Exhibition launch

Fiji community performance
Cultural performance by members of the Fiji community at the official opening of the Talanoa exhibition, 18 April, 2009.
Image: Benjamin Healley
Source: Museum Victoria

Talanoa: Stories of the Fiji Community is an exhibition exploring how and why Fiji-born people came to Victoria, and what values, beliefs and practices they have brought with them.

The exhibition was formally launched by Mr Kamlesh Kumar Arya, Acting High Commissioner of the Republic of the Fiji Islands, in the presence of Mr Reg Hodgson, Honorary Consul for Fiji to Victoria, Mr Jose Alvarez, State Director of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Commissioners of the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Fiji community leaders including Mr Ratu Ilisoni Ravoka and Mr Barkat Ali, community members, representatives of Museum Victoria and other community supporters.

Mr Netani Coriakula and Ms Aarti Nandan, community members, introduced Pandit Abhay Awasthi, Imam Majidih Essa and Reverend Peceli Ratawa who performed blessings, and explained the Yaqona ceremony which was concluded with the ACSOG Fijian dancers.

Mr Vijay Dalipram, Ms Audrey Dropsy and Ms Torike Sanerive spoke about the importance of the Talanoa exhibition to Victoria’s Fiji community, and thanked all the community members who had shared their stories, objects and photos.

Ms Padmini Sebastian, Manager, Immigration Museum, thanked the  launch participants, performers,  guests and those involved in the exhibition.  The launch concluded with performances from Fiji Indian Dancers, Rotuman Community Dancers, and a vocal and musical performance by Joseph Chetty, Lani Hibbins, and Inoke Buli.

The launch of the exhibition, which took place on 18 April 2009, was an achievement that recorded the contributions of the Fiji community to making Australia a rich and diverse society.

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