In 2001, a group of Pacific academics and educators gathered in Nadi to begin a new journey of exploration into Pacific education. The journey was tentative and exploratory, but nevertheless it was with passion and assurance of the need for Pacific people to critically rethink development in Pacific education. It was a path that some were nervous to take, while others chose to cover-it-up with the past. Often, fellow travelers of this journey were critiqued for wanting to turn back time, for wanting to recover what was no longer relevant. A few believed in the purpose of the journey, and for the initial stage, generous funding from the New Zealand government supported it. For that we are grateful, as those initial steps were important in laying the foundation and mapping the journey.
In the years since, the path for the journey became more assured and a vision was set. Along the way we strengthen our Vaka with knowledge gained from our research. We strengthened our spirit, our relationships and our vision with our leadership. The Re-thinking initiative that was once tentative and exploratory soon became the Vaka Pasifiki movement, a strong, confident and assured force.
This symposium marks a decade of rethinking Pacific education, and we are most pleased that you can join us for this exciting celebration. This symposium is purposefully held at USP, Suva to mark the home of the movement. This symposium is hosted by the USP's Faculty of Arts, Law and Education, School of Education, the Oceania Institute for Education and the University of Victoria, New Zealand. This symposium is an opportunity for us to celebrate our past achievements, draw our Vaka ashore to strengthen our sail, strengthen our spirit and set new directions for our journey.
We hope that you will enjoy the 2 day symposium and feast on the knowledge and experiences that will be shared with friends and colleagues from New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, PNG, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Guam, Niue and others representing a diversity of regional and national institutes.
We hope that you will find the symposium useful, worthwhile and that you will be encouraged to join us as we continue our journey.
Seu'ula Johansson Fua
A/Director Oceania Institute for Education
The University of the South Pacific