Updates from the AusACPDM Pacific Group mapping project

Updates from the AusACPDM Pacific Group mapping project

24th August, 2022

The AusACPDM Pacific Group is comprised of New Zealand and Australian health professionals, including Pasifika professionals, interested in networking, increasing awareness and building relationships within and between Pacific peoples and disability services in the Pacific Island Nations. This work aligns with the AusACPDM Aims and Strategic Plan for 2020-2025:

By 2025, AusACPDM will continue its roles as an international leader in education and knowledge translation for multidisciplinary practitioners and researchers working in the field, along with those with lived experience.

By 2025, we will have increased our visibility, reach and impact in the Australasian region with a focus on low resourced communities.


Following the AusACPDM conference, we conducted a survey and we are grateful for the 35 responses we received. The responses were received from a wide variety of sources including Pacific peoples and those of Pacific decent, but were mostly from people who had contacts with the organisations. We recognize there is a gap in our grass roots level information and we would like to further target this. Eleven Pacific Island Countries were named by those providing information about groups/individuals providing input into disabilities services in the Pacific Islands. These countries are Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Niue, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.

A number of organisations input into the countries listed.  These are: Pacific Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Organisation, Pacific Disability Forum, Motivation Australia, Pacific Island Orthopaedic Association, World Blind Mission and Flinders University Course on Disability and Special Education. In addition, other organisations, groups/charities and individual therapists provided services in some of the countries or to specific targeted regions.

We have now mapped the information for each of the countries. Please view an example of our mapping for Tonga and Samoa.

Our next steps:

  1. Invite a key member or members of PRATA (Pacific Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology Organisation) and the Pacific Disability Forum to speak to our AusACPDM group. We recognise both organisations have roles of education, advocacy and support for people with disabilities. We see these groups as key liaisons to determine next steps for our group and AusACPDM.

Future will be guided by forming Pacific partnerships and networks and may include:

  1. Mapping the networking between the identified groups. Identify resources they use and if there is anything that they may need e.g., educational resources, mentors, grass roots support and teaching of skills, therapy ideas, research collaboration, discussion around registers
  2. Continue to build our mapping with new groups we haven’t heard about yet
  3. Determine if groups would like to network with AusACPDM and how we could learn from each other.
  4. If there is enough interest, run a networking forum to establish relationships.

Please continue to share any Pacific information  https://forms.gle/CStcKD342L48Ekds8


Mapping of organisations who deliver services in Tonga and Samoa for people with disabilities: