows:
• Date: Tuesday 9 March 2021 approx. 2-5pm
• Location: Government House, Dunrossil Drive, Yarralumla
• Number of participants: Max. 30

If you would like to participate, you must be a student from a Commonwealth country studying in an ACT institution. There are no specific requirements in terms of degree or academic level.

No payment will be required for this workshop. Food and refreshments will likewise be provided.

To register your interest in the workshop please provide answers on the form here. https://forms.gle/HMGw5D96Y6svyeSR7
We look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Issues facing diaspora communities in Australia

The report of the Senate Committee on the above topic can be found at

Submissions relevant to Africa include the following
11. Federation of Equatoria Community Association in Australia Inc (FECAA)
25. African Australian Advocacy Centre
39. Africa Research & Engagement Centre (AfREC)
43. South Sudanese Community Association in Victoria
69. Community of South Sudan & Other Marginalised Areas in NSW
82. Advisory Group on Australia-Africa Relations