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Recent economic development in Vietnam has seen a proliferation of manufacturing. At the same time, Vietnam has embraced creative innovation as part of its move towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Throughout the country, new creativity and innovation practices are emerging. These practices provide a creative outlet, but also connect to bigger themes around industry, wellbeing, productivity, and climate change. Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Associate Professor Jane Gavan untangles some of these threads, explaining the relationship between creativity and manufacturing, and reflecting on sustainable, innovative ways of raising productivity and valuing creativity in Vietnam. About Jane Gavan: Associate Professor Jane Gavan is an artist-researcher who curates in-country collaborations between creative practitioners and organisations. Jane’s research seeks to offer opportunities for sustainable, innovative ways of raising productivity and valuing creativity in Vietnam. Her recent major exhibition, Manufacturing Creativity at the Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, was supported by UNESCO and the Vietnam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies. Through this work, Jane develops new access to materials, processes, and audiences for creative practitioners, and builds sustainable socially responsible innovation in firms. Jane is based at the Sydney College of the Arts, in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney, teaching across all levels. Jane also leads workshops for the FASS capstone Interdisciplinary Impact and advises on the School of Business Master of Commerce Creativity and Data unit. Jane is on the Executive of the Sydney Vietnam Initiative. Interview References: Jane mentioned the Vietnam Labor research work of Do Quynh Chi - Director - Research Centre for Employment in Hanoi, all other artists and organizations can be found on the Manufacturing Creativity website. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers across East and Southeast Asia have found themselves turning to Thai soap operas known as “Boys Love series” as a source of comfort and joy. Originally deriving from Japanese comic book culture, Boys Love, or BL, represents just one of many instances where the queer popular culture of Japan has transformed sexual culture in Southeast Asia through the development of new expressions of gender and sexuality. Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Thomas Baudinette shines the spotlight on the influence of Japanese queer popular across Southeast Asia, highlighting how, across the region, young consumers – most prominently from sexual minority communities – have been turning away from Western media to draw upon Japanese popular culture in the ongoing search for affirmative representation and tools to not only make sense of their minoritised sexualities, but to also advocate for their emancipation. About Tom Baudinette: Dr Thomas Baudinette is Senior Lecturer in Japanese and International Studies, Department of Media, Communication, Creative Arts, Language, and Literature at Macquarie University. Thomas’s scholarly research focuses upon the role of Asian popular culture in informing knowledge about gender and sexuality across East and Southeast Asia. His first book is Regimes of Desire: Young Gay Men, Media, and Masculinity in Tokyo (University of Michigan Press, 2021). His second book is Boys Love Media in Thailand: Celebrity, Fans, and Transnational Asian Queer Popular Culture (Bloomsbury, forthcoming). For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Energy, and who controls it, has emerged as a major issue in Southeast Asia in recent years. Nowhere is this issue more evident than in the Mekong region, where China’s influence on the politics of energy has been steadily on the rise under the umbrella of its Belt and Road Initiative. China’s investments have supported Cambodia in being able to meet its increasing domestic energy demand, and are also helping Laos to fulfil its vision of becoming the ‘battery of Asia’. Meanwhile, renewed US commitment and additional funding to the Mekong region has been welcomed. Nevetheless, whether that translates into viable alternatives to Beijing’s massive trade and investment, and growing influence, remains to be seen. Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Andrea Haefner unpacks the role of Chinese energy politics in Laos and Cambodia, and reflects on the impact of the recent economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. About Andrea Haefner: Dr Andrea Haefner is a Lecturer at the Griffith Asia Institute and has over 15 years of experience working with academia, government, and international organisations across Australia, Germany, and Southeast Asia, especially the Mekong region where she lived and worked for four years in Laos. Andrea's research focuses on transboundary river basin, geopolitics, and governing civil society in the Mekong region. Besides publishing several peer-reviewed articles, Andrea's book on Negotiating for Water Resources - Bridging Transboundary River Basins was published with Routledge in 2016. In addition to focusing on impact research and policy relevance, Andrea also works on several projects on the ground and regularly leads capacity building programs. In 2021, Andrea received the ABDC Award for Innovation and Excellence in International Education. