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1973 USP YWCA radicalism (21 July 2016)

In 1973, there was a remarkable collaboration between the Fiji WYCA and its Director (the late Amelia Rokotuivuna), USP students (Jone Dakuvula, Claire Slatter, Alison Fong, a USP mathematics lecturer (Wadan Narsey),  Australian activists working as volunteers in Fiji (Ian Howie, David Mahoney, and Peter Annear), and Rev Akuila Yabaki (chaplain to the USP Student Christian Movement).
It was a research project that tried to clarify the enormous control that Australian businesses (retail giants, banks etc) had on the Fiji economy. The output was a booklet Fiji a Developing Australian Colony­. (co-authored by Amelia Rokotuivuna, Jone Dakuvula, Wadan Narsey, Ian Howie, Peter Annear, David Mahony, Allison Fong, Claire Slatter, and Brian Noone. International Development Action, North Fitzroy,Victoria,Australia. 1973.

It may be read here:

Jone, Alison and I consequently went on a speaking tour in Australia, organized by IDA (Australia) and the Australian unions.

On our return, we were perceived by the Mara Government as dangerous radicals, and we were often followed around by the “green vans” (Fiji’s intelligence service). A CID officer a decade ago told me that they had massive folders on all of us.

I suspect that given the developments in Fiji’s business world since the 2006 Bainimarama Coup, there will be a need to do a “modern day version” of the booklet, with the addition of dominant Gujarati and Muslim businesses to the still powerful Australian banks and insurance companies.



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