Le Malaga Faigatā: Misadventures of An Accidental Academic


  • Roannie Ng Shiu
  • Fetaui Iosefo




E lele le toloa, ae maˈau i le vai

The toloa will fly far and wide, but will always return to the water—Samoan proverb

In my doctoral thesis, I examined the barriers to and enablers of academic success for Pacific tertiary health students at the University of Auckland. Ten years on, now back at the University of Auckland, I find myself again reflecting on the barriers to and enablers of academic success for Pacific academics. This reflection piece stems from a seminar I gave for the University of Auckland’s Pacific Research Hub, entitled “Constructing Resilience: Lessons from An Accidental Pacific Academic.” Initially, I was only going to speak to my current research project on Pacific youth resilience. But I was encouraged to share my experiences as a Samoan researcher and academic, especially for early career researchers. I therefore decided to use the seminar as a talanoa to share my experiences and have an honest discussion about some of the challenges that we, as Pacific researchers, experience within the academy. Rather than trying to sell a fairy tale, I decided to use the opportunity for real talk, sharing some of the things I wish someone had told me before I went down the academic path.



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2021-12-14 — Updated on 2021-12-14