Podcast: Valami Qoro – Co-Founder of ‘Matana’

Season 2, Episode 2

Being Fijian is a part of our identity but it is not what defines us. We are all so different yet we are connected by our Fijian heritage,” quoting fellow Fijian podcast guest, Valami Qoro.

A wonderful and informative podcast Series 2, Episode #2, where Valami Qoro takes us on a journey of how ‘Matana‘, the Fijian ‘meke’ cultural dance group in Brisbane, was formed in 2016.

Within three years, Matana has performed at various events across Queensland; their latest ‘meke’ was welcoming Fiji’s High Commissioner, Mr Luke Daunivalu, and his delegates to Brisbane.

‘Matana’ means face in Fijian

Most excitingly, Valami and her team are launching their maiden brunch event called Marama [which means lady] at ‘Figs on Sylvan’ this Saturday 11th of May 2019. Marama, which translates to lady, is an event aimed at connecting, celebrating, engaging and inspiring the Fijian women of our community.

Besides brunch, guests will be treated to a new ‘meke’ performance by Matana, acoustic entertainment by Fijian singers George Balewai and Penina Namakadre, door prizes and a panel of four maramas [ladies]:

  1. Rosie Tela [2nd from left in pic below]
    Queensland Health
    Rosie holds a Diploma of Pastoral Care in Management, utilising her skillset through both work and in life. Rosie currently works in Queensland Health and is the number one rugby fan of her three sons. She is passionate about family, God and rugby.
  2. Dr Simone Nalatu [3rd from left in pic below]
    Advanced Health Promotion Officer
    Dr Simone holds a degree in Bachelor of Health Science (Public Health)(Honours) and a Doctorate in Philosophy (Public Health). She is also a mother of two and is the President of the Brisbane Kaiviti Sports & Social Club Inc. where she actively engages our community through sports, social and cultural activites.
  3. Heilala Tabete [4th from left in pic below]
    Director, Client Engagement & Business Development at Corney and Lind Lawyers
    Heilala graduated with a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of International Business degrees and earned her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice alongside a Masters in Law afterwards. After being admitted as a Legal Practitioner, Heilala worked her way up to being a Solicitor of the High Court of Australia in 2013. She returned to Fiji to work as a Public Prosecutor from 2005 – 2010 and in 2014, permanently returned back to Brisbane.
  4. Emele Tuinona [not in pic]
    Graphic Designer and Event Management
    After graduating with a Bachelor of Business degree and Diplomas in Event Management and Graphic Design, Emele has been able to explore different creative avenues through her professional career. She is also the creative designer for Matana and the brainchild behind the Marama event.

‘Marama’ means lady in Fijian

To keep updated with Matana’s future events, visit and follow them here on Facebook and/or here on Instagram.

10 Fun Facts About Valami Qoro

  1.  A nickname of mine: Lami from my younger days but now it seems to be Val. My close family members call me Raluve, which is my middle name.
  2. My first job: Check-out assistant at Franklins.
  3. Favourite smell from the kitchen: Curry, especially when mum cooks it.
  4. My signature dish: I’m known as the “yaloka pie” Queen because I can cook different dishes with eggs, especially quiche.
  5. My most attractive feature: My smile.
  6. A pet hate of mine: Disrespectful and rude people.
  7. Home to me is: My village in Deuba where my parents currently reside.
  8. Best line from a favourite movie: I actually don’t watch movies so I don’t really have one.
Valami

9. Something you may not know about me: Although I’m heavily involved in community work, I absolutely love being a homebody and enjoy my alone time.

10. A moment that changed my life: The day I graduated from university! Graduating made me feel that I was capable of doing anything. I enrolled in different uni courses, deferred for a time, studied psychology for a bit then eventually settled on social work, which I now do at Mater Hospital.

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