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Following the 2014 coup in Thailand, in which the Thai military overthrew the caretaker government after 6 months of political crisis, major media outlets suggested that the coup could lead to ethnic tensions—and potentially civil war—between the Isan people of northeastern Thailand and the central Thai government. While this civil war never eventuated, there were genuine tensions between the Isan people and the Thai state. In this episode, Dr Natali Pearson is joined by Associate Professor Jacob Ricks, to discuss why these tensions never escalated into full blown conflict as predicted. Is this a sign that Thailand’s centuries-long effort to integrate diverse ethnic identities has been a success, and what cautionary tales might apply? About Jacob Ricks: Jacob Ricks is Associate Professor of Political Science in the School of Social Sciences at Singapore Management University. He researches development topics as well as nationalism and ethnicity in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Thailand and Indonesia. Recently he has been studying the identity of the Isan people of Northeastern Thailand. He is co-author of the book Ethnicity and Politics in Southeast Asia with Amy Liu. His research has also been published in journals like World Development, Political Behavior, Pacific Affairs, and Journal of Contemporary Asia, among others. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Cambodia is home to Angkor, one of the most important archaeological sites of Southeast Asia. Greater Angkor, the capital of the Khmer Empire, was a low-density city covered about a 1000 sq km and was the home of between 750,000 to 900,000 people in the 12th century CE. The urban complex was largely abandoned in the 14th and 15th centuries. Its central 300 sq km is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes the world-famous temple of Angkor Wat, one of humankind’s largest religious monuments which has continued in use to the present day. In this episode, world-renowned archaeologist Professor Roland Fletcher joins Dr Natali Pearson to examine the structure of Angkor’s social and spatial organisation; the way the urban complex operated in its environment. Reflecting on the metropolis’ demise, Roland argues that archaeological study of Angkor can teach us lessons about the vulnerability of modern-day urbanism in a time of increasing climate risk. About Roland Fletcher: Roland Fletcher is Professor of Theoretical and World Archaeology at the University of Sydney. Roland is also Director of the Greater Angkor Project – a collaboration between the University of Sydney, the Authority for the Protection of the Site and Management of the Region of Angkor (APSARA) in Cambodia, and the École française d'Extrême-Orient (EFEO), that has been ongoing since 1998. He is the author of The Limits of Settlement Growth, published by Cambridge University Press in 1995, and has published extensively on urbanism. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Launched in 2013 by Chinese President XI Jinping, China’s Belt and Road initiative has manifested throughout Southeast Asia in the form of multibillion dollar investments in transport infrastructure, industrial estates and other forms of “hard” development. This push for trade and hard infrastructure has been accompanied by a surge in various soft power initiatives, including the use of religion as a cultural resource. Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Gregory Raymond sheds light on the use of religion, in particular Buddhism, within the great geopolitical strategy of China’s Belt and Road Initiative across mainland Southeast Asia. About Gregory Raymond: Gregory Raymond is a lecturer in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs researching Southeast Asian politics and foreign relations. He is the author of Thai Military Power: A Culture of Strategic Accommodation (NIAS Press 2018) and the lead author of The United States-Thai Alliance: History, Memory and Current Developments (Routledge, 2021). His work has been published in journals including Contemporary Southeast Asia, South East Asia Research and the Journal of Cold War Studies. He convenes the ASEAN Australia Defence Postgraduate Scholarship Program, the Global China Research Spoke for the ANU Centre for China in the World, and is ANU Press editor for the Asia Pacific Security series. He holds a PhD in political science from La Trobe University and an MA in Asian Studies from Monash University. Before joining the Australian National University, Greg was a policy advisor in the Australian Government, including in the strategic and international policy areas of the Department of Defence and the Australian Embassy in Bangkok. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Vaccines have controlled or even eradicated some of the world’s most serious diseases. Throughout the last century and up until recently with the COVID-19 pandemic, the development of successful vaccines has widely been heralded a triumph to combat devastating virus outbreaks. The success of immunisations, however, has always been limited by issues of public acceptance. Understanding why people are or aren’t vaccinated is crucial to public health responses to diseases like measles and, of course, COVID-19. Many are concerned about the impact of anti-vaccination activism and misinformation on vaccine programs. But is vaccine hesitancy always due to misinformation, and how do we go about measuring it? Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Kerrie Wiley unpacks some of these issues, and discusses the various drivers of vaccine acceptance in Southeast Asia. About Kerrie Wiley: Dr Kerrie Wiley is a Senior Research Fellow with the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, in the Faculty of Medicine and Health. Kerrie’s research focuses on the social and behavioural aspects of immunisation and other preventive health behaviours, and their implications for policy and practice. Kerrie is a member of the World Health Organization ‘Measuring Behavioural and Social Drivers of Vaccination’ (BeSD) Working Group, and a founding member of the Collaboration of Social Science in Immunisation. