Published: June 10, 2019


A series of Life Course Centre Working Papers has been published on the well-being of Samoan and Tongan groups living in, and moving between, Auckland and Brisbane.

The papers comprise three separate literature reviews – covering Pasifika diaspora, Pasifika well-being, and Pasifika methodology – as well as two further papers on Pasifika migrant behaviour and well-being perspectives, and Pasifika labour mobility and well-being experiences. All five papers are authored by Life Course Centre student Ruth (Lute) Faleolo (pictured) of The University of Queensland, whose PhD is focussed on Pasifika well-being perceptions and Trans-Tasman migrant experiences. Her research seeks to capture the voices, perceptions and experiences of these migrants using a mixed methods approach (both qualitative and quantitative data) that also incorporates indigenous research methods, including Pacific Island frameworks based on cultural knowledge and protocols.

The available literature relating to the Pasifika diaspora based in Australia is sparse, compared to what is available in the New Zealand context. To date, surveys and studies of the Samoan and Tongan diaspora have been undertaken in Victoria and New South Wales, however the Pasifika diaspora residing in Queensland has been described as ‘invisible’ and inaccurately recorded in data. Ruth’s collation of both qualitative and quantitative data drawn from Australian and New Zealand literature, with a specific focus on Pasifika Trans-Tasman migrants residing in Auckland and Brisbane, is believed to be the first of its kind. It also contributes to a more holistic perspective of Trans-Tasman migration between Australia and New Zealand.

Ruth’s Working Papers examine the Pasifika notions of well-being that have influenced their decisions on where, and how, they participate in the labour market. This includes a conceptualisation of well-being that has been defined by Pasifika themselves and relates to the Tongan concept of moui ‘oku lelei and the Samoan concept of ola magaia – both holistic notions of ‘a good and happy life.’ This is an important acknowledgement of indigenous knowledge within the well-being dialogue, and further highlights the importance of familial connections across Pasifika diaspora communities in Australia and New Zealand.

You can find Ruth’s series of Working Papers here.