MANA Research Centre

 
 
 

MANA is intent on building the evidence-base and research capacity that will support Pasifika communities to thrive within Australia. We are adamant that science and
multi-disciplinary research that is underpinned by our traditional values is to be embraced to advance our communities in these times of exponential change.

We have collaborated extensively with the University of Queensland, QUT, University of Auckland, and Griffith University on research projects involving Pasifika peoples across education, health, mental health, justice and cultural competence.

If your organisation is looking to undertake research (particularly with Pasifika peoples), contact our team of multi-disciplinary researchers and peer researchers to discuss your needs. We have the expertise and approach that will assist you.

Visit our "Resources" section to view past publications.

 

"Nothing for us, without us"

MANA Researchers (L-R) Tamika Taito, Valami Qoro, Eden Malama, Mitiei Yaranamua,     Dr Lisa Schubert, Dr Jo Durham, Sarai Tafa, Ueta Utai, Catrina Ziesman, Jori Etuale, Dr Nicola Fa'avale, Andrew Fa'avale

MANA Researchers (L-R) Tamika Taito, Valami Qoro, Eden Malama, Mitiei Yaranamua,     Dr Lisa Schubert, Dr Jo Durham, Sarai Tafa, Ueta Utai, Catrina Ziesman, Jori Etuale, Dr Nicola Fa'avale, Andrew Fa'avale

 
 

Our Researchers

 
DR NICOLA FA’AVALE   Dr. Nicola Fa’avale (née Tava’e) is of Samoan, Niuean and Tongan heritage. She has a Bachelors of Health Science, a Postgraduate degree in Public Health, Masters in Public Health, and a PhD in Public Health. Nicola’s passion for promoting Pasifika health drives her work. She is a researcher at the University of Queensland focusing on Pasifika health in South-East Queensland and is Lead Researcher for the MANA Research Centre

DR NICOLA FA’AVALE

Dr. Nicola Fa’avale (née Tava’e) is of Samoan, Niuean and Tongan heritage. She has a Bachelors of Health Science, a Postgraduate degree in Public Health, Masters in Public Health, and a PhD in Public Health. Nicola’s passion for promoting Pasifika health drives her work. She is a researcher at the University of Queensland focusing on Pasifika health in South-East Queensland and is Lead Researcher for the MANA Research Centre

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR VILI NOSA   Vili Nosa has a MA(Hons) in Sociology, and a PhD in Behavioural Science. He is the Head of Pacific Health, School of Population Health at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  Vili's scholarly interests include Pacific health issues in the Pacific region & New Zealand, Pacific men’s health, alcohol, tobacco, drugs and substance abuse, and has published widely internationally on these topics. Vili is of Niuean descent

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR VILI NOSA

Vili Nosa has a MA(Hons) in Sociology, and a PhD in Behavioural Science. He is the Head of Pacific Health, School of Population Health at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Vili's scholarly interests include Pacific health issues in the Pacific region & New Zealand, Pacific men’s health, alcohol, tobacco, drugs and substance abuse, and has published widely internationally on these topics. Vili is of Niuean descent

DR JULIE MOHOK McLAUGHLIN   Juliana Mohok McLaughlin is from Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. For the past 20 years she has been lecturing in Indigenous knowledges, decolonising methodologies, research ethics and protocols of engagement and professional practice. Her research is driven by her passion for Indigenous knowledges and social justice, development and comparative education, decolonising research, curricula and pedagogy.

DR JULIE MOHOK McLAUGHLIN

Juliana Mohok McLaughlin is from Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. For the past 20 years she has been lecturing in Indigenous knowledges, decolonising methodologies, research ethics and protocols of engagement and professional practice. Her research is driven by her passion for Indigenous knowledges and social justice, development and comparative education, decolonising research, curricula and pedagogy.

DR JUNE PERKINS   June is of Bush Mekeo (PNG Indigenous) and Australian background. For the past 14 years she has been implementing her research on empowerment through writing and creativity into designing and mobilising increasingly complex practical cross arts projects which empower communities and individuals. Her work is based on models of participatory action theory combined with intercultural sensitivity and experiential knowledge.

