Welcome to the Australian High Commission, Honiara
25 November 2016
As my time in Solomon Islands nears its end, I’ve been focussing on some of the highlights of my experience here, both personal and professional. I’d like to share some of those with you today.
12 November 2016
After three wonderful years in Solomon Islands, my time here is coming to an end. In my next few columns before I depart in December, I’d like to share some of my thoughts and observations on Solomon Islands and Australia’s role here.
7 November 2016
Representatives from the Australian High Commission in Honiara visited Campbell School in Kirakira recently to see first-hand the school’s brand new science and industrial design classrooms.
28 October 2016
The commercial nous of Western Province tourism businesses has received a boost thanks to a small business mentoring program recently held in Munda.
22 October 2016
More than 7,000 Honiara residents took to the road this weekend to participate in the Australian High Commission’s annual G’day Solomon Islands Fun Run event.
20 October 2016
Last week I travelled across the Guadalcanal plain to visit the village of Komidi for International Rural Women’s Day. Travelling in convoy with a group of women from the Honiara Central Market Vendors’ Association, the journey took more than two hours in each direction.
8 October 2016
The Australian High Commission is preparing to again say "G’Day" (Good Day) to Solomon Islanders at its annual Fun Run event.
5 October 2016
Australia and Solomon Islands share a common goal of promoting stability, growth and human development in Solomon Islands, a partnership that will continue to deliver results in the year ahead.
30 September 2016
Alumni of the prestigious Australia Award Scholarship Program joined forces on Wednesday night to share experiences, and learn something new about each other.
27 September 2016
An explosive ordnance disposal team from the United Kingdom found and destroyed over 800 kilograms of unexploded World War II munitions during Operation Render Safe in the Solomon Islands.
23 September 2016
After much planning and preparation, next Friday Gizo will receive a visit from the Australia-based cruise ship, Pacific Eden. The ship will also visit Honiara the following day. As regular readers of this column would know, one of my priorities as High Commissioner has been trying to help kick-start the cruise industry in Solomon Islands.
15 September 2016
A concentrated effort to dispose of unexploded bombs and munitions has now commenced in Central Province thanks to a multinational military team that is working with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force over the next three weeks.
10 September 2016
This week, Australia hosted our annual G’day Solomon Islands Great Debate which brought together students from four local high schools to debate issues around climate change. The Great Debate is an opportunity for young people to develop confidence in public speaking and to think critically about the development of Solomon Islands.
8 September 2016
Students from Betikama, St Joseph’s Tenaru, St Nicholas College and Selwyn College have shown off their public speaking and critical thinking skills at the third annual G’Day Solomon Islands Great Debate, which took place in Honiara yesterday.
7 September 2016
The Australian High Commission will today host students from four Honiara high schools in the annual G’Day Solomon Islands Great Debate.
2 September 2016
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, and Australian Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, have announced that 82 Australian University students will come to Solomon Islands in 2017 under Australia’s prestigious New Colombo Plan
1 September 2016
The Australian High Commission has hosted a media workshop to keep Solomon Islanders informed about Australia’s plans to support security and stability in Solomon Islands after RAMSI departs in June 2017.
29 August 2016
Australia and New Zealand are continuing to supporting maritime surveillance and security patrols in Vanuatu and Solomon Island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
20 August 2016
Leading Solomon Islands businesswoman Nanette Tutua will represent the nation this week at the World Indigenous Business Forum in Saskatoon, Canada.
19 August 2016
Last week I visited Malaita with two of my High Commission colleagues, Alex and Brown. After three days of travelling around the province, I felt much more optimistic about Malaita than at any time since I’ve been in Solomon Islands.
15 August 2016
Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne travelled to Malaita last week to explore the opportunities and challenges for growth and development in the province, and visit some Australian-funded development projects in Auki, Malu’u and Talakali.
12 August 2016
An exciting project to connect mobile banking to the coconut industry was launched today by the Australian Government, Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP) and ANZ.
