ACCESS Seminar: Claiming space, finding joy: Sport and leisure for the Pasifika diaspora in the Australian ‘great outdoors’


Claiming space and joy can be a political act when your body has been historically othered and degraded or criminalised, and engaging in sport and leisure in outdoor spaces is one way Pacific Islanders in Australia find joy and take up space. This seminar will present a ‘scoping study’ in its infancy, with the aim of having an extended discussion and getting feedback for its next stage (a paper and DECRA application). I will present my initial ideas, a case study, some methodological concerns and some research questions, including: How are belonging, embodiment, safety, and engagement with ‘the great outdoors’, and the ‘Aussie beach’ played out for Pasifika people? And how can outdoor leisure be more sustainable, both for the environment and for the cultures of the people engaging in it?


Gina Hawkes is an anthropologist evolving into a human geographer. Born in Aotearoa/New Zealand, and with family connections to Samoa and NZ Māori, she is interested in diasporic Pasifika Indigeneity, decolonial approaches to sport and leisure, and the more-than-human elements that make up the spaces we find joy in. She is currently working as a Research Fellow in the School of Geography and Sustainable Communities at The University of Wollongong.