Brisbane’s Tongan Kava Club experiences a touch of the Christmas spirit

20 December 2019


Brisbane, AUSTRALIA: Brisbane’s Tongan Kava Clubs are celebrating the Christmas spirit with the Australian Government’s pilot programme being launched on 17 December 2019 allowing an increase of 2kg to 4kg of kava permitted per adult entering the border.


It served as a double-blessing for the Sia Melie Kava Club of Moorooka on Friday night, who were recipients of a $800 grant from the Brisbane City Council Moorooka Ward, after successful negotiations by the Brisbane Tongan Community Inc.


In mid-2019 Brisbane Tongan Community President Rev. Maile Molitika and committee members met with Moorooka Ward Councillor Steve Griffiths, highlighting the positive contributions of the Moorooka-based Sia Melie kava club and the work of kava clubs in the Brisbane community ranging from musical contributions to being an outlet to promote men’s mental health.


“The kava club provides a platform where our Tongan men can gather and share their feelings and fellowship with other fathers, brothers, husbands and young men in the safety of the kava circle,” Rev Maile stated.


Brisbane Tongan Community Public Liaison Officer, Sulieni Layt, stated that the kava clubs play a pivotal role in the broader well-being of the community with a particular focus on developing their musical talents.


“The music that accompanies our traditional tau‘olunga performances, our musical concerts, our local radio programmes, our birthdays and our weddings are from our kava clubs who truly are the heart beat of our community,” Sulieni explained.


“Their random acts of kindness and charitable work often takes places in the background, unnoticed and understated, yet their contribution to fund raising efforts surpasses all,” Sulieni added.


The $800 grant will be used by the Sia Melie Kava Club to purchase desperately needed musical instruments to continue their outreach work in sharing their musical giftings with the broader community.


The funds were presented by the Brisbane Tongan Community to the President of the Sia Melie Kava Club, Mr Lisiate Lomaloma.


The Brisbane Tongan Community drafted a strong submission to the Australian Government earlier in the year on behalf of the fifteen plus active Tongan Kava Clubs in Brisbane to build a business case for the kava importation increase from 2kg to 4kg.


The Brisbane Tongan Community look forward to working with the Tongan Kava Clubs of Brisbane in sourcing ongoing assistance to ensure this backbone of the community is fully supported.


Media Contact: Sulieni Layt via email on brisbanetongancommunity@gmail.com or mobile on +61(0) 420 639 764.


ENDS

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