This month I was lucky enough to work on a research project with DJ’s Frosty, Tim, Soti and Shana from Fresh Crew Radio in Brissy and was blown away by their energy and insight. Our student team from UQ teamed up with QUT public Health to explore what Pasifika youth in Brisbane identify as important to their well-being. We used story, participatory video, and a river of life activity to reflect on challenges, assets and recommendations for Pasifika youth. The research confirmed that stereotypes, stigmatisation and racism remain key challenges, as well as identity and belonging. Dreams the group identified for the future included achieving wider representation in the work force and breaking the silence around mental health. Key recommendations were to challenge a tradition of ‘toxic positivity’ where there is a culture of good vibes only and to regularly check in with friends. Most importantly, sensitive issues that exist in the Pasifika community were debated bringing the radio crew and their audience to agree that it is important that ways are found to make it easier to discuss mental health challenges. A big thank you to Elske Van de Fliert, Sarai Tafa and Jo Durham who were brilliant guides in the research process.


Photo taken by Jeni Lee at Pasifika Vibes, 2019


I am fascinated by the small stands people take against the things that trouble them, especially when they stage a stunt in the public eye. I am a strong believer that cultural shifts come through incremental changes. One day I would like to publish a book of photos of people around the world making small stands and staging their own mini revolutions! If you have any ideas for your own rebellious act I would love to talk to you about it…

Aaliya stages a small stand against plastic in the oceans.

Aaliya stages a small stand against plastic in the oceans.