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Migration and architecture have emerged as a new topic of research at a global level. Migrant worker dormitories in Singapore, for example, are sites where structural inequities in architecture and legal regulations have had a significant impact on the living conditions of migrant workers, and they hit the headlines in 2020 as sites for the rapid spread of COVID. Dr Jennifer Ferng joins Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories to talk about the relationship between architecture and labour, arguing that climate change, capital, and power intersect with the forced displacement of migrants to reinforce existing inequalities of ethnicity, class, and citizenship in Singapore. About Jennifer Ferng: Dr Jennifer Ferng is Senior Lecturer in Architecture and Academic Director at the University of Sydney. Her research addresses asylum seekers and refugees, forced displacement, and migration in the built environment of the Asia-Pacific region. Most recently, she was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at University College London in 2021. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
King Vajiravudh ruled over Siam from 1910 to 1925. He is widely known to Thais as a nationalist king who proposed an essential ‘Thainess’ through his myriad of writings. Yet contrary to popular expectations, King Vajiravudh’s attitude towards the West was nothing short of ambivalent. In fact, King Vajiravudh’s dynamic practice of translating works of Western literature into Thai points to strong bonds of affection towards Great Britain and France in particular. To explore this connection, Dr Natali Pearson is joined by Dr Faris Yothasamuth who argues that King Vajiravudh’s fascination with the West and Western discourses heavily influenced his management of the Kingdom of Siam, and in doing so, shaped the country’s national identity. Dr Faris Yothasamuth is a lecturer at the Department of Literature, Kasetsart University, Thailand. He received PhD in International Comparative Literature and Translation Studies from The University of Sydney in 2021. Faris’s research and teaching expertise is Thai literature. His research interests include literature and history, and translation in Thailand’s (semi)colonial contexts. Faris’s current research focuses on representations of the Orient in Western popular novels that were translated into Thai during the colonial era. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Amidst accelerating environmental change and intense urbanisation, there is growing enthusiasm for building sustainable and ‘natural’ cities. Yet, when a flourishing eco-futuristic urban imaginary is enacted, it is often driven by a specific version of sustainability that is tied to high-tech futurism and persistent economic growth. In a Southeast Asian context, no city or country better encapsulates this than Singapore. But the pursuit of a singular narrative of progress has very specific consequences, particularly when that progress benefits some but not all beings. In this episode, Dr Natali Pearson is joined by Dr Jamie Wang to shed more light on the implications of Singapore’s growth fetish, and its implications for humans and non-humans. About Jamie Wang: Dr Jamie Wang is a Sydney Southeast Asia Centre Writing Fellow, a research affiliate in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, and an editor of the journal Feminist Review. She has a PhD in Environmental Humanities and Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the intersections of environmental humanities, urban geography, more-than-human studies and sustainable development in the context of planetary urbanism, climate change and environmental injustice. Jamie’s recent project ‘Reimagining the More-than-Human cities, stories of Singapore’ has explored the multifaceted pressing urban environmental issues, from urban greenery to housing development projects, transportation, water infrastructure, and urban agriculture, with a geographic focus in Singapore. It asks how we might develop ways of re-thinking, re-seeing and re-storying cities through foregrounding their more-than-human worlds. Jamie is also a writer and poet. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
From mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue to chronic bacterial infections such as yaws, Southeast Asia is home to a wide range of tropical diseases. For a long time, the arrival in the region of these and other dangerous tropical diseases was believed to be connected to the introduction of agriculture. But how long have these diseases really been around for? How are they connected to the region’s fluctuating social and environmental conditions? And how have they impacted the human populations of Southeast Asia over time? Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, bioarchaeologist Dr Melandri Vlok sheds light on the complex science of paleoepidemiology and its use of advanced analytical practices such as DNA ancestry, skeletal studies, and teeth calculus to uncover ancient stories of illness and disease. She explains that far from being mere remnants of the past, archaeological human remains can help us understand the evolution and spread of pathogens, and inform strategies to curb the spread of infectious diseases in human populations. About Melandri Vlok: Dr Melandri Vlok is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Melandri specialises in palaeopathology/ bioarchaeology and researches the implications for migration and trade on the presence of infectious and nutritional diseases in past populations in Asia. Melandri's work, funded by grant bodies including National Geographic and the Royal Society of New Zealand, has involved the analysis of human skeletal remains from Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand and the Philippines. She is also involved with repatriation efforts focused on returning Māori and Moriori ancestral remains to iwi and imi (tribes) in New Zealand. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
