Our Kava Smiles Story

We are Carl and Terry, brothers born in Fiji from Rotuma and Australia parents. Kava Smiles brings us back to our roots. We have a deep sense of connection to the land. We yearn to restore our people’s interaction with this land and uphold the centuries’ old tradition of sharing bowls of kava with family and friends.

Noa’ia (hello)

Our relationship with Rotuma dates to when our parents first met in Fiji. Their loved blossomed in the islands and bore them three children. While we eventually moved to Australia, we maintained a sense of kinship with our maternal ancestral land.

Carl's Story

In the 1990’s, I went back to Rotuma and settled there with my family. Sadly, I saw the Rotuman culture and standard of living gradually deteriorate as more people left the island. Many of those left behind became a society of dependents who no longer lived off the land—a sad tale heard in many Pacific islands.

Terry's Story

Having grown up in a fast-paced Sydney environment, I’d become accustomed to thinking stress was a a normal part of modern life. When I first took my family back in 2017, I was amazed to see how carefree my Rotuman relatives were. I observed how kava was so intrinsic to their community rituals and overall wellbeing. It was the binding agent that brought people together. At that point it dawned on me that living as selfish individuals is not the key to happiness. So together with Carl and our Rotuman community, we want to share the magic of Rotuman organic kava with the rest of the world, to essentially bring people closer together.

Going Full Circle

In the past five years, we have been engaging local farmers and using our own land to grow and harvest organic kava. By investing in local plantations and state-of-the-art equipment, we hope to revive the kava industry on the island. We look forward to your support as we enable Rotuma locals to regain their pride and connection with the land.

Carl and Terry