Brisbane, AUSTRALIA – January 26, 2020 (10am): Two dedicated members of Brisbaneâ€™s Tongan Community were honoured today during the Local Heroes Australia Day Community Service Awards at the Oxley Bowls Club on Brisbaneâ€™s west side.
An elite group of deserving recipients were the result of a vigorous selection process aimed at recognising the ongoing dedication and exceptional contribution of volunteers in various
fields and industries across Brisbane.
Rev Maile Molitika and Mrs Mele Ngauamo, both active members of the Brisbane Tongan
Community, were nominated, shortlisted and selected by Cr Steve Griffiths from the
Brisbane City Council Moorooka Ward for the honours this year.
Rev Maile Molitika has served for seven years as the resident Minister of the Uniting Church
of Australia Tongan Congregation at Highgate Hill, whilst he dedicates many volunteer hours
a week in a range of activities, including co-ordinating fund raisers, championing respite
programmes, broadcasting spiritual devotions, not to mention his leadership role as
President of the Brisbane Tongan Community Inc.
Meanwhile, Mrs Mele Ngauamo (nee Manu) has been an active volunteer broadcaster with
the Voice of Tonga on Brisbaneâ€™s multilingual broadcaster Radio 4EB FM since 1988 and has
served on community boards, fund raising events, respite care and as Treasurer of the
Brisbane Tongan Community Inc.
Both Rev Maile and Mele have represented the Tonga High Commission locally at events
with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
â€œItâ€™s so humbling to see two of our fellow Tongans recognised for their tireless efforts in
serving as volunteers to build our community,â€ said Sulieni Layt, Public Officer for the
Brisbane Tongan Community.
â€œWe all enjoy the fruits of successes for our people, but itâ€™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,â€ Sulieni added.
The Australia Day Awards followed a mass Australian Citizenship ceremony and were open
to volunteers living in or active members of community groups based in the Moorooka,
Oxley and Teneriffe Wards of Brisbane City Council.
Cr Steve Griffiths said, â€œThe awards recognise the work of volunteers whose selfless efforts
have helped to improve the lives of others and who have helped to build community spirit,
resilience and identity in the local area.â€
Australia Day falls on 26th January each year and is often utilised for recognising the
achievements of all Australians as well as Australian Citizenship ceremonies across the