Pacific woman leader of work on gender-based violence is to be ordained as a minister in Suva

15 March 2013

Revd Lola Koloamatangi is from the islands of Tonga. She is an Anglican deacon who will be ordained into the priesthood in May this year in Suva during the General Synod of the Diocese. Revd  Lola has a colorful history in the Police Force of Tonga that spans 34 years from a humble beginning as a policewoman back in the 1970’s to completing her career as Police Commissioner of Tonga in the most recent past  of 2011. 

Her colorful history did not end there, Lola in her retirement is heavily involved in Church work and the Tonga National Centre for Women and Children, a Government subsidised project that helps women and children who are victims of family/domestic violence.

Using her background expertise as a police officer, she is involved in helping the clients to seek assistance through the courts and accepts referrals from the courts to visit victims and families where she does a background audit of the families that are affected by such violence.

She is involved in counselling, provides referrals to doctors for victims who are physically harmed on a case by case basis and provides home visits and follow ups by also providing pastoral care.

The Centre provides a ‘safe house’ for victims and children of all forms of violence including gender–based violence and seek assistance from the police where necessary. They also provide food, shelter and ongoing counselling and support for the victims and children.

The Centre also works with men who are repeated perpetrators of violence through providing ongoing counseling.

Revd Lola is also the Chairperson of the stakeholders’ forum on Sexually Transmitted Infections [STIs], HIV/AIDS and Domestic Violence. She also networks with other organisations on these issues.

Revd Lola worked as a Lay person for the Anglican Church of Tonga for 27 years before becoming a deacon. She is the president of the Association of Anglican Women [AAW] and former president of the Mothers Union – Tonga.