In 2021, a team of divers sponsored by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute surveyed two historic shipwrecks discovered in the Singapore Strait, working for several months to bring their submerged cargos to the surface. Chinese trade ceramics found in these cargos date their demise to the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries – pivotal moments in the history of the globe-spanning China Trade. The most intriguing aspect of this salvage operation, however, is the discovery in the remains of the older vessel of the most substantial cargo of Yuan-dynasty blue-and-white porcelain yet found in Southeast Asian waters. Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Alex Burchmore argues that these discoveries provide valuable insights into the complex interactions between China and Southeast Asia, allowing us to reposition Southeast Asia at the centre of historic trade narratives. Through the international trade of Chinese ceramics, Dr Burchmore invites us to reimagine the past, rethinking traditional narratives of Chineseness across the region, as well as Australia’s identity in the Asia-Pacific. About Alex Burchmore: Dr Alex Burchmore is an art historian specialising in the study of Chinese and Southeast Asian art, past and present, with a particular focus on ceramics, trade and exchange, and the interweaving of the personal and material. Alex received his PhD from the Australian National University in 2019 and joined the University of Sydney’s Museum and Heritage Studies department in 2021. His first book, New Export China: Translations Across Time and Place in Contemporary Chinese Porcelain Art (University of California Press, 2023), traces the extent to which artists within and beyond China have used porcelain to shape their personal, historical, and cultural identities, from the 1990s to the present. His recent publications include a study of the ‘material Chineseness’ of ink and porcelain in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art and a chapter dedicated to the ‘fugitive luxury’ of contemporary Chinese ceramics in The Allure of Matter: Materiality Across Chinese Art (University of Chicago Press, 2021). For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Today, oral histories of everyday Singaporeans are more widely circulated in the nation’s mediascape than ever before. At first glance, storytelling in Singapore appears to have lost its monolithic quality, becoming diffuse and diversified. But as Dr Cheng Nien Yuan argues, Singapore has become a Storytelling State, marketing bite-sized pieces of consumable lives as authentic windows to the private self. The result is the use of personal stories within the neoliberal public sphere, mirroring a growing global phenomenon. To tell this story, Dr Natali Pearson is joined by Dr Cheng Nien Yuan to discuss her award-winning research that charts Singapore’s development into a storytelling state over the last decade. About Cheng Nien Yuan: Cheng Nien Yuan is an Honorary Associate at the University of Sydney’s School of Literature, Art and Media, as well as the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Her research centres around the politics and poetics of storytelling in Singapore. She obtained her PhD in Theatre and Performance Studies in 2020 at Sydney University. Her thesis titled ‘The Storytelling State: Performing Life Histories in Singapore’ was awarded the 2020 John Legge Best Thesis in Asian Studies Prize by the Asian Studies Association of Australia. She has published in the journals Studies in Theatre and Performance (2021), Performance Paradigm (2018), and the Oral History Review (2017). She is also a dramaturg and performance-maker. Cheng is currently based in the Intercultural Theatre Institute in Singapore, where she researches their pedagogy and practice. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
In April 2021, three months into Myanmar’s most recent and increasingly more violent coup d’état, local residents managed to obstruct the junta by refusing to cooperate with military appointed officials. The junta had attempted to replace all local level administrators with those loyal to the military. But in one town in Shan State, the junta-appointed administrators were socially ostracized by the community to the point of resigning. With no one daring to take their place, every ward administrator position in town went unfilled. Across the country, Myanmar residents supported each other, and striking civil servants, by setting up donations of basic foodstuffs such as rice, oil, and onions. In this episode, Dr Natali Pearson is joined by Dr Jayde Lin Roberts to discuss how these locally initiated direct actions are part and parcel of the ordinary practices of everyday life in Myanmar. In providing a space for informal, intimate, and relational economies, nalehmu not only fosters community-building, says Dr Roberts, but it also has the power to disrupt conventional power structures. About Jayde Roberts: Dr Jayde Lin Roberts is a senior lecturer in the School of Built Environment at UNSW Sydney and an interdisciplinary scholar of Urban Studies and Southeast Asian Studies. Her research on Myanmar focuses on urban informality, heritage-making, and the influence of transnational networks. Her monograph, Mapping Chinese Rangoon: Place and Nation among the Sino-Burmese was published by the University of Washington Press in 2016. She was a Fulbright US Scholar in Yangon, Myanmar between 2016-2018. