The ‘Whole of Life’ Way: Pasifika Relational Philosophies for a (K)new Development Consciousness.

More than 200 policy makers, educators, university, governments, and religious representatives, including students and ordinary citizens from the centre of Australian politics, Canberra, attended the annual public lecture delivered by the college Principal, the Rev. Professor Dr Upolu Luma Vaai at the Australia National University on the topic “The ‘Whole of Life’ Way: Pasifika Relational Philosophies for a (K)new Development Consciousness.” The lecture, which was also based on the ‘whole of life’ vision of the college, was sponsored by the Pacific Institute of the Australia National University. He challenged the current development narrative heavily shaped and driven by the “Onefication Way” of Western philosophies that can be traced back either to the classical Platonic or Aristotelian philosophical camps. These philosophies have influenced how we create development policies around issues such as climate change, human rights, gender, security, diplomacy, economic, including religious. He even challenged Australia’s new international development policy just released in a few weeks and its geopolitical involvement in the Pacific region without serious attention given to addressing critical issues voiced by the Pacific churches and many Pacific organizations such as Deep Sea Mining, human rights violence in West Papua, the disposal of radioactive nuclear waste to the Pacific ocean by Japan and China before that, the issues with the PALM scheme, and the revival of the Banaba phosphate mining by an Australian company, let alone the continuous impacts of climate change. He offered to Australia a “Whole of Life” Way that is fundamental to Jesus justice movement and in particular to many indigenous communities around the world including the Pacific, in particular from the living philosophies of these communities that are very different from Western philosophies. He concluded with sharing the vision of the Pacific churches by creating an educational platform through the Pasifika Communities University (PCU) for both governments and church and faith communities to work together to address social and ecological issues affecting the region.