About the Pacific Islander Network (Inc.)


The Pacific Islander Network (PIN) aims to connect regional and urban diaspora communities of Pacific people across Australia and beyond. This website serves as our online hub to promote the voices of Pacific people throughout the diaspora.


We work with researchers to create evidence-based online resources that represent Pacific people in culturally appropriate ways and that aim to support Pacific communities and bring about positive impacts in people’s lives.

Our people

Dean Wickham

Solomon Islands (PIN Founder)

Annie Cheffers

Solomon Islands

‘Ofa Hakalo


Kennedy Roga

Solomon Islands

Christopher Stewart


Peni Toga


PIN logo and website design

The Pacific Islander Network logo and website design are the result of discussions between PIN Founder Dean Wickham, logo designer ‘Atelaite Tupou, and website designers Crosswalk Media about what Pacific people share despite their cultural diversity.

‘Atelaite Tupou, a 13-year-old Tongan-Australian high school student in regional Victoria, created a logo centred on the ocean – the home of and a source of connection between all Pacific countries. As the renowned Pacific Scholar Epeli Hau’ofa proclaimed in Our sea of Islands:

The world of our ancestors was a large sea full of places to explore, to make their homes in, to breed generations of seafarers like themselves. People raised in this environment were at home with the sea. They played in it as soon as they could walk steadily, they worked in it, they fought on it. They developed great skills for navigating their waters, and the spirit to traverse even the few large gaps that separated their island groups … Theirs was a large world in which peoples and cultures moved and mingled … From one island to another they sailed to trade and to marry, thereby expanding social networks for greater flows of wealth.

(Hau’ofa 1993, 153-154)

Our website design also uses the motif of a woven mat. Pacific people inhabit not only their home countries but have formed diverse diaspora communities throughout the Asia Pacific region and world. No matter where they live, woven mats can be found in the homes of Pacific people. Mats have many uses – for sitting on while talking and for ceremonial occasions. The weaving of mats is linked with the weaving together of people’s relationships throughout the Pacific and across the world.

Together, the logo and website design symbolise our aim to become an online hub to connect and form networks among the many different communities of Pacific people within Australia, regionally and globally.

Our history

In 2014, the Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council (SMECC) began collaborating with Professor Helen Lee and Dr Makiko Nishitani from La Trobe University in a five-year project funded by La Trobe University and the Australian Research Council aimed at investigating the experiences of Pacific people living in Mildura and Robinvale (northwest Victoria). Over 150 Pacific people in the area participated in the research to voice their concerns and experiences.

Stories gathered during the study have been presented in various forums, including at the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trades’ public hearing Inquiry into establishing a Modern Slavery Act in Australia (Oct 2017) and the UN consultation to Human Rights and Business at the Australian Human Rights Commission (Nov 2018).

The research team also published some articles (if you would like a copy of any please contact us). One article in The Conversation attracted attention from the Scanlon Foundation, which in turn provided support to SMECC to help set up the Pacific Islander Network to build an online hub and create accessible resources for Pacific community members in the diaspora.

The first project, the ‘Pacific Role Model website project’ aimed at supporting young Pacific people’s career development, commenced in 2019. We plan to expand this website by creating more resources that will bring positive impacts to Pacific people.


The Pacific Islander Network and this website were created through funding from the Scanlon Foundation.

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