Home Entertainment Seini Fale’aka Taumoepeau: Tragedy after ABC presenter dies ‘very suddenly’

Seini Fale’aka Taumoepeau: Tragedy after ABC presenter dies ‘very suddenly’

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A former ABC Pacific presenter has been remembered as an ‘artist, orator, song woman and storyteller’.

Seini Fale’aka Taumoepeau passed away ‘very suddenly’ aged 48 last week, according to her family. 

The Tongan-Australian, who also performed under the stage name SistaNative, hosted Pacific Mornings on ABC Radio Australia. 

A social media post by ABC Pacific said Ms Taumoepeau ‘paved the way for this team of Pacific people to be represented in ABC media programs’.

‘Seini will remembered and celebrated as a dedicated artist, orator, song woman and storyteller who spent over 30 years advocating for Pasifika communities and their representation in the Australian media landscape,’ the post read.

Seini Fale'aka Taumoepeau (pictured) passed away 'very suddenly' aged 48 last week, according to her family

Seini Fale’aka Taumoepeau (pictured) passed away ‘very suddenly’ aged 48 last week, according to her family

‘Seini’s first appearance on ABC Radio Australia was as a 13-year-old on programs produced by her mother, going on to become the inaugural host of Pacific Mornings in 2018.

‘Colleagues recall her last sign off, “I hope that ABC Radio Australia will consider replacing me with 2-5-10 more people of Pacific heritage and understanding and in doing so evolve the Australian lens of the Pacific with the great and valuable resource that is our region, inclusive of its people”.’

Ms Taumoepeau was born in Australia but spent her early childhood living with her grandparents in Tonga.

She returned to Australia when she was eight years old. 

After completing her university degree, she taught at schools in the Northern Territory and later co-founded the Pacific Wave Festival, which helped showcase the best artists from the Pacific region.

Ms Taumoepeau later landed a role as presenter for ABC’s Pacific Beat where she helped amplify voices from the region for an Australian audience. 

She was remembered as an ‘absolute cornerstone of the Pacific diaspora in Australia’.

Ms Taumoepeau has been remembered as an 'artist, orator, song woman and storyteller'

Ms Taumoepeau has been remembered as an ‘artist, orator, song woman and storyteller’

Mourners flocked to Instagram to share their grief with one saying Ms Taumoepeau’s death had left them ‘brokenhearted’.

‘You gave do much of your time and energy to the Pasifika arts and culture community,’ they wrote.

‘This we will never forget.’

A prayer vigil will be held at Croydon Park Uniting Church in Sydney’s west on Monday at 6pm and Ms Taumoepeau’s funeral will be the following day at Newington College Chapel in the city’s inner-west at 6.30pm.

A GoFundMe page has so far raised almost $12,000 for her memorial.



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