Unaisi graduated with an LLB from the University of the South Pacific (USP) in Fiji and holds a Master of Laws and other postgraduate qualifications in legislative drafting and tertiary teaching. Unaisi has previous experience as an assistant lecturer at USP, legislative drafter for the Nauru Department of Justice and most recently as the Legislative Counsel for the Parliament of Nauru

Project Title: “Indigenous Identity in Fiji: Na Vanua, Na Lawa, Na Kawa Ni Bobula”

Scholarship: University of Queensland Research Scholarship (UQRS)

Supervisors: Emeritus Professor Jennifer Corrin and Professor Reid Mortensen

Project overview: The discussion surrounding indigeneity and the Indigenous identity has been made even more complex for countries that had entered an era of independence with a legal system inherited from their former colonisers, in addition to an existing system of customary laws. Unaisi's PhD examines how Indigenous people are defined in Fiji and by comparison, under international law and in other jurisdictions. Unaisi's thesis provides a detailed historical account of Fiji from pre-colonial (traditional setting), the impact of British colonial policies on the Indigenous Fijian identity and the hangover of those policies on Indigenous Fijians today. An important component of the thesis is the exploration of the impact of that identity on other minority Indigenous groups in Fiji, specifically the descendants of those taken to Fiji during the blackbirding period.

Publications

  • Unaisi Narawa ‘Adoption in Nauru’ in J. Corrin, S. Farran (eds.), The Plural Practice of Adoption in Pacific Island States, The World of Small States 5
  • Unaisi Narawa ‘An Identity Claimed? The Case of Tamavua-i-wai’ (2012) 2 Journal of South Pacific Law