In 2012 -2013, a group of Pasifika women met regularly in café’s and community halls to discuss issues concerning Pasifika women, their families and communities in Queensland. This resulted in a dialogue to host a Pasifika Women’s Forum.
In March 2013, the first Pasifika Women’s Forum was held under the auspices of the Brisbane City Council to celebrate International Women’s Day. Over 100 women representing Samoa, Fiji, Cook Islands, Tonga, PNG, South Sea Islanders (Vanuatu), Indigenous Australian, Niue, Torres Strait Islands registered for the forum. As part of the women’s forum, a community cafe group discussion produced seven priorities – the outcome seeing the establishment of the Pasifika Women’s Alliance Inc. (PWA).
PWA was formed in April 2013 and incorporated in February 2014 consisting of a culturally diverse network of Pasifika women representing 22 Pacific Island nations and territories.
First PWA Annual General Meeting (AGM)
In June 2015, PWA held their first AGM. This momentous event saw some founding members pass on the baton to the first elected committee of PWA.
Founding members of the Pasifika Women’s Alliance included:
- Inez Manu-Sione, former President
- Valami Waqaliva-Qoro, former Vice-President
- Lote Scanlan- Savelio, former Secretary (April – August 2013)
- Ema Vueti, former Secretary (April 2013 –April 2015)
- Irene Tavutavu, former Treasurer and;
- Former interim committee members: Orini Barnett, Wynn TeKani, Terani Lima, Heena Akbar, Malo Semaia, Salome Swan, Stella Miria Robinson, Kalisi Bese, Kelera Tema, Leniata Legacy – Cassaundra Rangip, Stephanie Donigi and Kennie Prince-Chan
These women created space for PWA to build, nurture, empower and advocate for Pasifika women and their families in Queensland.