DR JUNE PERKINS

June is of Bush Mekeo (PNG Indigenous) and Australian background. For the past 14 years she has been implementing her research on empowerment through writing and creativity into designing and mobilising increasingly complex practical cross arts projects which empower communities and individuals. Her work is based on models of participatory action theory combined with intercultural sensitivity and experiential knowledge.

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ANDREW FA’AVALE

Andrew has published research in the fields of education, criminology and health. His research interests are motivated by fostering Pasifika success in the various domains in which he is involved.  He has a degree in law and has been admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, and a legal practitioner by the Supreme Court of Queensland. He is currently completing a masters degree in education by research.

 


Our Peer Researchers

A priority at MANA is to include the voices of young people in any research for them. We are proud to have a team of Peer Researchers working on staff who co-design our projects through conception, data collection, analysis and publishing of our findings through publications and presentations at conferences.

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Eden Malama

Eden is a New Zealand-born Samoan. She moved to Australia with her family in search of better oppurtunities. She has a strong health background is currently undertaking studies in psychology. Eden is passionate about health, education and systemic change and has been an integral part in the planning, designing and commissioning of services for Maori and Pasifika communities within the Brisbane South region in her current job. Eden is a member of the Peer Researcher team.

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Sarai Tafa

Sarai is 24 years old and of Samoan descent. She has a Bachelor of Business and is currently studying towards her Masters of Public Health. She was one of six peer researchers in our recent project that investigated the priorities for young Pasifika peoples living in Logan, and has presented the findings at conferences in Brisbane and Samoa. Sarai continues her leadership role in our upcoming research projectand is a co-author on research publications and project reports that have come out of the Peer Researchers' work.

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Tamika Taito

Tamika is 19 years of age and the youngest of the peer researchers. She was an integral part of the planning, implementation, and dissemination of the project deliverables and data. Since the project, Tamika has been instrumental in publications of the research project via peer-reviewed publications and project reports for stakeholder in South East Queensland. She is currently in a leadership role in our next research project and brings valuable insights as an Australian-born Samoan young person.

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Mitieli Yaranamua

Mitieli is of Fijian descent. Mitieli graduated from JMC Academy with a Bachelor of Contemporary Music Performance. He has established a singing school and is the Creative Director & Choreographer for ‘Matana’, a Brisbane-based Fijian Cultural Dance group. Mitieli provides mentoring through the medium of music and dance including his recent experience mentoring 50 Pasifika students at Marsden State High School. Mitieli is another member of the Peer Researcher team and is involved in the current Beyond the Reef project as an employed artist.

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Jori Etuale

Jori is of Samoan and British descent and whilst happily calling Brisbane home, his heart belongs to the Pacific. Jori graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work in 2017 and currently works with young people who are homeless. In this role Jori is constantly learning from and inspired by the strength and resilience of the young people he has the privilege to work alongside. Jori's future aspiration is to use the knowledge gained from the workplace, his family and culture to empower others, particularly Pasifika peoples. Jori is another member of MANA Research Centre's Peer Researcher team.

 

Research Projects

 

 

Maori and Pasifika Young Peoples Wellbeing Project

The aim of this project was to investigate the priorities for Pasifika young people living in Logan, Queensland, and how these impacted their health and wellbeing. This project incorporates a collaborative partnership between the University of Queensland’s School of Public Health with Pasifika community groups and members, including MANA Pasifika Inc., and the University of Auckland, School of Population Health.

 

Beyond the Reef: Arts and Wellbeing Project

This project is a collaboration between community arts professionals, public health professionals and academics, artists and community members, including young people, from the Maori and Pasifika communities in South East Queensland around mental health and social inclusion.

Contracted artists: Mitieli Yaranamua (MY Voice Studios), Melodee Leilua (Te Vaka), Ruha Fifita (Gallery of Modern Art), and Daniel Waswas (Papua New Guinea Art Centre).

Peer Research team: Tamika Taito, Eden Malama, Sarai Tafa

Academic team: Dr Jo Durham, Dr Lisa Schubert, Dr Nicola Fa'avale, Catrina Ziesman

MANA Lead: Valami Qoro

In collaboration with: THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND, PRELUDE MENTORING, MY VOICE STUDIOS, LOGAN CITY COUNCIL, UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND, MATANA DANCE TROUPE.

