Pasifika Collective Well-Being during the COVID-19 Crisis: Samoans and Tongans in Brisbane
This paper gives insights into the collective ways that Samoans and Tongans living in Brisbane have responded to the changes and uncertainties of the COVID-19 era. As Samoan and Tongan insider researchers, we present observations and dialogue from Samoan and Tongan families that were recorded during March 2020, as part of an inquiry into Pasifika mobilities and well-being in Australia. The response of these cohorts suggests an established resilience and purposed creativity during this global crisis. The social distancing regulations, border closures and travel bans have caused Samoan and Tongan communities in Brisbane to engage more; particularly connecting through digital spaces (vā) of social media and other online communication platforms. Pasifika have responded to the pressures and parameters of a pandemic with innovative ways of nurturing their collective well-being.
ABC News. (2020). Queensland’s coronavirus timeline: How COVID-19 cases spread around the state (Updated 25/6/20). https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-28/coronavirus-timeline-queensland-tracking-spread/12077602?nw=0
Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2018). Australia’s health 2018. Australia’s Health series, 16(AUS 221). https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-health/australias-health-2018/contents/table-of-contents
Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs. (2020). COVID-19 and the border: Travel restrictions (Updated 10/7/20). DHA. https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions-0
Barcham, M., Scheyvens, R., & Overton, J. (2009). New Polynesian triangle: Rethinking Polynesian migration and development in the Pacific. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 50(3), 322-337.
Craig, A.T., Heywood, A.E., & Hall, J. (2020). Risk of COVID-19 importation to the Pacific islands through global air travel. Epidemiology and Infection, 148(e71), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0950268820000710
Durham, J., Fa’avale, N., Fa’avale, A., Ziesman, C., Malama, E., Tafa, S., Taito, T., Etuale, J., Yaranamua, M., Utai, U., & Schubert, L. (2019). The impact and importance of place on health for young people of Pasifika descent in Queensland, Australia: a qualitative study towards developing meaningful health equity indicators. International Journal for Equity in Health, 18(81), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-019-0978-2
Enari, D. (2019). Fa‘a saymore - from promised land to dream land: Perceptions of fa‘a Samoa by New Zealand born Samoans in Brisbane, Australia. University of Queensland, Anthropology Seminar Series, 2019 (Working paper) Presented on 1 August 2019. https://social-science.uq.edu.au/event/session/3745
Enari, D. & Matapo, J. (2020). The digital vā: Pasifika education innovation during the Covid-19 pandemic. MAI Journal, 9(4), 7-11. DOI: 10.20507/MAIJournal.2020.9.4.2
Enari, D. & Fa’aea, A. (2020) E tumau le fa’avae ae fesuia’i le faiga: Pasifika resilience during COVID-19. Oceania Journal, (Forthcoming, release November 2020).
Faleolo, R.L. (2016). Pasifika trans-Tasman migrant perspectives of well-being in Australia and New Zealand. Pacific Asia Inquiry Journal, 7(1, Fall, 2016), 63-74. https://www.uog.edu/_resources/files/schools-and-colleges/college-of-liberal-arts-and-social-sciences/pai/pai7-faleolo-pasifika-trans-tasman.pdf
Faleolo, R.L. (2019). Wellbeing perspectives, conceptualisations of work and labour mobility experiences of Pasifika trans-Tasman migrants in Brisbane. In V. Stead, & J. Altman (Eds.), Labour lines and colonial power: Indigenous and Pacific Islander labour mobility in Australia (pp.185-206). ANU Press. http://doi.org/10.22459/LLCP.2019
Faleolo, R.L. (2020a). Pasifika diaspora connectivity and continuity with Pacific homelands: Material culture and spatial behaviour in Brisbane. TAJA: Australian Journal of Anthropology, 31(1), 66-84. https://doi.org/10.1111/taja.12348
Faleolo, R.L. (2020b). Pasifika well-being and Trans-Tasman migration: A mixed methods analysis of Samoan and Tongan well-being perspectives and experiences in Auckland and Brisbane. (PhD thesis). University of Queensland.
Faleolo, R.L. (2020c). Tongan collective mobilities: Familial intergenerational connections before, during, and post COVID-19. Oceania, (Forthcoming, release November 2020).
Franklin, M. I. (2003). I define my own identity: Pacific articulations of ‘race’ and ‘culture’ on the internet. Ethnicities, 3(4), 465-490.
Gershon, I. (2012). No family is an island: Cultural expertise among Samoans in diaspora. Cornell University Press.
Halapua, S. (2007). Talanoa – talking from the heart. SGI Quarterly, 47, 9-10.
