Conference paper

Understanding Pasifika migrant behaviour and perspectives of well-being in Brisbane through material cultural adaptations

Well-being Pasifika diaspora Brisbane
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apo-nid178561.docx 5.52 MB

Pasifika migrant perspectives of well-being are linked to their spatial behaviour and material cultural adaptations within urban areas. In order to understand the significance of material cultural adaptations we must also consider the underpinnings of the materials and templates used within context. The characteristics of the Brisbane urban landscape has afforded the material cultural adaptations that have been observed in places of dwelling, community and church meetings, as well as displayed during family and social events in private and public spaces. Preliminary qualitative findings have been drawn from a wider-scale research project that has explored Pasifika migrants’ (of Samoan and Tongan descent) perceptions and experiences of well-being during 2015-2017. This inquiry process has rendered significant evidence of cultural values and identity elements originating from Samoa and Tonga, and retained by generations of Brisbane-based Pasifika migrants, through adapted material culture and shared spatial behaviour. These values and elements have often been carried throughout a series of step-migration and transitory residence across other urban areas in New Zealand and Australia, prior to their settlement in Brisbane. What surfaces in the research is the ‘holistic’ notion of Pasifika well-being -- ‘moui ‘oku lelei (Tongan) ola magaia’ (Samoan) -- a significant concept that inspires the spatial behaviour and material cultural adaptations used by Pasifika in Brisbane. The aim of this paper is to discuss how Pasifika migrant behaviour in Brisbane is linked to their holistic perspectives of well-being and how this understanding can be seen through material cultural adaptations used within this urban context.

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