5 August 2016
I’ve been out of Honiara a bit recently. First I attended the 8th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum in Brisbane, which was a great success. Then my family and I took some visiting friends from Australia on a short holiday to Western Province, where we enjoyed the natural beauty of Solomon Islands and warm hospitality of Solomon Islanders. I was excited to see Gizo gearing up for the arrival of major cruise ships from next month, although saddened to see the destruction of the old Gizo hospital.
4 August 2016
The people of Temotu will have better access to essential medicines with the opening of the Second Level Medical Store at Lata this week.
23 July 2016
The Australian Government has announced a new $2.3 million initiative to help address barriers to women’s participation in the workplace in Solomon Islands.
22 July 2016
Australia’s Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon. Concetta Fierravanti-Wells met with Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, Hon. Manasseh Sogavare, at the 8th Australia-Solomon Islands Business Forum in Brisbane today.
21 July 2016
Building networks and attracting new investors to Solomon Islands are priorities for three senior businesswomen who today left for the Australia-Solomon Islands Business Forum in Brisbane
21 July 2016
Working with rural subsistence farmers in Malaita and Western Province on simple ways to improve their farming has been a highlight of Wendy Xiao’s time in Solomon Islands.
15 July 2016
Next week I’ll be attending the Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum in Brisbane, along with Prime Minister Sogavare and many business leaders from both countries. After last year’s highly successful forum in Honiara, the organisers now plan to alternate the venue between Brisbane and Honiara each year.
11 July 2016
The achievements of women in business were celebrated at the inaugural Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA) awards dinner on Saturday night
5 July 2016
Cruise tourism could grow five -fold, from $0.6 million to $3.3 million (AUD) by 2017, according to research presented today at the launch of Assessment of the Economic Impact of Cruising to Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
4 July 2016
Solomon Islands is a vibrant place to do business and offers emerging opportunities for Australian investors.
1 July 2016
I can still remember, as a young boy living in Australia in the 1970s, reading about the world’s newest independent country. It was a place in the South Pacific called ‘Solomon Islands’. I had a map of the world in my room and I could see that Solomon Islands was very close to Australia. But for a boy from a small town in the south of Australia, it still seemed a world away. I’d never even seen a real coconut! And I certainly didn’t imagine that one day I’d have the privilege of living in Solomon Islands and contributing, in some small way, to the development of the country.
16 June 2016
As I watch my children practice their spelling or listen to them recite their times tables, it often reminds me of my own early years in school. Of course my memories are somewhat hazy, but I can still recall learning many of the same basic skills that I see my children learning now. And although I’m sure I didn’t appreciate it at the time, those basic skills gave me the capacity to operate successfully in the modern world.
16 June 2016
Australia is helping communities on Mt Alasa’a, Malaita access clean drinking water by providing twenty water tanks.
14 June 2016
Malaita has left a lasting impression on Australian officials after their recent visit to several community projects funded by Australia’s Direct Aid Program (DAP).
9 June 2016
A team of Australian parliamentary professionals and academics has travelled to Honiara this week to deliver training to the National Parliament of Solomon Islands on parliamentary law, practice and procedure.
8 June 2016
At the first ever Solomon Islands Cocoa and Chocolate Week, local producers showed how agricultural produce from Solomon Islands can be internationally competitive
3 June 2016
Last week I was in Canberra for a meeting of all Australian High Commissioners from around the Pacific. There was a lot of interest in Solomon Islands ahead of RAMSI’s likely departure next year. RAMSI is widely seen as a great success story not just for Solomon Islands and Australia, but for the whole Pacific. And in Canberra, there’s a lot of focus on ensuring that Australia continues to give Solomon Islands the support it needs after RAMSI departs.
27 May 2016
Earlier this month, scientists from the Australian Government’s science agency, the CSIRO, visited Honiara to work with Government officers in the ICT Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury, Ministry of Environment Climate Change Disaster Management and Meteorology, and Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, on the development of a new system for storing information about projects and mapping.