Mr. Kioa who is the current minster at the Melbourne’s Wesley Uniting Church said: “Those 11 dark days in dentention had made him more understanding as he rose through the ranks of the Uniting Church, the nation’s third-largest denomination. I tell you, I’m very passionate about thouse who struggle, because I have struggled through processes and through government departments and through the processes of the church.”
He went further saying: “Through the journey from Maribyrnong Dentention Centre to now I have learnt to actually feel my gut feeling, and my heart aches for those who are struggling on their way, whether they be aslum seekers, illegal migrants or indigenous people.”
Mr. Kioa admited he was a ‘loose cannon’ who was alientaed from his father who was a Methodist minister. He stayed and worked in Australia after a cyclone has destroyed his family property in Tonga leading to his arrest as an illegal immigrant. During the five year court battle he was unable to leave the country to visit his dying father in Tonga so he had to use a taped messages to express that he would follow his father wishes and become a minister. He also wanted to serve the community partly to justify the Legal Aid which kept him in this country.
The biggest challenge in his new role will be ‘to ecourage people to accept diversity within the Uniting Church which has been divded in recent years by a fiery debate on gay ordination.’
His three adult daughters and a son were delighted with their father’s achievement where his wife Fheodolina said: “I feel humble about it, and thank God for this chance.”