A cross-cultural identity rooted in sport and faith

INTEGRATED: Caleb Timu
INTEGRATED: Caleb Timu

FOR Caleb Timu, Australia has always been home.

The New Zealand-born Queensland Reds player was four years old when his family migrated to Australia. 

While he identifies himself as Australian and is honoured to be a professional sportsman for his home state, Mr Timu also takes pride in his Samoan heritage.

Mr Timu is one of the 50 per cent of Australians who were born overseas or have one or both parents born overseas.

His parents are both Samoan but met in New Zealand, where they married and started a family.

The 22-year-old the Regents Park local is an exceptional sportsman, an aspiring businessman, husband, expectant father and dedicated Mormon.

He started his professional football career in rugby league in 2012 as a Brisbane Broncos junior.

It has been a big year for Mr Timu. He got married, started a Commerce Degree at Griffith University and switched football codes from rugby league to rugby union, signing a senior contract to play for the Queensland Reds.

A devout Mormon, Mr Timu spent the two years prior to 2016 serving as a missionary in the country of his birth and Cook Island. 

“It was such a powerful experience,” he said.

“When your daily objective is to help and teach people everyday it gives you such a new perspective.”

Mr Timu was born into the faith and said it was a big part of who he was.

He serves as the public relations officer of the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which supports the Refugee Association of Logan through donation drives and fundraising efforts.

“I love everything about Australia, I love the landscape, the people, the opportunities,” he said.

“The fact that everyone is free to practice their religion is something I really admire about Australia and Logan is such a beautiful melting pot.

“Interaction with different cultures can shed so much light on contemporary issues, different peoples and places.

“There is just so much you can learn from being exposed to different cultures and ideologies.

“I think in this way, we are truly blessed to live in Australia and have that opportunity. There are places in the world where this kind of interaction and integration is unheard of.”