Conference Speakers

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Professor Jioji Ravulo

Professor Jioji Ravulo is the Professor and Chair of Social Work and Policy Studies in the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at The University of Sydney. His research and areas of interest include mental health and well-being, alcohol and other drugs, youth development, marginality and decoloniality. 

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Dr. David Lakisa

Dr. David Lakisa has worked across private and public sectors of education and sport for the past two decades, specifically as the inaugural Pacific Islander Coaching and Development officer at New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL), former PDHPE teacher and sessional academic at Western Sydney University in the School of Education. He is passionate about Pasifika contribution in the workplace, his family and church service. 

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Cathleen Hafu-Fetokai

Cathleen Hafu-Fetokai shares the role of Pasifika Outreach and Retention Officer at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane. Part of her role is working with secondary schools and supporting Pasifika communities in the Moreton Bay region.

Born in Vanuatu to Tongan parents she grew up in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Although, a qualified Town Planner her career spans two decades championing Equity and Pasifika excellence in the tertiary sector Aotearoa New Zealand and in Australia. She is an emerging Moana Oceania researcher and a PhD Candidate at the University of Queensland, in the School of Architecture. Her research examines the vā - spatial construct of university spaces and how Pasifika practitioners and students navigate this vā, that is contradictory of Pasifika practices, philosophies, and values.

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Tiana Hippolite

Tiana Hippolite is a Maori woman working as a Schools Engagement Officer at Griffith University to engage Maori and Pasifika students. Though she is scientifically trained with a B. of Biomedical Science and completing a M. of Medical Research, she relies on the already developed LEAD program and inspiration from her mentors, family, friends and personal experiences in the community and higher education for all her program designs. 

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Dr. Gemma Melvena Malungahu 

Gemma Malungahu is a proud Tongan researcher (Kolonga & Ha‘atafu Tongatapu; Tungua, Ha’afeva & Nomuka Ha‘apai) currently working as a Pacific research fellow at the Australian National University, Department of Pacific Affairs. Her research interests include Indigenous and Pacific research methodologies, Pacific health, public health and society. 

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Esita Sogotubu

Esita Sogotubu is the Employability Manager at UTS Careers. She hails from Fiji and has over 10 years’ experience as a career development practitioner and employability consultant. Esita manages a team that works in the co-curricular space, including employability programs and events to improve student success in the recruitment process as well as programs enabling students to transition from high school to university to full time roles after graduation.

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Lefaoali'i Dion Enari

Lefaoali'i Dion Enari is a lecturer at the School of Sport and Recreation at Auckland University of Technology. He is also a PhD Candidate at Bond University, Gold Coast exploring Fa'a Samoa in Australia. His research interests include Sport Management, Sport Leadership, mental health, Pacific language, indigenous studies, and trans-nationalism. 

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Dr. Jacoba Matapo

Dr. Jacoba Matapo is a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She is the associate Dean Pasifika at the Faculty of Education and Social Work. She teaches and researches in early childhood education, Pasifika education with a particular focus in Pacific Indigenous philosophy and posthuman theory. 

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David Folau

David Folau is the Pathway Director at Sports Intelligence Pathway. Integrating years of professional experience with a Pasifika-centric approach, David specialises in student athletes, sports development and professional sports management.

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Dr. Maryanne Pale

Dr. Maryanne Pale is a Lecturer and Researcher in the Department of Education at Swinburne University of Technology. She is involved in projects that aim to support the education of Pasifika secondary students and pre-service teachers in rural and regional communities in Victoria. Her research interests include Pasifika Education, English and Literacy Education, and Teacher Education. 

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Moera Tufunga

Moera Tufunga is the Cultural Diversity Counsellor/Mental Health Advisor in the Mental Health and Wellbeing Team of Equity Diversity Safety & Wellbeing at Western Sydney University. Her areas of interest include cultural inclusiveness, youth development, suicide prevention, mental health and well being. Moera is passionate about community development, cultural safety, treatment research, and effective approaches for suicide prevention in young people from Indigenous Australian and Pacific communities.