A 17-member dance group of the Bulikula Art Group scooped the major award at the cultural dance competition held at the Strand Park in Townsville.
The annual traditional dance competition was held in conjunction with the 15th annual Cultural Fest organised by the Townsville Intercultural Centre to promote unity in diversity.
Group director Jiuwa Laveti said the group won over Tokelau, who won the same award for the past four consecutive years.
He said there were more than 80 dance groups from all over Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other countries who were required to perform a three-minute item during the competition earlier this month.
“There were hula dances, drum beats and trumpets coupled with South African, Italian, Maori and Tongan dances,” Mr Laveti said. “We did a fan dance performed live without the use of stereo players and our message was that we wanted to highlight the importance of retaining our culture through our traditional dances and songs. As it is, in all our performance, we have always been promoting this message because it is important for us to continue to promote our identity.”
Mr Laveti said this was an opportunity to promote Fiji, complimenting the already heavy campaigns being held in the Australian media.
“We were requested to attend this conference by Tourism Fiji chief executive Josefa Tuamoto because we have always been promoting Fiji in our dances and costumes. We have done it in Japan and most parts of Australia,” he said. “Our main aim really is for all our performance to always promote Fiji.”
Mr Laveti said the group was now working on preparing for items to be performed in Townsville next August where Fiji would have to defend its title.