Team Leader

Dr. Sagir

Dr. Bil Sagir
Director - Center for Melanesian Studies



The Centre for Melanesian Studies (CMS) is a Research Centre established under the auspices of the School of Humanities at UOG since 2007. It promotes seminar, conference and research activities in Melanesian perspectives in a wide range of fields including language and literature, social sciences, creative arts and communication, psychology, economics, and other realms of human activity. CMS has planned a number of initiatives and is working towards achieving them.



CMS oversees the postgraduate program in Melanesian Perspectives. The Bachelor of Arts with Honours and Master of Arts in Melanesian Perspectives have been running since 2006. Many students have graduated in these programs and are now working in different fields in different parts of the country.

Listed below provide details of students who enrolled in, and graduated from, the BA Honours and MA (Melanesian Perspectives) programs since 2006/2007.

Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Melanesian Perspectives)


Mary Kundi - Alcohol and drug abuse and its effects on the academic performance of students at Holy Trinity Teachers College, WHP.
Continuing studies.
Supervisor: Dr. Jane Awi.


Michael Reupana - Changing land tenure and land use practices in rural Papua New Guinea: The case of Iufi-Iufa and Notofona tribes in Goroka District, PNG.
Graduated in 2022.
Supervisor: Dr. Bill Sagir.

Walter Tiwaka - Dilemmas of land ownership and rural development in Hube Rural Local-Level Government area, Finschhafen District.
Graduated in 2021.
Supervisor: Dr. Bill Sagir.


Larry Nom - Management of household wastes in Asariufa urban village, Goroka District.
Continuing studies.
Supervisor: Dr. Bill Sagir.

Normelyn Albert Frowein - History of World War II in Bena Bena: Physical evidence and oral histories.
Continuing studies.
Supervisor: Dr. Bill Sagir.

Jessy Irakau - Survival strategies of Gimi migrants in Goroka.
Supervisor: Dr. Bill Sagir.

Master of Arts (Melanesian Perspectives)


Bomai Witne - Investigating the causes and resolutions of tribal and inter-clan warfare among the Bari people of Simbu.
Graduated in 2010.
Supervisor: Dr. Jerry Semos Dr. Goru Hane-Nou and Dr. Agewa Zeming.

Kevin Poke - Analysis of the significance of the Kafe hausman in Eastern Highlands Province.
Continuing studies.
Supervisor: Dr. Goru Hane-Nou.


Johnson Ahupa - The Sinicization of a dependent economy through the expansion of Chinese private enterprise: The case study of the retail sector in urban and peri-urban Goroka, PNG.
Graduated in 2017.
Supervisor: Dr. Diane Panta and Dr. Bill Sagir.


Noah Kenea - Cult practices in urban secondary schools in Lae City.
Graduated in 2020.
Supervisor: Bill Sagir.


Pax Jakupa – The Use of Visual Arts to Express Effect of Divorce on Young People.
Continuing studies.
Supervisor: Dr. Jane Awi.


Ellendora Siove - Oil palm plantations and accumulation by dispossession in East New Britain Province: A case study of the Baining ILG oil palm project with Tzen Niugini Company.
Continuing studies.
Supervisor: Bill Sagir.


Evelyn Siove – Housing Shortage in Goroka, EHP
Continuing studies.
Supervisor: Bill Sagir.

The Centre for Melanesian Studies also hosts seminars on a fortnightly basis or when staff in the School of Humanities have papers to present. Seminars are also hosted for overseas visiting scholars. Information on seminars presented since 2017 are presented below.

Presenters in 2017

Are Melanesians Possessive Individuals? A Critique of the Anthropology of Possessive Individualism in Papua New Guinea by Dr. Bill Sagir.

On a Role for Engaged Anthropology in Agriculture Extension and Rural Development’ by Professor Alan Quartermain.

Beneath the Rage: Gender and Other Variances on Aggression - A study on aggression among University students in PNG by Fr./Dr. Orathinkal Joseph and Mr. Witne Bomai.

Impacts of sea level rise along the Motuan coastline as evidence of climate change in Papua New Guinea by Collethy Jaru.

