On Thursday, 27 May 2021, the Pasifika Lawyers Association of Queensland (PLAQ) kicked off its very first community awareness event at the Logan Community Church of the Nazarene.
This community information session was presented as a talanoa (conversation) sit-down session, where PLAQ Committee President, Tile Imo, and PLAQ Committee Member, Vai Leavaiseeta, spoke about ‘Navigating Domestic Violence Law in Queensland.’ The session was in honour of Queensland’s Domestic and Family Violence Awareness Month. Both Tile and Vai are domestic and family violence law practitioners working for Caxton Legal Centre and Youth and Family Services (YFS) respectively. They canvassed a wide range of sub-topics from legislation to practical implications, breaching of domestic violence orders, and their personal experiences working in this space.
PLAQ was happily overwhelmed by the attendance of nearly 50 people to its inaugural community event given it had only advertised the session a week in advance. The audience was made up of Pasifika and non-Pasifika people from the community, correctional services, Police, law students and lawyers, a PhD student (writing about domestic and family violence in Pacific communities), domestic violence charities and school teachers. The PLAQ feels privileged to be able to serve its community in this capacity.
Photo taken at the end of the PLAQ community
information session with participants. 27/5/2021.
The aim for the event was to present the domestic violence law in Queensland and its application. The presenters were encouraged by the many questions from the audience relating to Pasifika context and the unique circumstances that often surround these incidents. The questions and engagement was unsurprising given the natural inclination and DNA of Pasifika people to build community and find strength through interconnectedness.
The presenters commented that whilst the domestic and family violence laws are one response to dealing with this issue, both suggested that there are limits to its functionality and its funding. This becomes apparent when seeking to meet the needs of culturally diverse, and/or smaller communities. A mixture of culturally sensitive, holistic and early intervention approaches are needed to support the victims, perpetrators and families who find themselves dealing with domestic violence and the multiple intersections (legal and non-legal) it has with their lives.
Photo of PLAQ Committee Members who attended the event on the night. From left to right: (Back Row) Tommy Lopau, Sinaumea Taufao, Osanna Faataape (Front Row) Musu Muliaga, Tile Imo, Vai Leavaiseeta, Heilala Tabete, Prini Avia, Lana Carter, Pulemau Trina Faaiuaso, Vani Tamanivalu. 27/5/2021.
PLAQ would again like to extend its thanks to the following that enabled us to host a great night of community awareness and outreach:
Logan Community Church of the Nazarene for allowing us to use its facilities for this event;
Tile Imo and Vai Leavaiseeta for presenting and sharing their knowledge;
Osanna Faataape, Sinaumea Taufao, Prini Avia and Tommy Lopau for their administration and coordination of the event;
Vani Tamanivalu, Lana Carter & Heilala Tabete for their patronage for the refreshments served on the night;
All community members and participants who attended our event.
If you are a community member of Pasifika heritage, and there is a legal topic you would like PLAQ to discuss in a Talanoa forum in future, please send your suggestions to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our Facebook page. To find out if you are eligible to become a member of PLAQ, please visit our website.
If you or someone you know is experiencing or at risk of domestic and family violence please do not hesitate to get support:
1800 Respect National Helpline: 1800 737 732
Women's Crisis Line: 1800 811 811
Men's Referral Service: 1300 766 491
Mensline: 1300 789 978
Lifeline (24-hour Crisis Line): 131 114
Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277
Author: Princess Avia