Our Search for Intergenerational Rhythms as Tongan Global Scholars


  • Ruth (Lute) Faleolo La Trobe University
  • Edmond Fehoko University of Otago
  • Dagmar Dyck The University of Auckland
  • Cathleen Hafu-Fetokai The University of Queensland
  • Gemma Malungahu Australian National University
  • Zaramasina L Clark Victoria University of Wellington
  • ‘Esiteli Hafoka Stanford University
  • Finausina Tovo College of San Mateo
  • David Taufui Mikato Fa‘avae The University of Auckland




e-talanoa, creatively critical meaning-making, cultural collective, intergenerational rhythms, Tongan Global Scholars Network (TGSN)


Our search for collective meaning-making across spaces and places as Tongan global scholars carries intergenerational rhythms. This article is a diasporic collaboration between members of the Tongan Global Scholars Network (TGSN), an online cultural collective drawn together through creatively critical rhythms and a desire to make space for ongoing criticalities through Tongan concepts, knowledge, and approaches. Employing the art of e-talanoa in our search for ways of crafting meaning, we unfold our narratives about TGSN’s humble beginnings using a range of modalities expressed as words, images, screenshots, and poetry. Our desire to connect early career scholars of Tongan heritage across the diaspora of Australia, the United States of America, Aotearoa New Zealand, and Tonga via the online space, led to enabling intergenerational relational rhythms between more seasoned and emerging scholars, sharing their understanding of Tongan knowledge and its relevance in the dominant Western academe. Intergenerational rhythms are central to TGSN’s survival. As a global network, TGSN continues to provide meaningful spaces for creatively critical meaning- making and intergenerational collaborative dialogue.

Author Biographies

Ruth (Lute) Faleolo, La Trobe University

Ruth (Lute) Faleolo, daughter of pastors ‘Ahoia ‘Ilaiū (from Mu‘a and Pukotala) and Falakika Lose ‘Ilaiū (from Houma and Ha‘alalo), is a New Zealand-born Tongan. She teaches in Australia and is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at La Trobe University. Her research considers Pasifika mobilities, collective agencies, and multi-sited cultivation of cultural heritage.

Edmond Fehoko, University of Otago

Edmond Fehoko is the son of Koli and Siu Fehoko from Kotu and Mo‘unga‘one, Ha‘apai, Tonga. He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago, as well as the Associate Dean (Pacific) for the Division of Sciences. Fehoko is also a Pacific Postdoctoral Fellow, funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Dagmar Dyck, The University of Auckland

Dagmar Dyck is a first-generation New Zealander of Tongan (Vava‘u), German, Dutch, and Polish ancestries. She is an interdisciplinary artist, researcher, art educator, and Doctoral Candidate at the University of Auckland.

Cathleen Hafu-Fetokai, The University of Queensland

Cathleen Hafu-Fetokai is the daughter of Ongo‘a Toloke and Seini Kalolina Hafu. She is an Equity Practitioner and a PhD Candidate at the University of Queensland. Her work and research focus on the experience of Pasifika students in higher education in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia.

Gemma Malungahu, Australian National University

Gemma Malungahu is the daughter of Kelepi and Silina Malungahu and the granddaughter of Alisi Lupe Pole Fetu‘u and Sosaia Hiva Pea ‘Ulu Fetu‘u (maternal grandparents) and Sosefo Malungahu and Leonia Malungahu (paternal grandparents). She is a Research Fellow at The Australian National University.

Zaramasina L Clark , Victoria University of Wellington

Zaramasina L Clark is of Tongan/Palangi heritage but was born and raised in Suva, Fiji. She is a Lecturer in the School of Biological Science at Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington.

‘Esiteli Hafoka, Stanford University

‘Esiteli Hafoka received her PhD and MA in Religious Studies from Standford University, and her BA in Religious Studies and Ancient History from UC Riverside. Her research introduces a novel theoretical approach, Angafakafonua as Tongan epistemology, to understand Tongan collective identity in the United States of America.

Finausina Tovo , College of San Mateo

Finausina Teisa Tovo is the Founder and Coordinator for the Mana Pacific Studies Learning Community at the College of San Mateo. As a first-generation Tongan American and educational leader with ties to Oceania, she has dedicated the last decade to representing Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander voices within academia.

David Taufui Mikato Fa‘avae , The University of Auckland

David Taufui Mikato Fa‘avae is the grandson of Sione Taufui Mikato Fa‘avae and Vika Lataheanga Fositā (paternal grandparents) and Melenaite Jennings and Sione P. Tomasi (maternal grandparents). He is a senior academic in the School of Critical Studies in Education, and an Associate Professor at Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland.



How to Cite

Faleolo, R. (Lute), Fehoko, E., Dyck, D., Hafu-Fetokai, C., Malungahu, G., Clark , Z. L., … Taufui Mikato Fa‘avae , D. (2024). Our Search for Intergenerational Rhythms as Tongan Global Scholars . Art/Research/International:/A/Transdisciplinary/Journal, 8(2), 663–704. https://doi.org/10.18432/ari29797