Invisible mothers: young Pasifika women, health inequalities and negotiating wellbeing

Exploring the priorities and practices that constitute motherhood for young Pasifika mothers in Melbourne

Invisible Mothers is an interdisciplinary, community-engaged project investigating the experiences of young Pasifika mothers in Melbourne, Australia.

These young women have significantly poorer health outcomes than the general population, yet the complexities of their lives are underdocumented. The inequities they experience are shaped by race, class, gender and immigrant status.

The voices of young Pasifika mothers are largely absent in the Australian scholarship on Pasifika. Invisible Mothers aims to address that by working with young Pasifika mothers between the ages of 18 and 24 to bring to light the complexities of young parenthood in culturally diverse societies.

The project will explore the priorities and practices that constitute motherhood for these women, with the aim of collaboratively designing inclusive health services.  Outcomes will inform both academic and policy understandings of parenthood at the intersection of gender, race, health and migration.

Invisible Mothers project will take a ‘talanoa’ or conversational approach that is central to Pasifika research. This approach invites researchers to share with, and contribute to, the knowledge generated by the participants. It will be guided by Pasifika community members and will draw on research practices that incorporate Pasifika cultural frameworks and strengths-based approaches.

This project will be conducted with young Pasifika mothers from the municipalities of Brimbank and Wyndham.

University-based researchers

Dr Lila Moosad,  Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

Dr Kalissa Alexeyeff, School of Social and Political Sciences

Associate Professor Cathy Vaughan, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

External collaborators

Dr Irene Paulsen,  Independent Educational Consultant

Yoko Ah Kuoi, Department of Human and Health Services,  Victoria State Government

Taua Suemai,  Charis Mentoring

For information about this project, please contact:

Dr Lila Moosad
Melbourne School of Population and Global Health
Email: lila.moosad@unimelb.edu.au