Finding Harmony between Decolonization and Christianity in Academia


  • Inez Fainga'a-Manu Sione Griffith University & Village Connect Ltd.
  • Ruth Faleolo La Trobe University
  • Cathleen Hafu-Fetokai University of Qld



anga faka-Tonga, Christian academics, collective-individual, decolonization, spiritual being and spirituality, tu'a Tonga, vā


This article presents our theoretical musings on practicing decolonization as Christian Tongan academics, recorded and shared within our Australian collective during 2022-2023. We aim to discuss the strength and power that comes from our Indigenous inheritance of God and Tonga, living in diaspora of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand (tu'a Tonga). Amidst this Indigenous strength, there are also subtleties and crescendos of coloniality taking place in and around us, as well as the complexities and vulnerabilities with which Tongan Christian academics grapple in their sense making and meaning making processes. The significance of this discussion is that Oceanian women’s opinions and experiences of decoloniality are not often considered, particularly within the contexts of academia. We pray this article offers insights into how we can successfully navigate simultaneous private, public, individual, and collective journeys, daily, as Christian academics in the decolonization of these various spaces. This is our contribution as Christian academics, as daughters of Tonga, and wives and mothers of Oceania.

Author Biographies

Inez Fainga'a-Manu Sione, Griffith University & Village Connect Ltd.

Dr. Inez Fainga‘a-Manu Sione is a Fiji-born Tongan woman, adopted into the Gumatj clan (First Nations people of Australia). She uses her qualifications in Education, Law, Business, and Theatre to creatively empower and inform Pasifika youth and communities. Inez is a faith-empowered Christian, who is also an associate pastor, alongside her husband, at Hosanna Logan City.

Ruth Faleolo, La Trobe University

Dr. Ruth (Lute) Faleolo is an Aotearoa-born Tongan woman, based in Australia. Her background in Education and Social Sciences allows her to work simultaneously on several trans-disciplinary research projects in Australia, Aotearoa, Tonga, and the United States of America, alongside her teaching and local community work. Ruth is a born-again Christian and attends the Logan Hope Centre, with her family.

Cathleen Hafu-Fetokai, University of Qld

Cathleen Hafu-Fetokai is a Vanuatu-born Tongan woman, based in Australia. Her career, research and service has been committed to dismantling barriers, fostering inclusivity, and reshaping the narrative of academic success for those who are unrepresented in higher education. A faithful servant of God planted in scripture, she acknowledges the Pulela’ā Tongan Methodist Church, Aotearoa New Zealand. 



How to Cite

Fainga'a-Manu Sione, I., Faleolo, R., & Hafu-Fetokai, C. (2024). Finding Harmony between Decolonization and Christianity in Academia. Art/Research/International:/A/Transdisciplinary/Journal, 8(2), 519–546.