6 Oct 2006

Pacific cultural institutions discuss regional business models

11:22 am on 6 October 2006

The directors of Pacific arts and cultural institutions have met in Fiji to discuss how they can marry Pacific values and "western" business models.

A two-day workshop, called Governance for Pacific Cultural Institutions,

drew 20 delegates during the Third Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival in Suva.

The delegates, from Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Fiji,

Samoa and Vanuatu, explored how a new model of blending western and

Pacific ways of management could improve the performance and

accountability of cultural institutions.

Meredith Blake, secretary-general of the Vanuatu-based Pacific Islands

Museums Association, says often, they are expected to use a profit-focused business model.,but this does not necessarily translate well to societies which prize more subjective results such as social benefit and community wellbeing.

The developer of the mixed model, Mark Nizette, from the Australian

National University's Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, says compelling Pacific cultural institutions to adopt developed-country business models is forcing square pegs into round holes.