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The Brij V. Lal Memorial Lecture is held in conjunction with The Pacific History Association’s biennial conference. The lecture honours the late Professor Brij V. Lal. Born in Tabia, Fiji, on 21 August 1952, Brij passed away on Christmas Day 2021. At the time of his passing, Brij was an Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University, as well as an Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland.

Professor Brij V. Lal was a Pacific historian with at least three strands to his academic bow: Indian Indentured Labourers and Girmitiyas in Fiji, Contemporary Fiji History & Politics, and the Indian Diaspora. He was also a participant historian who served on the three-person Constitutional Review Commission that led to the highly acclaimed 1997 Fiji Constitution; a Constitution subsequently abrogated following the 2006 military coup. In later life, Brij also published widely focussing on creative autobiographical and semifictional writings grounded in historical and contemporary issues in Fiji and Indofijian communities living abroad. Brij, in his professional and personal life, emphasised core values of democracy, freedom of rights, ethics, integrity, and good governance.


Recognising Brij’s academic journey and transformation as a Pacific historian, the Brij V. Lal Memorial Lecture will be given by a person who is recognised for excellence in research and writing in history, or contemporary issues grounded in history, in the Pacific Islands and/or Pacific diasporic communities. The lecturer will be invited by the PHA Conference Convenor(s) in consultation with the Pacific History Association (PHA) Executive.


The Memorial Lecture is expected to be published in The Journal of Pacific History (subject to any review process the Journal may require).

The inaugural Memorial Lecture will be delivered at the Association’s 2023 conference.

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