Browsing All Posts filed under »Ben Habib«

Thank You Albury-Wodonga!

November 14, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. As many of you are aware, my family and I will soon be leaving Albury-Wodonga.  I have been redeployed to La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus as part of a broader organisational restructure within the LTU Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.  We leave with sadness, having met many interesting people and made […]

North Korea’s New Light Water Nuclear Reactor: A Proliferation Risk?

September 5, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. North Korea has recommenced construction of an experimental light water nuclear reactor (LWR) at its nuclear facility at Yongbyon, with completion slated for late 2013.  The Kim regime has previously stated that the new LWR and its already operational uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon are intended for electric power generation and not […]

Presentation to Wodonga Council Youth Leadership Program: ‘Influencing Large Organisations as an Outsider’

August 30, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Albury-Wodonga is blessed with many young people doing great things for the community, not just in academia but across a range of industries and interest areas. On Wednesday 29th August 2012 I was invited to give a presentation to talented local young people in the Wodonga Council Youth Leadership Program on the topic […]

PODCAST: Interview with Prof Judith Brett — ‘Fair Share: Country and City in Australia’

June 24, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. In this podcast I am joined in conversation with Professor Judith Brett, Head of School in the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University, to discuss her Quarterly Essay entitled Fair Share: Country and City in Australia. In our discussion, Judy interprets some of my observations and experiences growing up and living in regional areas, in the context of the themes of her essay. Topics covered in our discussion include the brain drain from the country to the city, efforts to attract skilled personnel to regional centres, the urban-rural culture clash, intellectual capital and bigotry, along with politics, multiculturalism and environmental issues in country Australia.

Looking Back on the 1992 Rio Earth Summit

June 21, 2012 by

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World leaders and government officials as well as representatives from NGOs and the corporate sector are currently convening in Rio de Janeiro, for "Rio+20: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development." The conference is timed to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the seminal 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It is therefore worth looking back on the achievements of the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to remind ourselves of what can be achieved when parties from around the world unite to address global environmental problems and highlight the obstacles and limitations of international multilateral processes in pursuing environmental objectives.

EVENT REVIEW: Rally at Wodonga TAFE

May 30, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Staff and students from La Trobe University attended yesterday's rally (Tuesday 29th June 2012) in support of our colleagues at Wodonga TAFE, in protest over the Baillieu government's drastic thirty percent funding cut to Victorian TAFE institutions.

EVENT REVIEW: La Trobe University — Wodonga Senior Secondary College Refugee Workshop

May 16, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. On Friday 11th May 2012, year 10 students from Wodonga Senior Secondary College participated in workshops at La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus and excursions to the Bonegilla Migrant Experience as a component of thier studies into refugees and asylum seekers. The introductory remarks of the expert panelists and the panel discussion itself are available here for download.

PODCAST: Korea — A Divided Nation

May 8, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. On Monday 7th May 2012, I delivered a guest lecture entilted Korea: A Fractured Nation to second and third year students studying the subject Contemporary Politics of the Asia-Pacific Region (POL2/3CPA) at La Trobe University's Melbourne campus. The content of this lecture, along with other lectures in this subject, will form the basis for an international conflict negotiation simulation workshop structured around a hypothetical security crisis on the Korean peninsula.

LTU-WSSC Year 10 Workshop: Migration and Refugees Reference Page

May 1, 2012 by

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On Friday 11th May 2012, year 10 students from Wodonga Senior Secondary College will be participating in excursions related to their studies on refugees to the Bonegilla Migrant Experience and workshops at La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus. This page has been established as a resource for WSSC students to prepare for and debrief after their excursions on May 11th.

ANZAC Day Redux: Refining My Position

April 26, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Thank you to everyone who responded to my previous blog posting Anzac Day: Poignant Remembrance or Mythologisation. Your constructive (and not so constructive) comments and criticisms have helped me to further explore my thoughts on ANZAC Day and reach a more nuanced position.

Anzac Day: Poignant Remembrance or Mythologisation?

April 24, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Australia has a complicated national story. We do no justice to any of the protagonists in this epic tale by leaving out portions of the story or inventing myths to obfuscate its darker moments. I feel sorry for the people who cannot ponder the Galipoli story in all of its complexity. On April 25th, I choose to remember the humanity of those who lost their lives at Galipoli, rather than the excesses of the politicised mythology that has become their unfortunate legacy.

Living Lightly: Reciprocal Bonds and the Trust Horizon

April 23, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. One of the exiting aspects of living lightly is the opportunity it provides for community building and connecting with other people. Strong social networks will become increasingly important as we grapple with environmental problems, energy insecurity and financial turmoil at the end of the age of growth. As a specialist in international relations, I look to Chinese culture for ideas on building social cohesion during tough times.

North Korea’s Failed Unha-3 Missile Test: Implications for Pyongyang and Northeast Asia

April 19, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The technical aspects of the failed Unha-3 rocket launch are less interesting than the political undercurrents swirling around this event. The rocket’s explosion has spared the United States and its regional allies some loss of face while for North Korea, it represents a missed opportunity for Pyongyang to maximise its diplomatic and strategic leverage, over and above any threat to Kim Jong-un’s legitimacy as leader.