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Southeast Asia is the most tectonically and geologically active region on Earth. These processes have enriched the mountains and basins with world-famous mineral and energy resources, fresh water, and highly productive soils. However, the same geological processes are responsible for incredible destruction – from the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption in the Philippines to the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. These natural hazards, coupled with the effects of human-induced climate change, are driving significant change. To talk us through these changes, Dr Sabin Zahirovic joins Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, exposing how climate change is amplifying existing vulnerabilities in Southeast Asia. He explains how understanding past and current geological process can help us reduce risks from natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis, but also address the huge challenges faced by growing populations and increased vulnerabilities resulting from climate change. About Sabin Zahirovic: Dr Sabin Zahirovic is a Robinson Fellow in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney. Sabin's research focuses on global plate tectonics and mantle evolution, and particularly for the Tethyan and Asian regions. He completed his PhD titled “Post-Pangea global plate kinematics and geodynamic implications for Southeast Asia” at the University of Sydney in 2015. From 2015 to 2020, he led the Papua New Guinea research stream of the ARC ITRH Basin GENESIS Hub at the University of Sydney. He now leads the Tectonics and Geodynamics stream of a collaborative industry project with BHP. In 2020, Sabin was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to explore the rise and demise of massive reefs and carbonate platforms on Australian continental margins. Sabin is a past recipient of the GSA Voisey Medal, the Deep Carbon Observatory Emerging Leader Award, and the AIPS NSW Tall Poppy award. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
On 16 August 2021, Muhyiddin Yaseen resigned as Prime Minister of Malaysia, with Ismail Sabri Yaakub sworn in as the new Prime Minister a week later, making him Malaysia’s third Prime Minister in two years. This marked the return to power of UMNO, or the United Malays National Organisation, and the graft-tainted coalition that had been ousted from power in 2018. Meanwhile, another former Prime Minister, Najib Razak, is eyeing a return to Parliament, notwithstanding a conviction and 12-year prison sentence for abuse of power and ongoing trials for corruption. His wife Rosmah Mansur is also now facing three corruption charges. Associate Professor Salim Farrar joins Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories to talk about corruption and the politics of public prosecution in Malaysia, surveying the landscape of law and justice in Malaysia now and beyond, through a re-evaluation of Vision 2020. About Salim Farrar: Salim Farrar is Director of Islamic Law, an Associate Director of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney and an Associate Professor in the Sydney Law School. He researches in Comparative and Islamic Laws, with focuses on law and development in predominantly Muslim states, the legal accommodation of Muslim minorities and the Malaysian legal system (especially in criminal justice). His most recent published research explores law and justice in Malaysia post the 2018 GE14. He is the joint editor (with Paul Subramaniam) of ‘Law and Justice in Malaysia: 2020 and Beyond’ (2021, Thomson Reuters), editor of ‘Law and Development in the Islamic World’ Law and Development Review (Special Edition), Vol 13 (2) (2020) and joint author (with Ghena Krayem) of ‘Accommodating Muslims under Common Law’ (2017, 2018, Routledge). For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Cambodia’s Tonle Sap is the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia. Each year, during the monsoon, this freshwater lake experiences an incredible hydrological phenomenon, in which it is inundated with swelling waters from the Mekong River, causing it to rise by up to tenfold in some places, before returning to its pre-monsoon level as the dry season returns. But Tonle Sap is facing a triple environmental threat: climate change, the damming of the Mekong River, and over-fishing, with devastating impact not only on the wildlife, but also on local floating village communities. To share more, Dr Josephine Gillespie joins Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories and invites us to rethink global environmental protection regimes in Southeast Asia. Taking Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake as a case-study, she argues that in order to maintain the ecological, cultural, and economic integrity of the most important river and delta system in the world, environmental management projects and policies must take into account people-place dynamics and local livelihoods. About Josephine Gillespie: Dr Josephine Gillespie is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Geosciences, Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney. She researches environmental regulation and people-place dynamics across the region, with a particular focus on Cambodia. Jo’s research projects have focused on protected areas, especially the management of world heritage places and wetlands. She is the author of Protected Areas: A Legal Geography Approach (2020) and a co-editor of Legal Geography: Perspectives and Methods (2020). Jo has published widely about environmental management in the Asia-Pacific. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
