PIMA News & Announcements


This PIMA and PAA collaborative session aims to highlight current Pacific research that links

with international Pacific and Maori museum collections. This is a unique opportunity to show-

case selected young researchers and future academics who are selected to share their research

and projects they are currently doing for the benefit of Pacific people. Pacific collections in

metropolitan museums and academic institutions in the United States deserve to be studied and

academically debated and discussed.

Moderator: Tarisi Vunidilo, Secretary-General, Pacific Islands Museum Association

Presenters: Ashley Meredith, MA, Phd Student, University of South Florida, Meredith Ferguson, MA Student, Tufts University, Marion Cadora, MA Student, University of Hawaii



The Pacific Islands Museums Association (PIMA), in association with the Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC) and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) is delighted to offer the opportunity for a research exchange program to carry out museum related research in their area of interest. Topics can range from – but are not limited to - the documentation and recording of intangible cultural heritage, regional museum capacity building and training programs, museums and contemporary arts, museums and communities, museum shops and merchandising, museum visitation, potential regional museum exhibitions to issues and opportunities of online databases and virtual museums).

DEADLINE: July 1, 2012

Criteria for applicants are on the attached form. 

For any queries, email pimasg@gmail.com or tarisi.vunidilo@gmail.com.

Please forward this EOI Form to those whom you know will be deserving to undertake this exchange progra



Tuesday 14 February 2012, Port Vila, Vanuatu – Solomon Islander Eddie Wale has been selected to take part in an international staff exchange programme between museums in the Pacific and Caribbean regions.

Wale, a thirty-year-old who has worked at the Solomon Islands National Museum (SINM) for several years, will be travelling to the Caribbean island nation of Barbados for a six-week internship that begins on 24 February 2012. He will be attached to the Barbados Museum.

Tony Heorake, Director of SINM, says that the selection of Wale will boost SINM's effort to revamp the museum for the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts that will run from to 1 to 14 July this year. He adds that SINM has been selected as one of the Honiara venues for the festival.

Heorake explained that, since its official opening in 1969, SINM has updated its exhibitions only twice — once in 2010 and the second time in 2011. The second update showcased Solomon Islands’ role during the Second World War. This time, they hope to focus on the country's history, which includes the Lapita people and pottery, the migration of Pacific Islanders through Solomon Islands, as well as Solomon Islands’ political and cultural diversity.

For their part in the exchange programme, SINM is hosting the counterpart from the Barbados. Kerron Hamblin, the successful candidate selected by the Museum Association of the Caribbean (MAC), will travel to Solomon Islands in the first week of March.

Administered by the Pacific Islands Museum Association (PIMA), the Museum Association of the Caribbean and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the programme should advance the professional development of the participants, giving them cross-cultural understanding, allowing them to carry out research and, at the same time, contributing something tangible to their host museum.

PIMA President and Chairperson, Adi Meretui Ratunabuabua, says the programme is the first of its kind since the establishment of the regional body in 1994. She says it will contribute towards capacity building in areas of curatorial expertise and museum management policies and practices. It will also promote museums to the general public and local communities, and will establish a working relationship with its Atlantic counterpart MAC.

She adds that the regional and global collaboration resulting from this programme will benefit the preservation of Pacific Island heritage.

MAC President Cyril Saltibus shares Ratunabuabua’s sentiments and congratulates the two museum staff selected to be part of this inaugural exchange programme.

The programme, funded by the European Union and managed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community’s (SPC) project — Structuring the cultural sector for enhanced human development — involves PIMA-member and MAC-member organisations and institutions. The employing institutions will act as the host for exchange candidates.

PIMA will be sending students and researchers on similar programmes later this year.

For further information, please contact:

Adi. Meretui Ratunabuabua,

Chair, Pacific Islands Museum Association 


Ph: +679  3306349

Fax: +679 3310 357

Email: mereculture@hotmail.com or pimachair@gmail.com

To print a copy of this press release, please download the attached PDF.


September 23-26, 2011
Hawai‘i Convention Center, Honolulu, HI

The WMA joined by the Hawai’i Museums Association and Pacific Islands Museums Association in co-hosting WMA’s 2011 Annual Meeting, September 23-26, 2011. This was a unique opportunity for WMA and fellow museum professionals to meet and exchange ideas and best practices with colleagues near and far, and to see Hawai‘i in a whole different light!

The 2011 WMA Annual Meeting was held two months prior to the convening of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Honolulu, which brought together the leaders of the 21 economies in the Asia – Pacific region. The WMA took advantage of this exceptional occasion to gather the diverse museum community and their associations from throughout this important and expansive geographic area to meet face to face, network, and foster greater collaboration across national borders.

According to Kippen de Alba Chu, executive director of Iolani Palace (Honolulu), and WMA board member “The WMA is mirroring APEC with the specific purpose of encouraging greater cooperation in arts, culture, and indigenous issues while at the same time highlighting the economic benefits of cultural and heritage tourism and the role that museums can play in this fast growing segment of the global economy.”

Western Museums Association Conference program and information.



"Safeguarding Measures under the 2003 UNESCO Convention"
Please download attached pdf of article.


Warm Pacific greetings to all our PIMA and ICOMOS board members, and also our PIMA trustees and supporters,

This is an email sent with alot of aroha/love/loloma to you for this special day, the International Museum Day 2011.