The Lessons of Kwangmyongsong-3: Satellite Lauch, Missile Test, Leadership Badge or Bargaining Chip?

April 12, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The North’s Kwangmyongsong-3 rocket launch is likely to yield important insights in three areas of interest to North Korea watchers. First, the relative success of North Korea’s rocket launch is likely to yield insights into the operability of the North’s overall nuclear weapons capability and specifically its ability to deliver a nuclear payload to targets at distances beyond 1,000 kilometres. Second, it would appear to fit with a longer trend of provocations dating back to the Cheonan incident in 2010 that have been linked to the legitimisation of Kim Jong-un’s leadership credentials. Finally, with the potential restart of negotiations with Washington in the offing, the launch indicates that coercive bargaining is likely to remain Pyongyang’s modus operandi in international negotiations under the new leadership.

Living Lightly: Sensible Adaptation to Converging Crises

April 11, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The sustainability movement has for many years been preparing to confront converging environmental, energy and financial crises. That moment is now here. To adapt with as little disruption as possible, it has never been more important to embrace living lightly.

The Evidence is Mounting: CSIRO/BOM Report – ‘State of the Climate 2012’

March 26, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The report ‘State of the Climate 2012’ released this week by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology makes for sobering reading, concurring with numerous other scientific reports published by independent researchers and expert organisations from numerous disciplines around the world about the dangerous trajectory of human-induced climate change.

Observations on My Role in Commenting on the New Albury Anti-Carbon Tax Group

March 21, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Last Saturday I provided comment in an article in the Border Mail—‘Doug takes up fight on carbon tax’—about a new group called Border Says NO to Carbon Tax being established by local trucking operator Doug McMillan. No-one wants to see hard working local businessmen like Doug McMillan lose their livelihoods. If people with climate-related expertise can work cooperatively with local businesses and other impacted members of the community, we can constructively adapt to the many challenges posed by climate change instead of further fracturing the community for the sake of argument. However for the cooperative approach to work, everyone has to begin from a position of informed empowerment.

EVENT REVIEW: Wodonga Carnivale

March 15, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Carnivale is by far my favourite annual community event in Wodonga. The economic benefits of Carnivale are great for the town, but there are intangible benefits that are far more important.

Peering into the Hermit Kingdom: My Experiences on the Fringes of North Korea — Presentation to the Albury Rotary Club

March 9, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. On Wednesday 7th March 2012 I made a presentation to the Rotary Club of Albury entitled Peering into the Hermit Kingdom: My Experiences on the Fringes of North Korea. In this presentation I gave a brief chronology of my experiences in and around Korea, touching on some of the interesting things I learnt along the way about Korean history, culture and the North Korean state.

The ALP Leadership Circus Rolls On: Gillard’s Bold Appointment of Bob Carr as Foreign Minister

March 5, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The appointment of former New South Wales Premier and newly minted Federal senator Bob Carr as foreign minister is a bold statement of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s intent to vanquish the prowling wolves within her own ranks.

Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party: Presentation to Victory Lutheran College VCE History Class

March 2, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. On Thursday March 1st, 2012, braving torrential rain, Victory Lutheran College VCE history students, led by their teacher Logan Hayward came to La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus for a workshop presented by myself on Mao Zedong and the Communist Party. The workshop was a supplement to the students' VCE History studies on the Chinese revolution.

ALP Leadership Contest, Factional Divisions and the Spectre of International Crises

February 24, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The current Gillard-Rudd confrontation highlights the problems that Australia’s 20th century political parties face in dealing with 21st century policy problems. The Gillard-Rudd rivalry is a story of ambition, bitterness and betrayal. Yet there is a broader dimension to the ALP leadership crisis that is more complicated.

PHOTO ESSAY: The China-Korea Frontier — Yánjí and the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

February 8, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. All North Korea watchers inevitably get to Yánjí at some point in their careers. Yánjí is a small frontier city of approximately 400,000 people, capital of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province, China. It is like a "little Seoul" in northeast China, with a large ethnic Korean (Zhonguo Chaoxian minzu) population navigate dual identities as Chinese citizens of Korean heritage. Many Chaoxian minzu have relatives living in North Korea. Yanbian is nestled in the important strategic border region where the Chinese, North Korean and Russian frontiers meet.

PHOTO ESSAY: Fángchuān — Where China, North Korea and Russia Converge

February 1, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. Some unusual places in the world are magnets for geopolitical intrigue. Fángchuān is one of these places, nestled at the convergence of the Chinese, Russian and North Korean borders on the Tumen River.

PHOTO ESSAY: Porto, Fading Jewel of Portugal

January 30, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. In August 2011 I had the pleasure of visiting the city of Porto, Portugal's second largest city. The old city of Porto, on the north bank of the Douro River, is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) world heritage site that is home to some breathtaking architecture harking back to heyday of the Portuguese empire in the sixteenth century. Today, Porto is a bustling tourist centre catering to visitors predominantly from cooler climes of northern Europe and the home of FC Porto, one of European football's most successful clubs. The beauty of the city is matched by the charm and sophistication of the people who live in it.