Government of Vanuatu Meritorious Service Medals Recipients
|Back to News »
Emeritus Professor Don Paterson (left) and Dr Howard Van Trease (right).
Two former academics of the University of the South Pacific, Professor Don Paterson and Dr Howard Van Trease have been honored as recipients of the government of Vanuatu Meritorious Service Medals from the President of Vanuatu, His Excellency, Mr Iolu Abbil.
Professor Paterson and Dr Trease were honored by H.E. Mr Abbil on Vanuatu’s Independence Day on 30 July, 2012 for their contributions to the country and the people of Vanuatu over the years.
The Faculty of Arts, Law & Education (FALE) at USP congratulated the esteemed academics for their achievements.
Professor Paterson went to Vanuatu in 1985 to establish the Pacific Law Unit – the forerunner of the School of Law - having already served USP since 1979 as Professor of Public Administration and then Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
He retired in 1997 and was made an emeritus professor of the university, but has been very closely associated with the School of Law since then.
He has undertaken numerous consultancies for the government of Vanuatu and other regional governments in matters relating to land law and customary law, as well as constitutional review and commissions of enquiry.
Dr Trease joined the USP’s Laucala Campus in 1973 to teach History, and soon afterwards started his PhD research on the politics of land in Vanuatu.
Later, after being Director of the Kiribati Centre for two years, Dr Trease went to Vanuatu in early 1980 to establish the USP Centre and was its first Director. After stints in Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, he returned to USP, first as Director of the Nauru Centre, and then as Director of University Extension.
His final academic post was at the University of Hawai’i, from which he retired and returned to Vanuatu as Honorary Research Fellow at Emalus Campus. He has long been involved in work on land issues in Vanuatu, as well as various educational issues.