• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE4901

Faupula, Sioana

(1938 – )
  • Born 23 February, 1938, Tonga
  • Occupation Community Leader, Teacher


Tonga-born Sioana Faupala graduated from Sydney Teacher’s College in 1959. She taught at the Queen Salote College before marrying Halote Faupula in 1966. From 1972-82 she and their three children lived on the Yirrkala Mission in Arnhem Land following her husband’s appointment as its Methodist minister. There she taught in the Yirrkala Primary School. After subsequent appointments to Uniting Church parishes in Dee Why and Kurri Kurri in NSW, Halote retired to Canberra where he died in 2000. Sioana now works in the Pacific Manuscript Bureau at the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, participates in Tongan language broadcasts and is an active member of the Multicultural Women’s Advocacy and the City Uniting Church’s social welfare programs. She is a Uniting Church Elder, assistant Chair of its Tongan congregation and President of both the Canberra Tongan and Pacific Islands United Associations.


Sioana Faupola was born in Kolomotua Tonga on 23 February 1938, the first of the seven children of Ana Palu and Salesi Manoa Havea, a magistrate, Member of Parliament and later Minister for Police in the government of Tonga. Following her graduation from the Queen Salote College, from 1957-59 she undertook teacher training at Sydney Teacher’s College. On her return to Tonga in 1960 she taught at the Queen Salote College before her marriage in 1966 to Halote Faupula, then a teacher of agriculture. Following her husband’s ordination as a Methodist Minister in 1972, Sioana and her three young children accompanied him to the Methodist mission at Yirrkala on the Gove Peninsular, Arnhem Land, where she lived from 1972-82. She taught for three years at the Yirrkala Primary School then worked as an assistant to its Principal. In 1982 she moved with her husband to Dee Why, where he was appointed Minster in the Uniting Church, and to Kurri Kurri in the Hunter Valley in 1993 when he transferred to that parish. On his retirement in 1997 she moved to Canberra where her husband became an associate Minister in the City Uniting Church where he died in 2000. Sioana now works in the Pacific Manuscript Bureau of the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University, translating and collating documents of the nineteenth century Wesleyan missionary to Tonga, Shirley Wildemar Baker. She participates in Canberra Multicultural Radio and SBS Tongan broadcasts, is an active member of the Multicultural Women’s Advocacy and is President of the Queen Salote College Ex-students’ Association. She is an Elder in the City Uniting Church where she teaches Sunday school, participates in its support services for women and the homeless, and is Assistant Chair of its Tongan congregation, Toe Talatalanoa. Since 2010 Sioana has been President of the Tongan Association of Canberra and President of the Pacific Islands United Association.


Published resources

Archival resources

  • National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection
    • Sioana Faupula interviewed by Ann-Mari Jordens [sound recording]