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Can you believe that it’s already the end of June 2021?

This time last year, some of us were just coming out of lockdown. We were still adjusting to our new ‘COVID-normal’ lifestyle, mourning and celebrating life's many milestones under different and unfamiliar circumstances.  We were joining Black Lives Matter protests. We were, and continue to be, hopeful that we will see an end to this pandemic.

If the last 12 months has taught me anything, it has been the importance of leaning into gratitude. In honour of that, I want to thank God, family and friends, but especially the Pasifika Lawyers Association of Queensland (PLAQ) Management Committee for their consistent support and friendship in a time of crisis and uncertainty.

I am privileged to have been a part of several PLAQ ‘firsts’.  Last year, PLAQ held its first ever Sounds of our Oceans session, where we heard from the inspiring Laurel Vaurasi, President of the Fiji Law Society.  Further in 2020, PLAQ hosted its first ever (virtual) trivia, COVID-safe outdoors networking lunch, and our New Year’s welcome brunch in 2021.  PLAQ also recently hosted its first community information session on navigating domestic and family violence law in Queensland, coinciding with Queensland Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month.

And guess what? This email 'Niusletter' (word play on 'newsletter' and ‘niu’.  The latter being the Samoan word for young coconut or coconut water) is another ‘first’ for PLAQ.  It is my hope that this Niusletter, like the beloved niu, will help to connect, refresh and nourish our Association with updates, information, resources, PLAQ member profiles and more!

To our new members, we are so excited to have you join us.  We look forward to connecting further with you, as well as our long standing PLAQ members in the near future. Thank you all for being a part of the PLAQ waka/vaka/va’a/canoe. I hope to see you soon at one of our upcoming events, the next being our End of Financial Year dinner on Saturday, 3 July 2021 (details below, it's not too late to RSVP).  

I wish you a warm winter, and safe journey during our snap lockdown and beyond.


Tile Imo | PLAQ President

Some of the Management Committee Members at the PLAQ Community Event on 27 May 2021. From left to right.  Back row:  Tommy Lopau, Sinaumea Taufao, Osanna Faataape.  Front row:  Musu Muliaga, Tile Imo, Vai Levaiseeta, Heilala Tabete, Princess Avia, Lana Carter, Trina Faaiuaso and Vani Tamanivalu.
You can find out more about the PLAQ Management Committee members here.

The PLAQ Management Committee established three (3) new sub-committees in February 2021, listed below:

1.  The Mentorship Sub-Committee  is currently reviewing PLAQ's mentorship program.  Keep an eye out for a survey by them, seeking your views about what you expect or would like to see from our Mentorship Program.

2.  The Communications Sub-Committee, which has worked hard to bring you this Niusletter, our latest Talanoa articles, and developing PLAQ's video content. You may also notice changes to our website, social media platforms (and please note, we now have a LinkedIn page), all designed to help you connect with each other and the Association.

3.  The Events Sub-Committee is in charge of proposing and planning upcoming events for the review and approval of the Management Committee. There are few events in the pipeline so watch this space!  We also welcome any suggestions you may have of events you would like to see.

Please contact us if you would like to know more about, or contribute to, any of our sub-committees.
We have a created a PLAQ Solicitor Referral list, which will be made available on the PLAQ website shortly. This is to assist our Pacific Island communities who often contact us for legal advice.
As a PLAQ member, you are entitled to be included on our referral list.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to be added to the list.
Hello all! Halo olgeta! Umui namo? My name is Terence and I am a recent addition to the Pasifika Lawyers Association of Queensland Committee, where I work with a team on reforming our mentorship program.

I currently live and work in Canberra as a Government Lawyer in the Australian Public Service. I advise on a number areas to government clients on areas such as administrative law, employment law, freedom of information and privacy law. I also coordinate the making of legislation within my agency.

I am a fellow Pasifika person from Papua New Guinea who originally studied accounting and worked in that profession. I found myself more fascinated with the legal units of my accounting degree and so I decided to jump ship and become a second career lawyer – little did I know what I was getting myself into!

When I started my law degree here in Australia, I was surprised to find Pasifika people underrepresented not just in law school but in the profession. Law school in particular can be tough for any law student, but there are additional barriers both cultural and legal in how our people interact with and learn the law.

I took it upon myself to reach out to other islanders in law at university to work together with them to get through law school. If I had to give some tips to fellow Pasifika law students, I would say:
  • Procrastination is generally okay with assignments, in fact there are often good reasons to procrastinate – just make sure you have a rough idea on how your assignment is to take shape early on so it’s not a big surprise when you do most of the work on it!
  • Network with your fellow islanders not just formally but informally as well, whether it’s through sport, church activities or just hanging out – you never know where you all will end up and may cross paths again!
  • Take chances when opportunities arise even when there doesn’t appear to be an easy path to your ultimate goal – think longer term and don’t limit yourself to what you think you need right now!
I’m happy to reach out to people that would like any further tips. See you! Lukim yupela bihain! Bamahuta!
Check out our "Korero Korner" video series.  In these member-exclusive video clips, some of our lawyers and students discuss their tips, trends, thoughts and practice wisdom.

In our latest episode below, we hear from Heilala and Vani.
Our Talanoa (meaning 'speak' or 'converse') is the PLAQ blog with articles or stories written by, and for, our members. We invite you to read our latest Talanoa below:
Please contact us if you would like to contribute a Talanoa.
3 July 2021:  PLAQ End of Financial Year Dinner*
Location:  Ben’s Chinese and Vietnamese Restaurant, 14 Annerley Road, Woolloongabba, QLD 4102
Time:  6.00 PM until late
(*Please bring cash as it’s one bill per table. This event is subject to COVID restrictions.)

2 August 2021:  PLAQ Management Committee Meeting

25 October 2021:  PLAQ Management Committee Meeting

18 November 2021:  PLAQ Annual General Meeting
6 July 2021:  Corney & Lind not-for-profit team is hosting an online webinar for Churches: Personal Information Data Storage - Click here for free registration
27 July 2021: Corney & Lind family law team is hosting an online webinar for Schools called: Educators supporting kids during family transition. Click here for free registration.
3 August 2021: Corney & Lind migration law team is hosting an online webinar called: Migration: Sponsoring Workers & Visitors for Churches. Click here for free registration.
30 August 2021:  Save the date!  PLAQ is collaborating with the Asian Australian Law Association, Indigenous Lawyers Association of Queensland, Pride in Law, Women’s Lawyer Association of Queensland and others on a Diversity Event that will be hosted at Banco Court.
Please contact us if you have an event you would like shared in our next Niusletter.
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