Australia has a highly multicultural population, and with rapidly increasing migration to Australia from the Pacific Islands. Those claiming Samoan heritage make up the largest increase of Pasifika migrants, with increasing numbers settling in the Greater Brisbane region. Despite this, there has been limited research in Greater Brisbane that explores the lives of the Samoan diaspora, including cultural perspectives of responsibility. It is thus increasingly important for social research to take the diverse range of meaning-making processes into account, including around the concept of responsibility.
Responsibility amongst Samoan diaspora is enacted in one of three ways. First, Samoan diaspora enact responsibility towards their family and households, which include both financial and non-financial contributions. Second, Samoan diaspora enact responsibility towards their community, including extended family in Australia and abroad. Thirdly, Samoan diaspora enact responsibility towards their future selves, especially in terms of being able to provide for their family and community.
Samoan understandings of responsibility differ from those typically used in Australian policy and practice. We need to understand how these forms of responsibility are enacted within diverse communities to better design and implement policies that are culturally appropriate and address the needs of different communities.