The 2016 Queensland Pacific Island Cultural Carnival (QPICC) wrapped up on Sunday (October 30), with five great finals played to decide this year’s winners.

The Open Men’s final between QLD Nga Hau E Wha Maori and RL Samoa QLD was a thrilling contest, with Samoa slotting a conversion after the siren to claim the title.

But the inclusive contest is about more than just football – with nations coming together to share and celebrate culture.

QPICC 2016 represented an important milestone with the inclusion of an Open Women’s competition.

The philosophy of the carnival is “to foster, develop and strengthen all Pacific Island ancestral knowledge and cultural identity through sport”, so it was an important decision to include Pacific woman into QPICC.

QPICC Council leader Sam Panapa said he “could not have asked for a better start” for QPICC's Women's competition which saw six nations presenting teams.

“We intermingled the Women's draw with the Open Men and Under 18 draw to help give our women a wider exposure to our rugby league supporting community,” Panapa said.

“(This was) not only to showcase the skill and talent of these players, women coaches and staff, (but) as a way for our supporters to observe and importantly encourage a new confidence for other women and girls, to participate in our wonderful game and carnival.”

Since the inaugural carnival in 2013, several thousand Pacific people who have attended the three-day event have been treated to the spectacle of four fields filled with Pacific diversification, quality rugby league all harmonised by Pacific cultural challenges through song, actions and chants.

“Our Pacific community come every year to watch more than 500 players and coaches celebrate and preserve Pacific cultural wellbeing,” Panapa said.

“This year they experienced the return of two Nations; Queensland Indigenous and SEQ Tokelau RL. Both nations timed there return in style.

“Queensland Indigenous won the Under 18 competition and Tokelau Women made to the semi-final round against Maori.”

An event that is increasing in popularity each year – Panapa – who is also a representative for SEQ Tokelau RL –  wished to offer thanks to those who have supported QPICC and helped it grow.

“QPICC could not be achieved without the vital support from the combined and dedicated efforts from QRL SEQ / NRL Development and Brisbane Rugby League Referees Association all providing a finishing gloss to QPICC's administration operations,” Panapa said.

“On behalf of the QPICC council, we thank the QRL and QRL SEQ leadership from QRL Chairman Peter Betros, SEQ Chairman Brad Tallon and SEQ Division Manager Michael Pease for the continual support.

“I look forward to seeing everyone again at QPICC 2017.”

Queensland Pacific Cultural Carnival 2016 finals results

  • Under 14: RL Samoa QLD 16 def QLD Nga Hau E Wha Maori 6
  • Under 16: RL Samoa QLD 22 def QLD Nga Hau E Wha Maori 6
  • Under 18: QLD Indigenous RL 22 def RL Samoa QLD 12
  • Open Women: QLD Nga Hau E Wha Maori 28 def RL Samoa QLD 12
  • Open Men: RL Samoa QLD 18 def QLD Nga Hau E Wha Maori 12

Queensland Pacific Cultural Carnival 2016 MVP winners

QLD Indigenous RL

  • Under 18: Treymain Spry

QLD Cook Island RL

  • Under 14: Brendon Piakura
  • Under 16: Kenau Seluka
  • Under 18: Jourvan Pepe
  • Open Women: Afi Meliesea
  • Open Men: John Maueroa

QLD Nga Hau E Wha Maori

  • Under 14: Rixson Andrews
  • Under 16: Ethan Taua
  • Under 18: Tao Eliva
  • Open Women: Te Rauhina Wall
  • Open Men: Gavin Causer

QLD PNG:

  • Under 14: Kobe Annakin
  • Under 16: Cruise Ten
  • Under 18: Zeb Samuels
  • Open Women: Leelana Fabila-Hicks
  • Open Men: Steven Francicus

RL Samoa QLD:

  • Under 14: Tyrone Sau
  • Under 16: Sinbad Fruen
  • Under 18:  Ben Millers
  • Open Women: Kalala Fai
  • Open Men: Terry Kepu

SEQ Tokelau RL:

  • Open Women: Leighlani Levao
  • Open Men: Schneider Auva'a

Tokoua Tonga QLD:

  • Under 14: Blake Sekona
  • Under 16: Andrew Ioane
  • Under 18: Luke Rose
  • Open Women: Asi Pau Mafi

*** QPICC is a volunteer council that is represented by a member from each of the participating Pacific nations that culturally collaborates and organises the appearance and style of each QPICC.