Ihara, E.S., & Vakalahi, H.F.O. (2011). Spirituality: The essence of wellness among Tongan and Samoan elders. Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 30(4), 405-421.
International Labour Organization (2020). ILO monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work (5th ed. updated on 30 June 2020). https://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@dgreports/@dcomm/documents/briefingnote/wcms_749399.pdf
Ka‘ili, T.O. (2008). Tauhi vā: Creating beauty through the art of sociospatial relations. (PhD dissertation). University of Washington.
Ka‘ili, T.O. (2017). Marking indigeneity: The Tongan art of sociospatial relations. The University of Arizona Press.
Layt, S. (2020a). History made as Brisbane welcomes its first QLD Tongan language school. Brisbane Tongan Community Inc., (8 February blogpost). 2020. https://www.brisbanetongancommunity.com/post/history-made-as-brisbane-welcomes-its-first-qld-tongan-language-school
Layt, S. (2020b). Tongan community launches Brisbane’s Pasifika TV and radio. Brisbane Tongan Community Inc., (27 June blogpost). https://www.brisbanetongancommunity.com/post/tongan-community-launches-brisbane-s-pasifika-tv-and-radio
Leigh-Jones, H., & Moore, S. (2012). Network social capital, social participation, and physical inactivity in an urban adult population. Social Science & Medicine, 74(9), 1362-1367. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.01.005
Lilomaiava-Doktor, S. (2004). Fa‘a-Samoa and population movement from the inside out: The case of Salelologa, Savai’i. (PhD thesis). University of Hawai‘i.
Lilomaiava-Doktor, S. (2009). Beyond “migration”: Samoan population movement (malaga) and the geography of social space (vā). The Contemporary Pacific, 21(1), 1-32.
Makasiale, C.O. (2013). The whole person and the heart: Supervision the Pacific way. In M.N. Agee, T. McIntosh, P. Culbertson, & C.O. Makasiale (Eds.), Pacific identities and well-being: Cross-cultural perspectives (pp.277-284). Otago University Press. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203113578
McGavin, K. (2014). Being Nesian: Pacific Islander identity in Australia. The Contemporary Pacific, 26(1, Spring), 95-154.
Mila-Schaaf, K. (2010). Polycultural capital and the Pasifika second generation: Negotiating identities in diasporic spaces. (PhD thesis). Massey University.
Nanda, A., Vura, N.V.R.K., & Gravenstein, S. (2020). COVID-19 in older adults. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 32, 1199-1202. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-020-01581-5
Rose-Redwood, R., Kitchin, R., Apostolopulou, E., Rickards, L., Blackman, T., Crampton, J., Rossi, U., & Buckley, M. (2020). Geographies of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dialogues in Human Geography, 1-10.
Salcedo, A., Yar, S., & and Cherelus, G. (2020). Coronavirus travel restrictions, across the globe. New York Times, (8 May 2020).https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-travel-restrictions.html
Shakespeare-Finch, J., Bowen-Salter, H., Cashin, M., Badawi, A., Wells, R., Rosenbaum, S., & Steel, Z. (2020). COVID-19: An Australian perspective. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 25(8), 662-672. https://doi.org/10.1080/15325024.2020.1780748
Shukla, S. (2020). COVID-19 and globalization, an analysis. Cape Comorin, 2(4, Special Issue, May), 60-64.
Taumoefolau, M. (2013). Respect, solidarity and resilience in Pacific world views: A counselling perspective. In M.N. Agee, T. McIntosh, P. Culbertson, & C.O. Makasiale (Eds.), Pacific identities and well-being: Cross-cultural perspectives (pp.131-145). Otago University Press. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203113578
Tielu, A.J. (2016). Searching for the Digital Fāgogo: A study of indigenous Samoan storytelling in contemporary Aotearoa digital media. (Doctoral dissertation). Auckland University of Technology.
United Nations. (2020). COVID and Indigenous peoples. Department of Economic and Social Affairs: Indigenous Peoples. https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/covid-19.html
Vaioleti, T.M. (2006). Talanoa research methodology: A developing position on Pacific research. Waikato Journal of Education, 12, 21-34.
WHO, (2020a). Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Situation Report, 1(21 January 2020). https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/covid-19/pacific/situation-reports
WHO, (2020b) Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Situation Report, 23(12 February 2020) https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/covid-19/pacific/situation-reports
Wilson, S.A. (2017). Malu i fale le gagana, e malu fo'i i fafo: The use and value of the Samoan language in Samoan families in New Zealand. (Doctoral dissertation). Auckland University of Technology.