27 June 2020
Brisbane, AUSTRALIA: After months of isolation due to the COVID-19 corona virus epidemic, Brisbane’s vibrant Tongan Community have emerged with the soft launch of the world’s newest Tongan online media source – Pasifika TV and Radio.
Pasifika TV and Radio is one of many projects that the Brisbane Tongan Community have established to create a platform to share the music, news, culture, language and stories of our Tongan people from a contemporary, yet unique Tongan perspective.
Local hosts DJ Simz (Simi Mataitonga) and Tongan broadcaster, Sulieni Layt, conducted several weeks of test broadcasts through a popular online program known as “Friday Night Live.” Although designed for testing purposes, the show quickly drew a massive following and became an internet success bringing Tongan artists, kava clubs, live dedications and prize-giving competitions to the air waves, attracting a strong weekly following from Tongans living throughout Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Asia, North America, the Pacific Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga.
“Pasifika TV and Radio is also excited to announce we will work collaboratively with Broadcom 87.5FM in Nuku‘alofa, whilst we build the local team and slowly add more and more local Tongan content from Brisbane,” Sulieni Layt said.
“We also want to showcase our local and overseas Tongan businesses and create a platform for our young and rising Tongan talent with an aim for excellence, whilst doing something a little bit different,” Sulieni added.
The soft launch included a two-hour live stream on Pasifika TV and Radio’s Face Book and You Tube channels, featuring a opening address by the esteemed High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Tonga to Australia, HRH Princess Lātūfuipeka Halaevalu Mata‘aho Tuku‘aho from Canberra, ACT.
Her Royal Highness noted the making of traditional sennet ropes during the era of King Siaosi Tupou I was a communal activity that brought people together as well as emphasising the importance of working together in unity and social cohesion for the empowerment of our Tongan people.
A range of interviews were conducted with members of the Brisbane Tongan Community as well as support messages filed by Tongan media personalities, including John Pulu from Tagata Pasifika/PMN Tonga, Tongan Olympian Pita Taufatofua, Tongan-Australian rugby stars Tesi Niu and David Fifita, Setita Tu‘i‘onetoa from Kele‘a Voice and Lady Luseane Luani and team from Broadcom 87.5FM.
Presenter DJ Simz (Simi Mataitonga) added that the format was designed to create a newer and more engaging experience for the Tongan diaspora.
“By having both an audio and visual stream, ensures we remain relevant and authentic as the audience want to both hear and see the Tongan Community abroad,” Simi explained.
Pasifika TV and Radio currently broadcasts at set times through You Tube, Face Book and the soon to be released mobile app. The team will be available to hire for live-streaming Tongan events in South-East Queensland, as well as share stories in both Tongan and English from our Brisbane-based studios.
The formal blessing and soft launch of the network had to comply with Australian Government restrictions of no more than 20 persons at one location.
Media Contact: Sulieni Layt via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile on +61(0) 420 639 764.