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David Hegarty is a Visiting Fellow in the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) Program at ANU, having been Convenor of SSGM from 1998 – 2008.
David was Senior Lecturer and Chairman of the Political and Administrative Studies Department at the University of Papua New Guinea from 1970 – 1982, during a period of significant change as Papua New Guinea transitioned from colonial status to Independence. His wife, Susan Hegarty, taught English and History at the Port Moresby High School in the 1970s and early 1980s, and tutored in the Department of Extension Studies at the University of Papua New Guinea.
He has had considerable experience in the Australian government having held positions working on PNG and Pacific affairs in the Office of National Assessments, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, in Foreign Affairs and Trade, and as the Australian High Commissioner to Samoa in the late 1990s. He was appointed to lead the international peace monitoring team in the Solomon Islands during that country’s inter-ethnic turbulence and disorder in the early 2000s.
Research and lecturing interests focussed on political change, the development of governing institutions and structures, and of popular participation in the processes of building a new state and nation. He has had a long standing academic interest in the politics of small island states having spent a year earlier in his career as a graduate scholar at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.
Publications during his career have included an edited book on electoral politics in Papua New Guinea covering the first national elections following Independence; a long running political chronicle of Papua New Guinea through the 1970s to the mid-1980s; scholarly articles on political parties, local governance and development issues in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.