LLB (Hons) and PhD in Law and Criminology

Research interests

  • Pacific islands region politics and geopolitics
  • Pacific regionalism and subregionalism
  • Democracy in the Pacific islands region
  • Pacific policy and development


Tess Newton Cain is a dual citizen of Vanuatu and the UK. She is a former lecturer in Law at the University of the South Pacific and has more than 20 years of experience working in the Pacific islands region, with the majority of them spent living in Vanuatu. She is the principal of TNC Pacific Consulting and her clients have included the Office of the President of Vanuatu, the government of Vanuatu, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, the UN, the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank, as well as the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

Tess maintains an academic profile by way of research, publications and participation in conferences, workshops, and other forums. In 2018 she wrote "Walking the Talk: is Australia's engagement with the Pacific a 'step up' or a stumble?" which was published by The Cairns Institute of James Cook University. She is a contributing author to "The New Pacific Diplomacy"  (edited by Greg Fry and Sandra Tarte, published in 2015).

Tess provides informal briefings to policy makers in Australia and the Pacific islands region and also contributes to public debate on policy in and for the Pacific islands region by way of op-eds, blog posts and media commentary for, among others, SBS News, ABC News, Radio Australia, and Radio New Zealand International.

You can follow Tess on Twitter: @CainTess