Presenters in 2018

Cultural Consideration, The Missing Item in National Development Agenda in PNG by Mr. Joseph Mangi.

Eating Habits of Teenagers in the Schools of Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea by Ms. Lenders Monama and Mrs. Monica Komi.

Presenters in 2019

Social Stratification, Cultural Identities, and Politics of Leadership: The Consolidation of a National Culture, Papua New Guinea by Ivo Syndicus- PhD Candidate.

Is Economy a transaction of goods and services? By Dr. Olivia Barnett Naghshinenh.

Ancestral History of the Stone Axe Traders by Dr. Mark Eby and Mr. Paul Malbah.

Creative Media, Digital Tools and Instruction by Dr. Jane Awi, PhD and Dr. Matthew Landu, PhD.

Presenters in 2013

Performance of students in English: A survey of the learning process in English language and literature in selected rural upper secondary schools in Eastern Highlands Province, PNG by Thamarai Selvi Lucy Wakei and Andrew Naili.

Covid-19 as political space: Global, national and local perspectives by Dr. Bill Sagir.

Linguistic Society of PNG Conference

Centre for Melanesian Studies contributed to the organization and planning of the Linguistics Society of PNG conference held from 11th to 14th September 2017.

Japanese Film Screening

CMS facilitated the Japanese Film Festival and intercultural exchange program between the Japanese Embassy and the University of Goroka in 2018 and 2019. The project is ongoing. An MOU is currently being prepared with the Japanese embassy for establishing a Japanese Cultural Centre at the University of Goroka.

Intercultural Drama Project with Queensland University of Technology

CMS has established a link with the Queensland University of Technology and will explore other opportunities in the future. In 2017, the CMS coordinated an international intercultural drama collaborative project with QUT. The project is ongoing.

Life Drama Sexual Health Education with the Queensland University of Technology

Life drama is a sexual health education program between the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Goroka, which started in 2008 under the leadership of Professor Brad Haseman of QUT. This project is now completed with the production of a sexual health education handbook and instructional DVD which were launched at the University of Goroka in November 2019. The copyright for these materials were given to the Centre for Melanesian Studies.

CMS supports the national efforts to advocate for arts education and promotes creative arts to schools in PNG. CMS also collaborates with the Port Moresby Arts Theatre to deliver drama curriculum.

In 2022, CMS developed research fields for researchers and academics in the School of Humanities. Academics in the different divisions within the School of Humanities are encouraged to develop research proposals in these fields and seek funding for their research. The research fields include:

Business and Economics Research
This research field will involve staff from Division of Business Studies. However, there may be some research projects that might require collaboration with staff from other divisions.

Languages and Linguistics Research
This research field is mostly for staff in the Division of Language and Literature.

Historical Research
This research field is interdisciplinary. Research in this field will require staff from a number of different academic disciplines as well as history discipline which is housed in the Division of Social Science.

Political and Social Research
While the name implies that this research field will involve mainly staff from Social Science Division, some research projects would no doubt require collaboration with, and contributions from, colleagues from other divisions.

Urbanization and Lands Studies
This research field is interdisciplinary. Research projects in this field would require collaboration from academics in different academic disciplines such as Geography, Planning, Development Studies, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science, and Heritage Studies.

Arts and Culture Research
This research field is meant to bring together staff from CCA, Heritage Studies, Anthropology and others.

The Journal of Melanesian Perspectives is a journal of the School of Humanities housed in the Centre for Melanesian Studies. Volume 1 2020 was produced and launched in 2021. Volume 2, Issue 1 2021 has also been produced.

Plans are underway to produce Volume 2, Issue 2, 2021, Volume 3, Issue 1 and Issue 2, 2022, and Volume 4, Issue 1 and Issue 2, 2023. One of the issues for Volume 3, 2022 will be a special issue on covid-19. One of the issues for Volume 4, 2023 will be a special issue on PNG General Elections 2022.

About The University of Goroka

The University of Goroka (UOG) is the third largest of the six universities in Papua New Guinea (PNG), and is by far the largest teacher education institution. The University was formed in 1997 from two faculties...


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