DFAT Pacific Banking Fellowship highlights Griffith’s capacity for positive, lasting impact

Delegates from the Reserve Bank of Fiji and the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu embark on a three-week research and training program at Griffith University.

Griffith University welcomed delegates from the Reserve Banks of Fiji and Vanuatu this month for the 2018 DFAT Pacific Banking Fellowship program, in pursuit of achieving effective policy outcomes in the South Pacific region and completing joint working papers with researchers.

At the three-week program’s welcome ceremony, Ms Heidi Piper, the Director of Griffith International, described the Fellows – who will also be the crucial members of the long-term collaboration between the central banks and Griffith – as significant ambassadors for the university and Australia.

Griffith Business School Dean (Academic) Professor Fabrizio Carmignani acknowledged the importance of the Fellowship, noting that its convener, Dr Parmendra Sharma, has been working on the project for several years.

Dr Parmendra Sharma and Professor Fabrizio Carmignani

“It’s an excellent example of engagement with policy institutions; we’re talking about Griffith engaging and working with central banks in the Pacific region on issues relating to central banking and monetary policy,” Professor Carmignani said. “So, it’s an example of engagement, it’s an example of research that has an impact.

“From this project, we expect a number of outcomes, including papers – right now we have five working papers – and they’re developing into academic papers that will be published but they are also papers that will guide and support central banking and policy making in those countries.

“It’s a great example of what we can achieve when we engage with policy institutions.”

During the program, which officially concluded with a celebratory lunch on 25 January, the Fellows undertook practical learning sessions about the key ingredients of scientific research, including instructions on research questions, data, analysis, literature review and the significance of research, among others. 

Dr Sharma said the Fellowship had been a great success for the visiting participants, and represented the culmination of a great deal of teamwork in the school’s Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics (AFE), with support from the Griffith International and the International Business Development Unit.

​”It’s really been a team effort and a number of GBS and AFE colleagues have participated in the program in different forms, including as instructors and facilitators,” Dr Sharma said.

“The AFE colleagues, in particular, are now an important part of Team SP – in 2018, among others, they will continue to mentor the Fellows and co-author at least five working papers to journal submission. The support of GBS/GI/IBDU has been fabulous as usual.”

The program also generated a breadth of positive feedback from the delegates’ group.

One Fellow said the program had “transformed and renewed my understanding and appreciation of the important aspects of research processes that must be observed in our workplace and academia”.

Another praised the “interesting and wonderful learning experience”, saying that the program had left them “fascinated”.

“I have received lectures delivered by professors at Griffith University, presenting the needed ingredients of scientific research and in-depth econometrics techniques and research writing skills delivered in the simplest way possible,” they said.

“It has enriched and enhanced my knowledge that I can’t wait to put into practice in the coming weeks of the fellowship. I also look forward to draft research proposals and further continue with research papers at the workplace during the year when I return home.”

The SPCCB Fellowship Program follows the recent signing of Memoranda of Understanding with several South Pacific central banks, a commitment that began in 2015 and will see Griffith continue to help shape policy and enhance its engagement with Asia and the near Pacific and to consolidate its reputation as one of Australia’s most Asian-engaged universities.

Find out more about the South Pacific Centre for Central Banking, part of the Griffith Asia Instituteat its website.