Pacific splendour

November 13, 2017

Fearsome Haka: Shepparton High School performers Season, Ree Peric, Salvation and Jojo Pata show how it's done.

All smiles: Tui Galu and friends enjoyed the festival.

The Know Your Roots Program performers came from all local high schools.

Taupou Sharna Scanlan was the centre of attention during a Samoan Chief's Daughter Dance.

A Nuholani dancer charms the crowd.

True colours: Roy Tunumafono - Samoan Chief representative for McGuire College.

Notre Dame College performers were among a host of students from local schools who took part in the two-day festival.

Successful: Festival co-organiser Mellisa Silagaaddresses the crowd.

More than a thousand people enjoyed two days of Pacific island culture in the centre of Shepparton during the weekend.

The second annual Pasifika Festival brought the bright colours, dance and music of Polynesia to Shepparton’s Queen’s Gardens with about 75 students from four local high schools showcasing their skills.

Co-organiser and founder of the Know Your Roots program Mellisa Silaga said the events kicked off on Friday night with Samoan comedian Tofiga Fepulea’i and newly formed band Polyfusion ‘‘blowing everyone away’’ with their sound.

Ms Silaga said the event was organised by a small committee of volunteers who gave ‘‘many sleepless hours’’ to provide the Shepparton community with a taste of Pacific culture.

‘‘We got a bigger crowd than we expected. It will definitely go ahead again next year,’’ Ms Silaga said.

Audience member and multicultural community supporter Liz Arcus said it was one of the best Shepparton festivals she had attended.

‘‘I’ve been to a lot of festivals over the years but nothing as highly charged as this — with contagious energy from start to finish,’’ Ms Arcus said.

‘‘I feel blessed to live in Shepparton where we can join in and feel part of the many families here from diverse cultures.’’

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