“I am - a Samoan, but not a Samoan...
To my aiga (family) in Samoa, I am a palagi (Caucasian)
I am - a New Zealander, but not a New Zealander...
To New Zealanders I am a ‘bloody coconut’, at worst, a ‘Pacific Islander’, at best
I am - to my Samoan parents, their child” (Anae, 1998).


The purpose of this study is to explore the perceptions of Fa’a Samoa (the Samoan way) understood by New Zealand born Samoans who reside in Brisbane, Australia. Through identifying factors that influence their formation and actualisation pertaining to Fa’a Samoa, the study aims to identify the themes that are pertinent to Fa’a Samoa among this cohort.

This study is based on the literature and life narratives of New Zealand born Samoans, their journey through Brisbane and their relationship with fa’a Samoa (Samoan way) and how they navigate mainstream society and Samoan spaces. The culturally appropriate method of talanoa (Vaioleti, 2003) will be used to analyse this cohort’s perceptions of the three main concepts of fa’a Samoa; fa’a matai (Chiefly system), aiga potopoto (Extended family) and faalavelave/fesuiaiga (ceremonial exchange) (Sauni, 2011).

About the Presenter

Dion Enari is a Phd candidate for Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia. His PhD explores the perceptions of Fa’a Samoa (Samoan way) held by New Zealand born Samoans who reside in Brisbane, Australia. He is also interested in exploring the intersection between diasporic communities, well-being and decolonisation. Dion Enari is Bond Universities current 3 minute thesis winner and has presented his research nationally and internationally. He holds a Bachelor of Business and Master of International Relations from Griffith University.  Dion also holds the title Lefaoalii, an Ali’i Tulafale Matai (high talking chief) title from Lepa, Samoa. 


About Anthropology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Anthropology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of anthropological research and ideas among UQ scholars and invited researchers. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment.


Michie Building (09), The University of Queensland, St Lucia