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A Picture is Worth 651 Words: A Tongan Gravestone


  • John Connell

    1. John Connell earned his BA and Ph.D. at University College London. After working at the University of Sussex and the Australian National University, he has taught geography for 30 years at Sydney University. He fi rst worked in Papua New Guinea in 1974 and has been working on development issues mainly in small island states ever since. In so doing, he has managed to visit over 130 countries. He is the recipient of the International Medal of the Institute of Australian Geographers and has published more than twenty-five books ranging across development, migration, festivals and sport. John can be reached at
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The tombstone of a recently deceased Tongan woman tells a story of an economically driven diaspora as residents migrate from the outer islands to more populated and centrally located areas.