Participants of the PARBICA 17 Conference at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour.
The University of the South Pacific (USP) was part of a conference organised by the Pacific Regional Branch of the International Council on Archives (PARBICA) at the Pearl Resort in Pacific Harbour, Fiji.
The conference, which was from 4-7 September, 2017, aimed to renew professional contacts with other archivists in the Pacific, discuss challenges and possible solutions and build the technical and professional knowledge of its members.
Formed in 1981, PARBICA is a professional organisation intent on promoting the effective management and use of records and archives across the Pacific and preserving the region's archival heritage.
PARBICA is headed by a Bureau – the President, Vice-President, Secretary-General, Treasurer and three elected members – which is responsible for managing the day to day business of PARBICA.
In officially welcoming the delegates to the conference, Dr Giulio Paunga, USP’s Vice-President, Regional Campuses said that with members from over 20 nations, states and territories, PARBICA resembles USP in a lot of ways.
He stated that PARBICA covers the largest and most diverse geographical area of all the ICA branches and likewise USP, with 12 member states, covering a region spread across 33 million square kilometres of ocean, an area more than three times the size of Europe.
“As a regional institution, USP has a unique and integral role to play in the South Pacific, particularly through its educational offerings, its research activity and, its engagement with, and contribution to, the nations it serves and beyond.
“Likewise, the work that PARBICA does, play an important role in working with and being dedicated to uniting archival institutions and practitioners across the region to advocate for good archival management and the physical protection of the Pacifica recorded heritage,” he remarked.
Dr Paunga said more importantly, PARBICA provides a vital link for archivists and records managers from across our dispersed region to meet, network together and support each other in advocating good records management and the effective use and preservation of the unique and irreplaceable documentary heritage of the Pacific.
“The conference theme this year – Archives Engaged: Personal, professional, political – is highly relevant in today’s world and reflects how the University goes about ensuring its business and endeavours meet the needs of multiple stakeholders,” he noted.
Dr Paunga said the University turns 50 next year and is drawing on the multiple records and archival materials held by the University to display, describe, reflect and celebrate our past – from the days of the old Royal Air New Zealand Air Force base to the latest campus building just opened in Marshall Islands and the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Solomon Islands Campus only last week.
“The Pacific region has a young population – over half of its population is below the age of 24. Your work, the work of this conference, is vital in collecting, maintaining, advancing and sharing the knowledge and expertise of those who have gone before us and who our young people have never had the opportunity to learn from first-hand,” he added.
“Your work in advancing the protection and creating a greater appreciation of culture of the Pacific Islands is reflected in our Graduate Attributes and our Strategic Themes,” Dr Paunga further stated.
PARBICA is one of thirteen regional branches of the International Council on Archives (ICA). The ICA, with approximately 1400 members from over 199 countries, is dedicated to uniting archival institutions and practitioners across the globe to advocate for good archival management and the physical protection of the worlds recorded heritage.
PARBICA's purpose is to carry out the aims and objectives of the ICA within the Pacific allowing for the organisation to tailor priorities, manage business and initiate programs to specifically meet the needs and requirements of members within this region.
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