12 May 2017
From the High Commissioner’s Desk
Many readers would have seen the HMAS Wollongong from the Royal Australian Navy sailing to and from Honiara over the past week.
The HMAS Wollongong is a sign of things to come in Solomon Islands as it is from a similar class of vessel to the new patrol boats which will replace the Auki and Lata over the next five years or so.
Both the Auki and Lata are nearing the end of their working lives. The Australian Government has undertaken to replace them with two brand new boats.
The new patrol boats, to be built by Austal Shipping in Perth, will be bigger and more capable than the current patrol boats. Australia will continue to help Solomon Islands maintain and operate them.
The new boats will continue to protect Solomon Islands’ valuable fisheries, conduct search and rescue operations and help to secure the border – for decades to come.
The HMAS Wollongong’s friendly crew generously lent their time and energy to building a new pathway at Seif Ples, Solomon Islands’ valuable service providing help to women affected by violence.
Celebrating our Alumni:
Education is one of Australia’s biggest exports. People come to Australia from all over the world - some self-funded, others supported by the prestigious Australia Awards program - to boost their skills and knowledge in Australia’s renowned universities.
Last week I had the honour to meet over 120 Solomon Islanders who have undertaken a similar journey at a wonderful Australia Alumni Gala Dinner. Among the membership of the Solomon Islands Australia Alumni Association are some of the nation’s top leaders, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet these intelligent, hard-working, passionate Solomon Islanders with a connection to Australia.
I was pleased to announce at the dinner that Australia will continue its proud tradition of supporting the next generation of Solomon Islands leaders by again offering up to 40 scholarships for study commencing in 2018. I look forward to continuing to engage with our alumni, who are leading positive change across the length and breadth of Solomon Islands.
Keep an eye on the ‘Australia in Solomon Islands’ and ‘Solomon Islands Australia Alumni Association’ Facebook pages to learn more about upcoming network events.