I have been in touch with museums in the Pacific and see below countries that are doing some activities/programs today, (others who are not listed below will be updating me during the course of the day what they will be doing).

1.The Museum in Rapa Nui will celebrate this day with activities, such as showing documentaries, Photographs slide shows, and a "Museum at Night" session.
2.The Solomon Islands National Museum is planning to host a launch of their News Letter (Taem Bifo), Exhibitions/Displays and Cultural Activities including dances by various groups.
3.The Museum of New Caledonia will celebrate a few days after May 18th, they will have nights at the museums! It will be held on the 20th-21st of May, in several institutions and the theme this year is "the tree is hiding the forest" (french colloquialism = "you can't see the wood for the trees") because of the International Year of the Forests.
Museums or cultural centres will be open at night and show "secrets and mysteries".
4. Papua New Guinea National Museum too have planned this day with an exhibition and public seminars
5.Vanuatu National Museum also has activities planned for today. Today seminars then Displays / Exhibitions are already up and cultural activities, film shows, and many more happening  plus President of State is presenting to some staffs national service medals

I will update our PIMA website and PIMA Facebook page on photos/commentaries of these wonderful events. If you can also pass this to your media and cultural networks,

Go Pacific Museums, Go Pacific Heritage!

Warm Regards,

Tarisi Vunidilo




Ni sa bula vinaka PIMA and ICOMOS Pasifika Board Members, and to the PIMA Trustees as well, a very warm welcome!

An historic ocassion took place on the village of Voua, on Nadroga Province this week. PIMA partnered with the Fiji Museum, ICOMOS Pasifika, Institute of Archaeology of New Caledonia (new Director is Dr. Christophe Sand) and the Department of the National Heritage, Culture & Arts in Fiji (through PIMA Chair, Adi Meretui Ratunabuabua) to undertake  4 days archaeology training for local villagers from 4 provinces of Serua, Nadroga, Ba and Ra. These are the Western provinces on Viti Levu.
PIMA and ICOMOS Pasifika (and other heritage organisations) anticipates developing this training further so it takes place in other parts of Fiji, and also in other parts of the Pacific region, should funding be available.

Vinaka vakalevu Sagale Buadromo, Director of Fiji Museum and her team for all the hard-work to finalise and deliver this project. A big vinaka vakalevu to Dr. Sand and his team from New Caledonia for leading the training program. Also to the ICOMOS Pasifika Secretariat in Suva, and not forgetting the Director and staff of the Department of National Heritage Culture & Arts. Vinaka na cakacaka vata kei na veilomani:)

Great team work, great collaboration;)

Many Thanks,

Tarisi Vunidilo, Secretary-General, PIMA


Working together, preserving, celebrating and nurturing the heritage of the peoples of the Pacific Islands


Five key heritage organizations in the Pacific have come together to train local villagers to map and record their archaeological sites in Fiji.  Such demands are the result of old village sites in danger of being destroyed due to development, farming, and mining taking place.

The Pacific Islands Museums Association (PIMA), ICOMOS Pasifika, Fiji Museum, Institute of Archaeology of New Caledonia (part of the Museum of New Caledonia) and the Department of National Heritage, Culture & Arts (Fiji) have come together to collectively undertake this training, which is taking place on the village of Voua, Nadroga Province on the island of Viti Levu. The four-day training will be completed on Thursday May12th, 2011.

PIMA responded to the request from the Fiji Museum for a basic archaeology training to be undertaken to counter the demand of requests from local landowners for archaeological sites to be mapped and recorded. PIMA and its partner organisation ICOMOS Pasifika requested archaeologists New Caledonia to undertake this training.

Well-known Pacific archaeologist Dr. Christophe Sand, Director of the newly formed Institute of Archaeology of New Caledonia as well as current President of ICOMOS Pasifika, was elated when approached to undertake this task. He mentioned how honoured he was to be chosen to undertake this historic training in Fiji. He hoped that this training will be done on other Pacific island nations. ‘If this grass-root training is successful in Fiji, I am sure this can be done on other islands as well,” he said.

The objectives of this training are:

  • To train local villagers on how to identify archaeological sites
  • To train participants to identify sites that are in danger
  • To learn basic surveying, mapping and recording
  • To be able to show these maps to the local and international developers, as well as the Fiji Museum Archaeology Team of the important heritage areas within their land boundaries
  • To teach local landowners to safeguard their site using Fiji’s  Land Laws

Selected participants were chosen with the support of the  iTaukei Affairs Department (Previously known as the Fijian Affairs Department) from the provinces of Serua, Nadroga, Ba and Ra. It is envisaged that similar workshops will be done on other parts of Fiji, should more funding be sourced.

All the five key organizations (see Appendix for more information) hope to improve the participant’s ability to map archaeological sites and be able to speak to developers, companies, farmers, lease-holders of their desire to safeguard their cultural sites which is of great importance to them.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Sagale Buadromo, Fiji Museum Director
Phone: 3315944


Adi Meretui Ratunabuabua, 

Principal Cultural Development Officer
Department of National Heritage, Culture & Arts,

Ministry of Education, National Heritage, Culture & Arts, Youth & Sports

Takayawa Building, 

Level 4,

Augustus Street,



Ph: 3306349