PLAQ started in recognition of Pasifika lawyers who came together acknowledging their common skill, cultural background and love for law.
The early days were small group meetings where three Pasifika women met to firstly thank God for their legal skills, talk about the challenges of working in law in Brisbane, celebrate their Pasifika diversity and see how they could advance their
skills to the benefit and education of their respective communities.
Its not unusual that the trio's sentiments are close to Pasifika hearts. In essence, their talk is something we are all too familiar with:
the lotu (a spiritual acknowledgment of a higher power for their natural gifting);
they talanoa , which is sacred time set aside to speak into each other's lives, build relationship and is often accompanied with food; and
they speak of their fanua/whanua/vanua , the people, kinship and community group that raised and sacrificed communally to get their 'son/daughter' to this elevated place of education and qualification in a foreign setting.
Whether you are 1st or 2nd generation Pasifika in Australia, this type of conversation is frequent in many of the households of the Pasifika diaspora.
The trio related that more of their communities were wanting to make pivotal contribution to Brisbane/Australian society but lacked structure and formal know-how on how to make it work. They also understood that accessing legal information for their communities was challenging due to lack of knowledge of legal process.
A plan was formed and with increased network and opportunity, more Pasifika lawyers became known to the group through common friends and through existing Pasifika network.
All it took was an idea, unity of spirit, a place to have dialogue and a willingness to engage. It has taken a few years to reach this point, but we celebrate the early dreams of starting this Association. It is our belief that PLAQ will be of mutual benefit to our Pasifika communities, our lawyers, the nation of Australia and internationally.