Ruth Faleolo: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Pasifika Well-Being, Migration and Agency in Brisbane
This paper presents insights drawn from an interdisciplinary study that aims to understand Pasifika perceptions of well-being and their Trans-Tasman migrant experiences that fulfil their well-being aims. The Pasifika diaspora are dispersed populations originating from the Pacific Islands. More specific to this paper, the term Pasifika refers to the Samoan and Tongan groups that collectively use this term Pasifika as a shared identity within the Trans-Tasman diaspora contexts of Auckland (New Zealand) and Brisbane (Australia). The study has combined Pasifika frameworks with a mixed methods approach to consider narratives, observations and statistics collected during 2015-2018. What has emerged in the findings is a holistic concept of Pasifika well-being – moui ‘oku lelei, ola magaia. This paper discusses how Pasifika well-being influences migration between Auckland and Brisbane and encourages agency in Brisbane. Contrary to diaspora theory suggesting sociocultural disconnection, this process of Trans-Tasman migration and agency creates and maintains sociocultural connections between Pasifika diaspora and their homelands.
Ruth (Lute) Faleolo is a PhD candidate with the Aboriginal Environments Research Centre, and Institute for Social Science Research, at the University of Queensland in Australia. As a New Zealand-born Tongan and Pasifika academic, she has a passion for the empowerment of indigenous and migrant communities through social, economic and cultural development. Ruth’s interdisciplinary study focuses on the well-being of Pasifika Trans-Tasman migrants, of Samoan and Tongan descent, in Auckland (New Zealand) and Brisbane (Australia). Her research seeks to capture the voices, perceptions and experiences of these migrants using a mixed methods approach that incorporates indigenous research methods and concepts.