New research with Swinburne University supporting Pasifika students to succeed

Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) is pleased to announce an important research project in partnership with Swinburne University. The two-year project will help to support positive education outcomes for Pasifika young people.

Funded by the Building Safe Communities Grant from the Victorian Government’s Department of Justice and Community Safety, the project seeks to uncover the challenges facing students in completing secondary school, whilst also developing tools to support positive futures of study and work for young Pasifika people.

Our work with young people in the Pasifika community indicates that young people often face multiple barriers that prevent them from attending or staying in school.

“(Young people are experiencing) a lack of belonging, at school, systematically, in the community, (and) generationally. They don’t belong (because) parents don’t have the knowledge to share with young people.” – Pasifika young person.

From focus group for Casey Pasifika Community Youth Justice Consultations.

Barriers can include issues of visa status, marginalization, discouragement based on stereotypes, racism and discrimination, and a lack of culturally relevant curriculum and learning contexts.[1] Young people can also hold responsibilities in the home that can impact their schooling commitments.  

Central to the research is the voice of Pasifika young people and their broader community. The project researchers will establish an advisory board to provide feedback and consultation throughout the project duration.

CMY will assist in the first phase of the research project to survey families, teachers and students, interview youth justice officers, and run focus groups with families and students.

CMY will work alongside Swinburne University to deliver a sustainable, co-designed program.

All data captured during the first phase will support a community-led culturally responsive framework that will lead all future phases of the project. This includes the development of suitable tools to support Pasifika students to complete secondary school.

The first phase has commenced, and is being led by Swinburne University in partnership with the Le Mana Pasifika team at CMY.

For further information, read more from Swinburne University.


[1] Casey Pasifika Community Youth Justice Consultations: