Australia’s High Commissioner to Niue talks about her visit to Toi and Niuean kindness in first interview with BCN news

Women of Toi village host High Commissioner Louise Ellerton. PC Milly Taufitu.

One of the smallest villages on the island with fewer than thirty residents was the first to host the new Australian High Commissioner H.E Louise Ellerton on Friday last week.

Toi is the first official village visit by Her Excellency since taking up her post in February this year.

The ladies of Toi village led the small event to welcome High Commissioner Ellerton who was thereto officially handover furniture funded through the Australian Direct Aid Program (DAP)

H.E Ellerton said that “It was an honour to be hosted by the Toi Village Women’s Development Group on Friday.

I am so pleased that the Australian Direct Aid Program (DAP) has helped them purchase much-needed furniture for their community. I enjoyed hearing from the women about how the new furniture will support community activities including Toi’s village show day later this year.”

Mrs. Poini Taufitu who leads the Toi Women’s group extended her gratitude to the Australian High Commission for accepting their application for funding assistance.

In a Facebook post, one of the ladies from Toi said that over the years the people of the village have had to hire tables and chairs for their events.

And when there are village meetings, people will either take their chairs from home or a mat to sit on the floor.

H.E Ellerton told BCN news that the ladies gifted her with a beautiful handmade bag, a hat and shell necklaces.

In her first interview with BCN news today she marvelled at how welcoming people have been and their acts of kindness since she arrived earlier this year.

“I want to thank your viewers and the people of Niue for the incredibly warm welcome I’ve received here and the small acts of kindness from people have been quite overwhelming.

“Thank you to the woman in my second week here who found my wallet down at the night market and returned it to me.

“Thank you to the bus driver who returned my children’s property and thank you to everyone who waves at me in my car every day. It’s been truly overwhelming, and I don’t think we would have had a kinder more generous welcome”.

Her Excellency Louise Ellerton is the second Australian High Commissioner to Niue since the establishment of the diplomatic post in August 2020.

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