 

Building partnerships to improve Māori and Pasifika health project

This collaborative research project brings together researchers and industry partners from different disciplinary backgrounds, as well as Māori and Pasifika perspectives.

The aims of this project are to:

1.  Collect essential pilot data to identify research priorities to address social determinants of health and to improve access to healthcare for Māori and Pasifika, with a focus on Logan City (a Queensland Health priority), in order to write a competitive NHMRC Partnership for Better Health application;

2.   Document how the process of migration influence health outcomes for Māori and  Pasifika young people living in Logan city;

3.   Describe how context (e.g. the physical environment, access to social, economic and cultural capital) interact with processes of migration to influence health outcomes for Māori and Pasifika young people living in Logan city;

4.   Draft migrant urban health equity indicators that are meaningful for community, government and nongovernment stakeholders;

5.  Agree with industry partners and community-based organisations shared principles, governance, partnership arrangements and roles and responsibilities for the implementation of a NHMRC Partnership grant.

 

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Research Publications

Just some of our researchers publications listed here:

 

Scott, J. Fa’avale, A., and Thompson, B.Y. (2018). What can Southern Criminology Contribute to a Post-Race Agenda? Asian Journal of Criminology13(2):155-173.

Zeisman, C., Durham, J., Fa’avale, N., Fa’avale, A., Malama, E., Tafa, S., Taito, T., Etuale, J., Yaranamua, M., Utai, U., and Schubert, L. (2018). Maori and Pasifika Young Peoples Well-being Project Report 2017. Brisbane: The University of Queensland. 

Vaughan, L., Schubert, L., Mavoa, H., and Fa’avale, N. (2017). ‘Hey, We are the best ones at Dealing with our own’: Embedding a Culturally Competent Program for Māori and Pacific Island Children into a Mainstream Health Service in Queensland. Australia.

Mihrshahi, S., Vaughan, L., Fa’avale, N., De Silva Weliange, S., Manu-Sione, I., and Schubert, L. (2017). Evaluation of the Good Start Program: a healthy eating and physical activity intervention for Maori and Pacific Islander children living in Queensland, Australia. BMC Public Health 17:77

Kearney, J., Wood, L., & Teare, R. (2015). MANA Community Mentoring: Strengthening Identity and Positive Pathways for Pacific Youth: A Pathway from Australia,Chapter 12 in Designing Inclusive Pathways with Young Adults: Learning and Development for a Better World. Sense Publishers, Rotterdam.

Oliver, M., Mavoa, S., Badland, H., Carroll, P., Asiasiga, L., Tavae, N., Kearns, R., & Witten, K. (2014). What constitutes a trip? Examining child journey attributes using GPS and self-report. Children’s Geographies, 12(2), 249-256.

Witten, K., Kearns, R., Carroll, P., Asiasiga, L., & Tava’e Fa’avale, N. (2014). New Zealand parents’ understandings of the intergenerational decline in children’s independent outdoor activity. In M. Roche, J. Mansvelt, R. Prince & A. Gallagher (Eds.), Engaging Geographies: Landscapes, Lifecourses and Mobilities (pp. 155-174). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Carroll, P., Asiasiga, L., Tav’ae, N., & Witten, K. (2013). Kids in the City: Differing Perceptions of One Neighbourhood in Aotearoa / New Zealand. In R. Coles & Z. Millman (Eds.), Landscape, Wellbeing and Environment (pp. 129-146). London: Routledge.

Witten, K., Kearns, R., Carroll, P., Asiasiga, L. & Tava’e, N. (2013) New Zealand parents’ understandings of the intergenerational decline in children’s independent outdoor play and active travel. Children’s Geographies, 11(2), 215-229. 

Tava’e, N., & Nosa, V. (2012). The Green Prescription programme and the experiences of Pacific women in Auckland. J Prim Health Care 4(4):313-319

Oliver, M., Witten, K., Kearns, R., Mavoa, S., Badland, H., Carroll, P., Drumheller, C., Tavae, N., Asiasiga, L., Jelley, S., Kaiwai, H., Opit, S., Sweetsur, P., Moewaka Barnes, H., Mason, N. & Ergler, C. (2011). Kids in the city study: research design and methodology. BMC Public Health, 11(587).