Australian Diabetes Pacific Research

Australian Diabetes Pacific Research was first established in 2013 through PhD Research partnership with Dr Heena Akbar, an executive PWA  board member ( 2013 -2014, 2017-2018, 2019- present) who looked at the ‘Socio-cultural context of managing diabetes among Australian Pacific Women living with type 2 diabetes in Queensland. This research was undertaken in partnership with the PWA, Queensland Pasifika communities, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Diabetes Queensland using community-based participatory action approach and Talanoa approaches and embedding Pacific Research Framework within Australian Maori & Pasifika health research context.

Several Pasifika diabetes health initiatives focusing on community education and health promotion on prevention and management of type 2 diabetes; health (diabetes) screening; cultural safety competency training for health professionals and QUT health clinic students, were developed and implemented with PWA and several significant stakeholders including Maori & Pasifika community groups and organisations, Children’s Health Queensland Good Start Program for Maori and Pacific Islander Peoples. Brisbane Kiwi Daddys and the Women’s Wellness Research Program, Griffith University, Menzies Health Institute Queensland and Queensland University of Technology – Faculty of Health, QUT Health Clinic, School of Nursing, School of Education, QUT Pasifika Association.

These initiatives/ projects included:

  1. Akbar, H. G., 2018., Socio-Cultural Context of Managing Type 2 Diabetes in Australian Pacific Islander Women Living in Queensland. (PhD Research – unpublished thesis, community based participatory research using talanoa approaches), Queensland University of Technology. Brisbane
  2. Maori & Pasifika Women’s Diabetes Heath forum (2013, Inala Community Hall, funded by Diabetes Queensland, part of Dr Akbar’s PhD research)
  3. Maori & Pasifika Women’s Diabetes Heath Forum (2014, Chermside Unity Church, funded by Diabetes Queensland, part of Dr Akbar’s PhD research)
  4. Pasifika Diabetes Health Forum, research that expanded to include the children & men of our Pacific Islander community (2016, QUT, Gardens Point campus, funded by QUT Engagement & Innovation Grant)
  5. Pasifika Diabetes Digital Stories., 2016., Diabetes Prevention and Self-Management: Stories from the Pasifika Communities in Queensland. QUT Engagement Innovation Grant, Queensland University of Technology and Pasifika Women’s Alliances Inc. (PWA), Brisbane
  6. Development of a cultural competency case study module: Engaging with Pacific Islander Communities in Queensland – A case study: Pasifika Women’s Diabetes Health Forum. Training Short Course, CO-OPS Short Courses; CO-OPS Collaboration: Enabling best practice to create healthier communities, Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund, Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA), Brisbane.
  7. Development of the ‘Pasifika Women’s Diabetes Wellness Program’, a 12- week e-Health Lifestyle Diabetes Management Intervention led by a community health nurse or diabetes educator for Maori and Pacific Island women with type 2 diabetes to promote diabetes better diabetes management and prevention of complication from type 2 diabetes (auDa Foundation Funded, Griffith University, Menzies Allied Health Queensland, Women’s Wellness Research Program, Post-doc fellowship, Dr Heena Akbar)
  8. Peer-reviewed conferences at the International and National conferences:
    • Talanoa Pasifika Conference 2013: Explore, Develop, and Harness Your Potential for the Future, 20 – 23 November 2013, the University of Queensland, Brisbane
    • International Pacific Health Conference, 3- 5 November 2014, Auckland, New Zealand
    • Talanoa Pasifika Cairns Conference: Choices, Chances, and Opportunities – Education is the future, 16 – 17 July 2014, James Cook University, Cairns. World Diabetes Congress, International Diabetes Federation, 3- 6 December 2015, Vancouver, Canada
    • 16th International Graduate Student Conference: 16 -18 February 2017, East West Centre, Hawaii.
    • Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) Prevention Conference: 12 – 14th June 2019, Melbourne.
    • International Diabetes Congress 2019, 2nd December – 6th December 2019, International Diabetes Federation, Busan, South Korea.
    • The 16th International Diabetes Epidemiology Symposium, 28th November – 2nd December 2019, Seoul, South Korea

The Australian Diabetes Pacific Research initiatives are guided by our Pacific Values that includes spirituality, family, community, respect, empathy, love and humility. We value and promote these Pacific cultural values and our identity by embedding these principles in our research framework and community-based project.

A Facebook page: Australian Pasifika Diabetes Research has been set up as part of this Pacific Diabetes Research initiative has now become a community forum site our members. It provides a platform to share, understand, learn, engage and promote awareness of diabetes and its prevention and management for Pasifika peoples living in Australia and in the Pacific Islands.

Contact details:

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In partnership with the Pasifika Women’s Alliances Inc. (PWA) and the Australian Pasifika communities (in Queensland, digital stories were produced and launched at the 2016 Pasifika Diabetes Health Forum. These digital stories depict members of the community sharing their lived experience with type 2 diabetes and how they self-manage through holistic, spiritual and lifestyle approaches.

Diabetes Prevention & Self-management: Stories from the Pasifika Communities in Queensland – Violet


Diabetes Prevention & Self-management: Stories from the Pasifika Communities in Queensland – Helen


“Inez’s Story” Diabetes Prevention & Management:Stories from the Pasifika Communities in Queensland

Published by

Pasifika Women's Alliance Inc.

The Pasifika Women’s Alliance is a non-political, nonsectarian, not-for-profit culturally diverse network consisting of women who have migrated to Australia from 22 Pacific Island countries and territories. The alliance seeks to build and strengthen a Queensland sisterhood of Pacific Islander women and to raise the awareness of members as to their rights and responsibilities as citizens and encourages their participation in all aspects of community life.