In any line of work, we draw upon tried and tested knowledge, the latest research, and the newest and most efficient tools and technologies to be effective. 

Research is constantly being undertaken by universities and industry research centres, technology is constantly being updated and downsized, and new tools are being brought to market at an unprecedented rate. We are definitely living in times of exponential change and disruption.

Much of the evidence-base we rely on in our work here in Australia, no matter the field, is from Western knowledge systems. However, Pacific knowledge and evidence has a lot to offer in terms of informing solutions – as do other knowledge systems.

The opening quote in this section is taken from an academic paper that evaluates a Pasifika Initiative in education – part of the title of the paper is “In Order to Teach You, I Must Know You.” The paper is attached in the ‘Materials’ section. It speaks to the importance of meaningful, reciprocal and respectful relationships, also known as the concept of ako.

When working with people, the starting point should never change – and that starting point should be with the person themselves.

An example of this can be seen in the patient-centred care approach in health – this is where the patients actively participate in their own journey back to wellbeing alongside health professionals. 

Starting with the person means that we must seek to know who they are, where they are from, how they’ve constructed their worldview, and how we can respond to those elements (and others) in order to build a strong relationship with them.

In this section, we will look at some Pasifika models of being, wellbeing, and community that can help you to understand Pasifika ontologies (ways of being, thinking and knowing), as well as help you to be effective in your work.

Have you ever been exposed to Pasifika cultures or knowledge systems? What did you learn from this? 

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