Ceridwen holds a postdoctoral fellowship in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Victoria University in Melbourne. Since completing her PhD at Monash University on native title in the Australian context, Ceridwen has been involved in various research projects in PNG, where she was born and grew up. Recently, Ceridwen’s work has been published in Oceania, the Journal of Pacific History, the Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology and Australian Feminist Studies. Ceridwen has a longstanding interest in gender, culture and equity issues and continues to research these and related matters, primarily in the Pacific context.

Contact: Ceridwen.Spark@vu.edu.au

Current Projects

  • Funded collaboration with the University of Goroka to produce filmic biographies of leading women in PNG
  • Biographical research on gender and leadership in Papua New Guinea
  • Film and filmmaking in Papua New Guinea
  • African-Australian women and education (in collaboration with Dr Anne Harris and Mimmie Ngum-Chi)

Pawa Meri Project

In 2012, Ceridwen sought and gained funding (from AusAID $313,000) for the Pawa Meri project. The Pawa Meri project represents a collaboration with the Centre for Social and Creative Media at the University of Goroka and will result in the production of six films about leading women in PNG. The films will be distributed in schools together with a discussion kit to promote engagement with gender and leadership issues. In addition, the Pawa Meri project is providing capacity building among filmmakers in PNG.

Ceridwen has extensive contacts in PNG and over numerous research trips to PNG, has conducted interviews with women who are leaders in various fields including business, the law, social work, the arts and health. This research will result in the production of a special issue of the PNG Medical Journal focused on the contributions women make to health and medicine and the development of a workshop and the production of a series of ‘pocket biographies’ about women leaders (with UPNG Press). Together with her brother, Dr Seumas Spark and Professor Christina Twomey, Ceridwen is also editing a collection entitled Australians in PNG: 1960-1975 (UQ E-Press, forthcoming 2013).

Recent Publications

  • Spark, C. ‘Gender trouble in town: educated women eluding male domination, gender violence and marriage in PNG, The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 12, 2, 2011, pp 164-179.

Co- edited Journal

  • Spark, C and Brewer, C. ‘Gender, Culture and Religion’, special issue of Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific Issue 25, February 2011.
  • Cuthbert, D, Spark, C and Murphy, K. “That was then… but this is now”: the divergent histories and development of intercountry adoption and domestic child adoption in Australia’, Journal of Historical Sociology, 23, 3, 2010, pp. 427-452.
  • Spark, C. ‘Changing lives: understanding the barriers that confront educated women in Papua New Guinea’, Australian Feminist Studies, 25, 63, 2010, pp 17-30.
  • Cuthbert, D, Spark, C. and Burke, E. ‘Disciplining writing: the case for multi-disciplinary writing groups to support writing for publication by higher degree by research candidates in the humanities, arts and social sciences’, Higher Education, Research and Development, 28, 2, 2009, pp. 137-149.
  • Spark, C. ‘Carleton’s kids: the Papua New Guinea children of D. Carleton Gajdusek’, Journal of Pacific History, 44,1, 2009, pp 1-19.

Chapters in Books

  • D Cuthbert and C Spark, ‘Other People’s Children: Informing Debate on Adoption in Australia’ in Ceridwen Spark and Denise Cuthbert, eds. Other People’s Children: Adoption in Australia. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2009.
  • D Cuthbert and C Spark. ‘Society moves to find it own solutions…: Rethinking the divergent histories of domestic and intercountry adoption in Australia since 1975′ in Ceridwen Spark and Denise Cuthbert, eds., Other People’s Children: Adoption in Australia. Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2009.

Reports to Government and Non-government organisations

Denise Cuthbert, Ceridwen Spark, Dharma Arunachalam, Ernest Healy (2010). Tertiary Education in an International Development Context: A review of research literature and analysis of data on international student flows, for the purpose of providing a framework against which the ANAO can assess the effectiveness of AusAID’s management of aid for tertiary education.