Richard Curtain

Dr Richard Curtain


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Dr Richard Curtain was appointed March 2018 to a full-time research fellowship, focusing on Pacific labour mobility. His doctorate is from ANU in Geography, with a thesis on urban migration and urban unemployment in Papua New Guinea.

He is conducting research into governance arrangements in sending and receiving countries for Australia’s and New Zealand’s seasonal work programs. He has published a Devpolicy discussion paper on ‘What can Papua New Guinea do to lift its numbers in the seasonal worker programs of Australia and New Zealand?’ He is the Author and co-author of 22 short papers for the Devpolicy blog, on mostly labour mobility issues. Two recent contributions are: with Stephen Howes SWP: using incentives to lift recruiter performance; and Promoting migration while combatting the brain drain: monitoring issues.

Previous work assignments as a consultant include: a strategic review of the workforce development program Timor-Leste; consultant to the ILO Pacific Office to redraft proposals for Fiji’s National Employment Policy; and to review Samoa’s Labour Employment and Export Programme (LEEP) for the Government of Samoa. Dr Curtain has also reviewed the Public Employment Services in Fiji and Papua New Guinea, for the International Labour Organization (ILO) Regional Office, Bangkok.

Dr Curtain was Pacific labour market and mobility specialist for the Design Team for APTC Stage 3, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade. He co-authored with Virginia Simmons, ‘Investment Concept Note: Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) – Stage 3’. A related assignment was as Labour market analyst for the Independent Evaluation of APTC 2014.

Dr Curtain is a joint author of the Pacific Possible Labour Mobility Background Paper for the World Bank’s Pacific Possible strategy.


Education/Academic qualification

Geography, PhD, Dual Dependence and Sepik Labour Migration, Australian National University

1 Sept 19746 Oct 1979

Award Date: 12 Mar 1980

Expertise Areas

  • Labour Economics
  • Political economy


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