Assumed Voices of Samoa


  • Tautalamaleavailumaotamalii (Tala) Anastasia Faletolu Samoan born and raised in Dunedin. Comes from the villages of Matautu Lefaga and Fasito’o-Uta with linkages to Sa’anapu and Malie. Advisor for Learning and Development for the Department of Child, Youth and Family.



Pasifica, service users, Samoan social work, Pacific model, Sootaga


"I know who I am however (at times) it can be frustrating and difficult when explaining to others and I don’t mind that (so much) ... what I don’t like is when people assume that they know who I am and proceed to relate to me with their assured understanding and ignorance" (Anonymous). 

In this article I will be giving you an overview of the research that I undertook titled ‘The Assumed Voices of Samoa’, and the founding conclusions that I made in answer to the research question of ‘What are some appropriate ways of working social work with Samoan people from a Samoan client’s perspective?’ Accounts from participants will be shared to highlight the importance of understanding cultures to avoid miscommunication, disempowerment and disrespect. Finally the ‘So’otaga Model’ will be explained to show required skills, knowledge, resources and supports when working with Samoan families.


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How to Cite

Faletolu, T. (Tala) A. (2016). Assumed Voices of Samoa. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 22(4), 22–31.