In September-October 2021, SSEAC Stories will be hosting a mini-series of podcasts exploring the role that research plays in understanding and advocating for human rights in Southeast Asia. For the final episode in the series, Dr Thushara Dibley is joined by Emeritus Professor Peter Windsor who brings to light how research improving animal health and production is intrinsically linked to human rights issues. Reflecting on his extensive field-based research on transboundary livestock disease in the Greater Mekong Region, he argues that through training on biosecurity practices, animal vaccination programs and nutritional interventions, rural households were able to prevent disease transmission and increase their livestock productivity, making farm production more sustainable. With higher income levels, local families’ livelihoods were improved. This enables better access to human rights, such as access to safe housing, access to healthcare, and access to knowledge and education, amongst others. About Peter Windsor: Peter Windsor is Professor Emeritus in the University of Sydney’s School of Veterinary Science since 2014. Peter worked extensively for NSW Agriculture in several roles including diagnostic pathology and livestock disease research and management. In 1998, he undertook a 19-month appointment to the Food Agriculture Organisation in Naga City, in the Bicol region of the Philippines, that eventually led to the successful eradication of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Peter joined the University of Sydney in 2002, where he had a diverse range of teaching, research and administrative roles. His current research portfolio includes applied field-based projects on ruminant health and production problems in Southeast Asia that aim to assist FMD control. He continues his field studies on improving food security in developing countries and animal welfare in production systems, as well as reproductive, congenital, neurological and genetic disease research. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
In September-October 2021, SSEAC Stories will be hosting a mini-series of podcasts exploring the role that research plays in understanding and advocating for human rights in Southeast Asia. Maternal and child health is the cornerstone of a life lived healthily. Healthy women grow healthy children, who then go on to have healthy children themselves. In resource poor settings, healthy families can influence the wider community. In this episode, Dr Thushara Dibley is joined by Associate Professor Camille Raynes-Greenow to discuss how research focussed on interventions in the (mostly) perinatal period can improve outcomes for women and children. Focusing primarily on Myanmar, Associate Professor Raynes-Greenow highlights the universal appeal of research that aims to improve maternal and newborn health, but also reveals that it can encounter challenges in contexts of severe wealth inequalities and political censorship. About Camille Raynes-Greenow: Camille is a perinatal epidemiologist, at The Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney. Her research aims to reduce the burden of perinatal morbidity and mortality and improve the health of women and babies particularly of those most vulnerable. Camille was part of the research team that first identified the risk of maternal supine sleeping for stillbirth in Australia. The project funded through the CRE that Camille is working on, is aiming to improve health literacy around reducing stillbirth risk for women not born in Australia. Camille is also leading a large cluster randomised controlled trial in Bangladesh of an intervention to reduce household air pollution to assess the effect on pregnancy outcomes, particularly stillbirth and neonatal mortality. Camille is Director of the Masters of Global Health program, and co-leads the Global Health and Nutrition Research Collaboration in the Sydney School of Public Health at The University of Sydney. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
In September-October 2021, SSEAC Stories will be hosting a mini-series of podcasts exploring the role that research plays in understanding and advocating for human rights in Southeast Asia. In the second episode, Dr Thushara Dibley talks with Professor Nick Enfield about how the field of linguistics intersects with human rights. They discuss some of the impacts that major hydro-electric dam projects in Laos have had on local communities, not just in changing day-to-day life, but in decreasing interethnic interactions, thereby eroding multiculturalism and multilingualism. In disrupting local indigenous exchanges, Professor Enfield argues that large development projects risk impeding the transmission of significant cultural knowledge, including traditional knowledge of biodiversity and environmental sustainability. The study of languages thus becomes a tool for understanding a broader set of human rights, from cultural to environmental rights. About Nick Enfield: Nick Enfield is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney and director of the Sydney Social Sciences and Humanities Advanced Research Centre, and the Sydney Centre for Language Research. He is head of a Research Excellence Initiative on The Crisis of Post-Truth Discourse. His research on language, culture, cognition and social life is based on long term field work in mainland Southeast Asia, especially Laos. His recent books include The Languages of Mainland Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2021) and Mainland Southeast Asian Languages: A Concise Typological Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Nick has published widely in linguistics, anthropology, and cognitive science venues, and has written for The Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, the Wall Street Journal, and Science. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Royal Society of New South Wales, and the Australian Academy of the Humanities. For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website:
Comments (1)

Jamil Ahmed

Great work

Oct 20th
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