Pacific culture in showcase

ONE of the rare publishing houses in Australia that stocks bilingual books, Twinnies Books & Good Store only opened in October but now has many of its titles stocked in major public libraries as well as over 30 schools in Sydney.

Named for founder Ana Tuionuku’s seven-year-old grandchildren, the store is an exciting new platform for Pacific Island authors, artists, artisans and musicians with most books in English and Tongan, English and Samoan, and English and French with an English to Mandarin book just released in time for Lunar New Year celebrations.
Ana says their best seller is a book written by Tongan Princess Angelika Latufuipeka Tuku‘aho, which retails for $150, and is a cultural manual titled ‘The Essence of the Tongan Woman and Man: Duties and Responsibilities’.
“Written in the Tongan language and translated into English, the book shares insights from the Tongan Royal family, as custodians of Tongan traditions,” she said.
“The bookstore has become my full-time passion to bring all cultures together and I feel proud that we stock the first collection of books about the Pacific Islands and their history by Pacific Islander authors as most of our history has been written by non-Indigenous authors.”
As well as the books, the store sells arts and crafts made by Pacific Islander women groups, holds language classes and drumming classes, with Ana also sought as a speaker at schools.
The first Twinnies Pacific Art Exhibition is being held at the store, 1-5/24 Jacobs Street, Bankstown, on Saturday, February 24, 4-7pm, with tickets costing $20.
The event will include story telling, a live acoustic band, MC Hahano Ki Malae Kula Namoa, Tongan drums entertainment, light refreshment and wines, a special discount on all books and goods and a Twinnes Gift Bag for early birds who register to attend.
Numbers are limited, register at or call 0423 951 703.