Completion of a successful community dialogues and consular visit by the High Commissioner of Tonga to Australia

PRESS RELEASE

Monday 14th November 2016

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA

The High Commission of Tonga in Canberra is pleased to announce the completion of 3 recent successful community dialogues and consular visits under the charge of Her Royal Highness Princess Angelika Lātūfuipeka Tuku’aho, High Commissioner of Tonga to Australia (and staff).

The three major locations of which the dialogues and consular services were held were Canberra A.C.T. (7 September 2016), Sydney/NEW SOUTH WALES (15-19 September 2016), and Brisbane/QUEENSLAND (27-31 October 2016).

The three visits were comprised of (1) briefings with the Tongan communities on the roles and responsibilities of the High Commissioner and the High Commission, (2) the continued emphases by the High Commissioner on the importance of community unity and working together, the (3) significance of preserving the culture, language and heritage of Tonga (overseas), and most notably the (4) empowering of the Tongan youth to achieve educational aspirations and accomplish the dreams of their Tongan forebears as central to the Tongan waves of migration to Australia. The High Commissioner also officiated at the Tonga Day Festival 2016 (Brisbane), a 5-day event which highlighted and focused on the promotion of the island Kingdom and celebrated the Tongan community of Australia.

In addition, the High Commissioner and staff were able to provide consular and passport services at all locations; there were overwhelming demands from members of the community about their travel documents. One of the highlights was when the High Commissioner conducted 2 ‘Readmission’ sworn-in ceremonies at Brisbane for Mr. Semisi Ma’u and Rev. Viliami Mila, both had successfully applied for their Tongan citizenship via the Canberra Mission. This service (commonly known as dual citizenship) is now possible in Australia without applicants having to travel to Tonga. Another highlight was when the High Commissioner prepared and hosted a traditional Tongan pola feasting for the Tongan youth of Sydney to show emphasis towards Tongan cuisine-preparation and Tongan culinary knowledge.

The Tongan community in Australia is an important component of the Australia-Tonga relations. They contribute to Tonga through remittances directly to their families and to the Kingdom’s economic socio-development. The above-mentioned visits reaffirm the continuous need for the High Commissioner to regularly nurture, cultivate and maintain close ties with the community.
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-ENDS-


Issued by the: High Commission of the Kingdom of Tonga, 7 Newdegate Street, Deakin ACT 2600, AUSTRALIA
Telephone: +612 6232 4806, Fax: +612 6232 4807, Email: tongaembassycanberra@gmail.com or info@tongahighcom.com.au
Office Hours: Monday – Friday (9am – 5pm)

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