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After more than 16 years spent living
abroad, Emiliana Afeaki is finally
returning to live in the country she once
From the age of 12, Emiliana was sent
to Australia to complete her education,
although she never imagined that she
would live here.
"From day one I understood that I was
sent to Australia to get all of the goodies
to take back to Tonga and help my
country," she said.
In a bid to follow through with that
plan, Emiliana returned to the Pacific,
where she spent many years teaching in
her homeland, Tonga, and also in New
Zealand, before moving to Fiji, where she
met her husband.
After several years of political unrest,
Emiliana, her husband and her three
young children were forced to seek an
"It was a particular time in Fiji after the
coo. People felt the political situation was
not safe and a lot of people moved."
Upon her arrival in Canberra in 1993,
Emiliana found friendship among
the Tongan Association of Canberra
and Queanbeyan and later instigated
their participation in the National
"I think it's very important to get out
and share your culture," she said.
"Pacific Islander people are really party
animals, so we were automatically drawn
to the festival. The dancing, the singing
and the eating are all of the things that
Tongan people love to do."
In addition to their singing and
dancing performances, Emiliana said the
Pacific Islander countries would be well
represented with various fundraising stalls
at the festival.
"The Tongans have a stall which sells a
very popular fruit drink called Otai, it is
made of chunky watermelon, pineapple
and they put some coconut cream in it,"
Tongan born, but a long-term resident of both Australia and Fiji, Emiliana Afeaki's heart
belongs to three countries. By Naomi Fallon
The face of
The $250,000 Kamberra Wine Company
Black Opal Stakes
is Canberra's premier race day.
Sunday 7 March 2010
Excitement both on and off the track.
Myer Fashions on the Field.
Competition - WIN a trip for Two to Dubai!
For more information call 6241 3888
or visit www.thoroughbredpark.com.au
0 9 -16 312/3
CELEBRATE: The National Multicultural
Festival honours culture and tradition.
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