Australia Day ‘local hero’ awards recognise work of Tongan volunteers in Brisbane

Two members of Brisbane’s Tongan Community have been awarded Australia Day Local Heroes Community Service Awards.

Rev. Maile Molitika and Mele Ngauamo, both active members of the Brisbane Tongan Community, were presented with the awards at Oxley Bowls Club on Sunday.

Rev. Molitika has been Minister of the Uniting Church of Australia Tongan Congregation at Highgate Hill for the past seven years.

He has volunteered in a range of activities, including co-ordinating fund raisers, championing respite programmes, broadcasting spiritual devotions and being President of the Brisbane Tongan Community Inc.

Mele Ngauamo (nee Manu) has been an active volunteer broadcaster with the Voice of Tonga on Radio 4EB FM since 1988.

MP Dick Milton with BTC members

She has served on community boards, fund raising events, respite care and as Treasurer of the Brisbane Tongan Community Inc.

Both Rev. Maile and Mrs Ngauamo have represented the Tonga High Commission at local functions  with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“It’s so humbling to see two of our fellow Tongans recognised for their tireless efforts in serving as volunteers to build our community,” the Brisbane Tongan Community’s Public Officer said.

Australia Day Local Hero Community Service Award recipients

“We all enjoy the fruits of successes for our people, but it’s the sacrifices of time, finances and at times, set-backs, by a dedicated few that often go unseen, that inevitably become the heartbeat of our thriving Tongan Community.”

The Australia Day Awards were open to volunteers living in or active members of community groups based in the Moorooka, Oxley and Teneriffe Wards of Brisbane City Council.

They were nominated by Cr Steve Griffiths from the Brisbane City Council Moorooka Ward.


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