Connecting and collaborating across Oceania and its diaspora: A shared approach to meaningful development and engagement
Through this short, critical piece, I, as someone who comes from an Indigenous Pacific heritage, aim to challenge the way in which mainstream society positions societal problems as siloed, isolated from a structural, collective understanding of societal problems generally evident in Indigenous epistemologies. I suggest that by using an anti-oppressive social work practice approach where power imbalances are examined and understood within a wider context, we, as a Pacific community, are better equipped to create strategies and solutions that are inclusive of those traditionally not included in the conversation for change. We need to promote the importance of creating a shared, collaborative stance on the social and welfare needs evident in the Pacific diaspora in Australia and to involve diverse voices including the voices of non-Pacific people genuinely wanting to assist our own cultural capital and growth in Western societies. This can positively influence the people with the power to make social change to share control of change-making processes and to create multiple discourses that reflect the cultural diversity of those working for justice; this will allow us to move beyond the traditional, individualistic rhetoric of ‘us and them’ to ‘we’.
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