Conversations that Matter
At: “Armagh” 226 Kooyong Road, Toorak, Victoria, Australia
Contact Barbara Lawler or Glennis Johnston to RSVP. Tel. 03 98221218
Monday 30 April 7.30 – 9.30pm
Ten Principles for Activism for Transformative Change
Speaker: Mosese Waqa
Context: In today’s fast changing world of information overload, easy access to the internet with numerous platforms for information communication technology, we can be easily be lulled into the false sense of security that when it comes to bringing about desired changes in one’s community, let alone one’s own life. We have all the information needed at the tip of our fingers, at the end of keyboard stroke. That we don’t have to do much to bring about change if we want to. As a very advanced society with material and information wealth, we can easily fall into the trap that our acquired wealth is the key to power the changes we want in life and the community at large. While that may be true to some extent, the truth is more complex, in that depending on the measure of success that you prefer, overall, there are key universal principles that one can apply in all life’s circumstance to bring about necessary changes.
When we find ourselves in positions of responsibilities, in our relationships, in families, in the work place and local communities, we can sometimes find ourselves totally overwhelmed by the challenges that face us, not knowing what we do to be be able to bring about the desired changes for the sake of the people we deeply care for. Mosese Waqa draws from his vast experience of community activism in sharing with us ten principles that anyone can use in our struggle in social activism. Simple principles that can help you stay on track, and achieve your desired outcomes successfully.
Mosese has played many different and diverse roles in community activism that include being a youth leader, human rights and peace activist, community volunteer and advocate, and mentor. Mosese grew up in Fiji where he graduated from the University of the South Pacific. He moved to Melbourne where he took up postgraduate studies in environmental studies, tutored and taught in Monash University, Deakin University and Victoria University, in politics, community development and Pacific studies. He also help set up a new church for Asian refugees, the first Christian Asian Church in Victoria, where he was its youth leader. Upon returning to Fiji, he became a community volunteer, Regional Pacific Director for the Adventist Development & Relief, and Research Associate for the Japan International Cooperation in its Oceania Office based in Suva, Fiji. His experience in faith-based communities and organisations equipped him in assisting leading human rights organisations develop more effective strategies to bring about changes in very challenging contexts of predominantly religious communities on very sensitive issues like women’s rights, good governance and the rule of law. In 2000, Mosese with two of his close friends and colleages help broker, through the Fiji Council of Chiefs, the release of Fiji’s government’s MPs held as hosatges in the Fiji Parliament after the overthrow of the democractically elected Fiji Labour govt by George Speight and supporters. Mosese moved back to Melbourne with his wife and two daughters in late 2003, and is a stay at home dad. In between dropping his kids at school and looking after them, he worked part time in Deakin and Victoria Universities, graduated in the Geneva-based United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the Melbourne University Asia-Link Leadership Programme. Mosese also help founded and consolidated the first Pacific network on conflict prevention and peace-building, with a new secretariat in Fiji. He is currently the Human Security Coordinator for Initiatives of Change Australia.