Honouring the words of the late Dr Teresia Teaiwa it is important ‘to remind people of the complexity (of the Pacific) and not let them try to paint us with a single brush stroke’.
Spread over a third of the earth’s surface, the Pacific ocean is home to the peoples of 20,000 different islands and atolls with over 1,200 recorded indigenous languages. As they navigate their way within a globalised economy, the resurgence of militarism and a warming planet, the nations of this region face ever more pressing and urgent issues. Most notably, the youth voice represents a valuable resource for the future.
An in-conversation, chaired by Andrew Fa’avale from MANA Pasifika as our engaged panel of Pasifika youth share their perspectives and experiences, the contributions they make to their communities while sharing the challenges they face, be it independence, remittances, climate change, retaining culture, employment amongst others.
Iree Chow in her role as the President of the Pasifika Women’s Alliance is able to be a voice on women’s issues, challenges and strengths to local, state and federal governments and to support women to be better leaders in the wider community.
Timothy Harm is a creative producer for Conscious Mic – a collective of Pasifika, First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse artists and creatives. He is also member of the Pacific Climate Warriors Brisbane Organising Team. He continues to find innovative ways to question and reinvent creative practices whilst creating, holding and sharing space for and with people in his community.
Augusta Lokea is Vice President of the Brisbane Bougainville Community and is an active member of both the Papua New Guinean Community and the Brisbane Bougainville Community. She is also a cultural Ambassador, small business owner & a student.
Megan Sainian Talvat is an indigenous Tolai woman of East New Britain province, born and raised in Papua New Guinea. She relocated with her family to Australia permanently at the age of fourteen. She was part of pioneering East New Britain Queensland Community group, helping with marketing and in a role as Vice Secretary. She is very passionate about the fact that young people can be a catalyst for positive change for their community, wherever they are, with the resources and opportunities they have today. She is a small business owner, an intern and currently works as the Media Coordinator at Downpour Church in North Lakes.
Andrew Fa’avale is the chair of MANA Pasifika and has published research in the fields of education, criminology and health. His research interests are motivated by fostering Pasifika success in the various domains in which he is involved. He is a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and a legal practitioner by the Supreme Court of Queensland.
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Perspectives:Asia is a program of public seminars designed and promoted by the Griffith Asia Institute, Griffith University and the Australian Centre for Asia-Pacific Art (ACAPA), Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art to explore issues of contemporary culture, politics and society in our region, while fostering public discussion of Australia’s relations with its region.