Historically the discipline of psychology has had little Pacific presence or contribution.
Over the last decade there has been a growth of emerging Pacific professionals specialising in various areas within psychology, in various geographical locations across the nation.
In 2005 a small group of Pasifika psychologists began to meet to discuss and share ideas through informal meetings and an email Fono. The Pacific Psychology Fono sprung out of a need to support the few Pasifika psychologists practising in New Zealand. It became clear that we needed to provide a pathway for others through support and a mentoring process.
People in the Pacific Psychology Fono are committed to this cause because of our own individual journeys of struggle and success. We believe in the influential power of collective support and know this has not been done before with psychologists.
A newly-formed critical mass of Pacific psychologists came together to form Pasifikology, the Pacific Psychology Fono, with a shared vision of growing the Pacific psychologist workforce, sharing knowledge and information, and ensuring that psychology is relevant for Pacific people in New Zealand.
The Pacific Psychology Fono is comprised of Pasifika psychologists, graduates and students of psychology. The Fono reflects our diversity through our different psychological training and backgrounds. However, our major strengths are based around our inherent cultural connections with each other, which sets us apart from our non-Pasifika psychologists, these include our cultural models, humour, cultural understanding, shared values, and ease of connection and engagement with our people.
It is this that gives life and meaning to our work as Pasifika psychologists.
“The Greek name for a butterfly is Psyche, and the same word means the soul. There is no illustration of the immortality of the soul so striking and beautiful as the butterfly, bursting on brilliant wings from the tomb in which it has lain, after a dull, grovelling, caterpillar existence, to flutter in the blaze of day and feed on the most fragrant and delicate productions of the spring. Psyche, then, is the human soul, which is purified by sufferings and misfortunes, and is thus prepared for the enjoyment of true and pure happiness.”
– From Bulfinch’s Mythology: The Age of Fable, chapter XI
“For indigenous people, the butterfly represents change, growth, freedom, and spiritual courage. The butterfly leads us to growth through the knowledge that change is inevitable. The butterfly shows us that change can come about when we learn we are free to live forever because life is continuous. The butterfly shows us that there are different worlds of color and beauty and that we can experience them with moral strength and curiosity. The butterfly teaches us to make conscious changes to our lives and those around us, create new conditions, and assist in making dreams come true. The butterfly teaches us that living occurs through dying but in dying there is a new life and with that new life comes the freedom to change the course of lives. Our spiritual birth may guide us to new freedoms. We are told that when a butterfly flaps its wings, it sends ripples that are felt around the world and throughout the Universe.”
– Joseph Trimble; Toward an Inclusive Psychology APA 2003.