Empower Pasifika educators, learners and families to thrive in Australian society.
In 2021, PATHE at Western Sydney University and the UTS Centre for Social Justice and Inclusion co-hosted an online conference to engage Pasifika educators in Australia.
The conference enabled delegates to:
share innovative, effective, and culturally responsive best practices in education for Pacific learners
create and sustain professional connections, networks and development opportunities
establish an Australian collective to dialogue, advocate and design a blueprint for action to address Pasifika educational outcomes in Australia
Over 180 educators tuned in from Australia, New Zealand and neighbouring Pacific Island countries, representing education in all forms, early childhood education, tertiary institutions, community organisations and government departments. The overwhelmingly positive feedback demonstrated a massive gap in these discussion forums.
We asked conference participants to imagine a future where their stories and experiences of excitement and fulfillment were the norms and what factors need to change for us to get there.
Four key themes emerged
These four broad themes underpin APEN's strategic direction and will provide the blueprint for the Pasifika education action plan in Australia.
Creating and sustaining spaces for Pasifika community engagement and connections, that enable innovation, ideas, and action.
Supporting Pasifika learner well-being, through learner-centred, strength-based approaches, that strengthens language and identity.
Curriculum and educational policy reform that includes equity, culturally responsive and culturally sustaining pedagogy.
Removing structural and systemic barriers to educational access, participation, and success for Pasifika learners.
Australian policy context
The network's goals align with The Multicultural Access and Equity Policy which is “about ensuring that Australian Government programs and services meet the needs of all Australians, regardless of their cultural and linguistic backgrounds.”
APEN's target group are educators currently living in Australia who identify as having Pacific Islander or Maori heritage.
Membership is also open to non-Pasifika educators who are committed to supporting and learning from and with Pasifika educators, learners and communities
APEN values a diversity of perspectives working together toward a common goal.