News Story

New Tongan Congregation Blesses Lives in Melbourne's East

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to grow in Melbourne with the opening of the Tongan-speaking Casey Branch (congregation) on 7 July 2019.

More than 200 people attended the inaugural service of the Casey Branch, where Mosese Tangilanu was called to lead the new branch as branch president. Siaosi Fainga’a and Kalistiane Lotulelei were called to assist him as counsellors.


The creation of the Casey (Tongan) Branch is the seventh congregation in the growing Narre Warren Stake (diocese), which covers a large section of south-eastern Melbourne. It also marks the first time a Tongan-speaking congregation has been established in Melbourne’s east, joining existing Tongan congregations meeting at Deer Park and Werribee in Melbourne’s west. 

With the increasing number of Tongan immigrants, some Tongans have reported that living in Australia presents a cultural challenge, as Polynesian identity is not as widely celebrated in Australia. A congregation of Tongans gives them an opportunity to keep their culture alive and to connect with others from similar backgrounds.  

On the creation of the new branch, Stake President Riki Tukukino said, “The Tongan people are faithful saints, many travelling more than one hour each Sunday to worship in their language. The Casey Branch will support these people to worship in Tongan locally.”

A cultural celebration was held in conjunction with the branch’s opening on Saturday 13 July. Those in attendance were treated to an evening of food and dance, with numerous performances showcasing the diversity of Polynesian cultures.

The Casey (Tongan) Branch meets each Sunday at 1:30 pm at the corner of Fox Road and Lowry Court, Narre Warren North.

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Learn more about Latter-day Saints here.

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