The two specialist programs – Culture Compass and Pacific Scientific – have launched on ABC Radio Australia and as podcasts on ABC listen, offering Pacific audiences bespoke stories of cultural history and scientific breakthroughs from across the Pacific.
Culture Compass host Seiuli Salamasina von Reiche holds a high chief title from her home country of Samoa and brings nuance to the show’s exploration into traditional and contemporary cultures of the Pacific. She describes her program as an exploration of survival, revival, and connection within Pacific cultures and so far, she has covered cultural practices such as kava, traditional medicine, the popularity of corned beef and navigating the oceans.
According to von Reiche: “Our Pacific cultures have evolved with the changing times. The ceremonies and crafts that give importance were fading in and out of existence. I am honoured to be able to share journeys of people who are passionate about keeping traditions alive, passing them down to the next generations while adapting old ways to the present.”
Salamasina von Reiche continues: “I am also part of a very dedicated team who are passionate about sharing these stories so that we may understand better.”
Pacific Scientific is another exciting new program offering and each episode dives deep into the work of Pacific scientists exploring and researching the regions of Fiji, Tonga, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and the Republic of Marshall Islands. So far, the program has delved into Tonga’s abandoned car problem, a killer fungus threatening PNG frog species and the fight for fresh water in the Marshall Islands.
ABC Science Editor Dr Jonathan Webb said: “These stories and voices aren’t just important: they are compelling, fascinating, and fantastic company! Our reporters were lucky enough to witness groundbreaking science happening right across the Pacific, and they also connected and collaborated with local journalists and organisations. The results have an amazing sense of place and personality. Get ready for an inspiring ride!”