Engaging with the Samoan Community
Brisbane, Australia | 18-20 April , 2011 | 7 & 14 May, 2011
‘Actioning change’ A community partnership
Unlocking the potential of the Samoan community through action learning; Pilot extension, Logan, Queensland, Australia.
In October 2010, Griffith University launched the second phase of its community partnership programme, ‘Actioning Change’, at a celebration evening with the Samoan community in Logan City. Throughout 2010, the University partnered with the Voice of Samoan People (VOSP) in a series of workshops and projects to unlock the potential of the local Samoan community. Projects involving school and church communities targeted positive change. As a means of sustaining change, project teams used a system for action learning developed by the Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL). The model is based on equality and inclusivity rather than hierarchy and was piloted for the first time in Australia with the Samoan community of Logan City. The action learning process is well suited to community development because it encourages participants to learn from each other, identify key issues and to find implementable solutions. Further, the action learning process focuses on learning outcomes and so sponsor organizations can monitor and quantify the return on investment relatively easily.
Mobilizing the wider Samoan community in Brisbane
The on-going community development model is championed by Voice of Samoan People (VOSP) for Logan’s Samoan community. The primary objective is to widen access to further education via the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE and provide both direct entry and continuing pathways to TAFE and to Griffith University.
To achieve this, VOSP is using action learning so that the entire community can participate in the development process. In so doing, the goal is to foster a learning community that will encourage children and adults alike to advance and improve their learning and life circumstances.
(Right) VOSP meeting to discuss the next steps, reported in the Samoan Times, 25 April, 2011.
Extending the collaborative partnership: TAFE Queensland
GULL launch event, China, Thursday, 24 March, 2011
An outcome of a meeting at the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE on 19 April 2011 was the emergence of a broader collaborative framework. The aim is to widen access to further education via the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE and additionally, provide both direct entry and continuing pathways to TAFE and to Griffith University, Logan.
(Right) Meeting at the Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE, Mansfield, Tuesday, 19 April 2011. Left to right: John Wicks (GULL); Josephine Aufai (VOSP); Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt (GULL); Peter Laing (TAFE); Vaaaoao Aolfipo (VOSP); Richard Teare (GULL); Stephen Barnes (TAFE).
Components of the community development framework
The collaborative framework is based on a statement of intent supported by Voice of Samoan People (VOSP), Griffith University, GULL and TAFE Queensland.
To formalize support to the Samoan community, Griffith University will adopt GULL’s action learning system and stakeholder support will be secured from Woodridge State High School, Logan City Council and other agencies, together with letters of endorsement.
(Above left) The collaborative framework
(Above right) VOSP and GULL planning team
Extending the collaborative partnership: TAFE Queensland
The collaborative framework was supported and endorsed by Professor Lesley Chenoweth at a meeting held at Griffith University, Logan campus on 20 April.
(Above left) Meeting at Griffith University, Logan Campus, Meadowbrook, Wednesday, 20 April 2011: Left to right: Lesley Chenoweth (Griffith); Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt (Griffith & GULL); Richard Teare (GULL); Judith Kearney (Griffith); Vaaaoao Aolfipo (VOSP); John Wicks (GULL).
(Above right) Vaaaoao Aolfipo (VOSP) and Richard Teare (GULL) pictured next to an aerial photograph of the Griffith University, Logan campus.
Voice of Samoan People
Saturday 14 May 2011
In mid-May, members of the Voice of Samoan People (VOSP) committee met at Griffith University to launch the collaborative partnership between GULL, Griffith University and TAFE Queensland. In compliance with Australia’s Higher Education Act (2008), Griffith University is serving as the lead agency and will utilize the GULL system (together with TAFE Queensland) to develop access pathways.
In order to retain and develop the GULL concept, Griffith University is using the phrase: ‘Griffith University Life Long Learning’ (GULLL) and the four organizations will focus on broadening the Pacific Island community’s access to and success in Queensland’s further and higher education system.
(Right) Members of the VOSP committee present Richard Teare with a traditional Samoan costume and serenade him in true Samoan style. Richard and the entire GULL team would like to thank VOSP for their outstanding community leadership.
Compliance with Australia’s Higher Education (General Provisions) Act 2008
In Australia, the Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL) is focused on assisting marginalized community groups. In compliance with Australia’s Higher Education (General Provisions) Act 2008, GULL does not advertise, work with individuals or companies, charge fees or award degrees. GULL’s approach is to work in partnership with Griffith University and TAFE Queensland with the objective of widening access to Australia’s further and higher education system by designing direct entry and continuing pathways to TAFE and to Griffith University courses. To facilitate this, GULL has provided its action learning system to Griffith University and in order to retain and develop the GULL concept, Griffith is using the term ‘Griffith University Life Long Learning’ (GULLL). Our objective is simply to enable all community participants to work towards recognized Australian qualifications. GULL’s role is to assist in operationalizing its system which is primarily designed to develop skills and confidence in self-directed learning.
As an example of our work, Brisbane’s Samoan community is using GULLL to enable the entire community to participate in the development process. This initiative is facilitated by its representative body ‘Voice of Samoan People’ (VOSP) . The goal is to create a learning community that will encourage children and adults alike to advance and improve their learning and life circumstances. There are some 25,000 Pacific Islanders living in Logan, Brisbane where relatively few youngsters continue in further and higher education and young offender rates are very high. In response, an array of agencies are supporting our efforts to foster a culture of lifelong learning in order that parents are better equipped to encourage their children.
GULL is a not-for-profit foundation registered in California, USA. GULL is recognized by the Government of Papua New Guinea & endorsed by other Governments, Leaders & Institutions.