Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies

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History

The Oceania Centre for Arts and Culture (OCAC or The Oceania Centre) was established in 1997 as a special project of the University of the South Pacific (USP) University Council. The Council's decision to create a Pacific arts and culture program at the Laucala Campus in Suva, was based upon concerns with cultural conservation and development. The Oceanian academic, writer and philosopher, the late Professor Epeli Hau'ofa, was appointed as The Oceania Centre's first Director, supported by a Program Assistant and a Cleaner. Of these three original staff members, only the Cleaner still remains with The Oceania Centre.

From these humble beginnings, The Oceania Centre grew into a leading creative centre for the region, with a growing international reputation. Numerous artists from across the region have contributed to the development of contemporary Oceanic art at The Oceania Centre and artists from The Centre have toured internationally presenting their unique forms of Visual Arts, Dance and Music to the world. The Oceania Dance TheatreNewsounds StudioNewsounds Oceania bandPacific Outreach Program for Polynesia, Pasifika Voices Ensemble,  Niu Waves Writers Collective and the Red Wave Collective all found a home at The Oceania Centre.

The Oceania Centre was established as a standalone unit of USP and this status continued up until 2006, when it was incorporated into the Faculty of Islands and Oceans.  This move caused some fundamental changes to the way the Centre operated as it became more closely linked to the academic functions of USP.  In late 2008, OCAC was incorporated into the Faculty of Arts and Law, after the Faculty of Islands and Oceans was disbanded.  At this time, the  Pacific Studies program at USP was merged with The Oceania Centre, to form the Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies (OCACPS), allowing for the merging of formal academic teaching and research programs with the creative arts.

Hau'ofa continued as the Director of The Oceania Centre until his death early in 2009.  

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Page last updated: Monday, April 20, 2015
Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies
Private Bag, Laucala Campus,
Suva, Fiji.
Tel: (+679) 323 2332
Fax: (+679) 323 1524