Queensland Tongans raise AU$13,000 for Ha‘apai cyclone relief

The Queensland Tongan community raised AUD$13,000 during a vibrant fund raising concert hosted by the Nofo ‘a Kāinga – Queensland Tonga Council on 28 February.

Various Tongan church denominations, Kava Clubs, Tongan ex-student associations, families and individuals converged on Yeronga High School Hall on Brisbane’s south side for a night of dance, song and fun.

Since Tropical Cyclone Ian caused massive devastation in the Ha‘apai island group the Nofo ‘a Kāinga – Queensland Tonga Council immediately began discussing the best method to offer assistance. After discussions with the Queensland Red Cross it was decided that financial assistance would be more appropriate than perishable goods.

Entertainment for the Ha‘apai Relief Concert was provided by Queensland’s DJ Vava‘u (Leni Lolo) as well as the Brisbane Tongan Brass Band.

President of the Nofo ‘a Kāinga – Queensland Tonga Council, Reverend Sione Maile Molitika said “the programme was a huge success” and expressed his wholehearted appreciation to God and the greater Tongan community for their support on the night.

The council secretary, Limapō Hopoate, contacted the Tonga High Commission in Canberra to explore the most efficient and effective option of providing the support to the people of Ha‘apai.

The council intends to convene on Tuesday, 11 March 2014 to decide how to provide the community support to Ha‘apai.

According to the 2011 Census over 25 096 people identified as having Tongan ancestry in Australia, including 1,596 Tonga-born people in Queensland alone.

The Queensland Tonga Council, also known as Nofo ‘a Kāinga is a Queensland based Tongan association that strives to advocate the rights and pressing needs of Tongans in Queensland as well as establishing a port of refuge that promotes collaboration and builds partnerships for individuals and stakeholders within a multicultural society in the Commonwealth of Australia.

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