Media releases from the Australian High Commission, Honiara
18 March 2020
Since January Australia has been working closely with the Solomon Islands Government and medical community to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 global health threat.
26 February 2020
In a major milestone, Australian an employer has recruited four aged care workers from Solomon Islands through the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS). The all-female PLS group will undertake roles in Mercy Services residential care facility in Singleton, New South Wales.
21 Februray 2020
I mentioned in an earlier column that I would be making a point of getting out to visit the provinces of Solomon Islands as early as possible in my posting here. I did just that when I had the pleasure of visiting Auki at the end of January and Taro at the beginning of this month.
24 January 2020
As Australia’s new High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, I’m delighted to continue the tradition of fortnightly conversations with Solomon Star readers through this column. It’s an honour to serve here in Solomon Islands, a neighbour with warm and enduring ties to Australia. I take this opportunity to acknowledge the magnificent contribution of my predecessor, Rod Brazier, and his dedication to strengthening the relationship which binds our two countries together in so many ways.
13 January 2020
Some of the 38 Solomon Islanders selected to receive prestigious Australia Awards scholarships for study commencing in 2020 have already begun departing Solomon Islands.
10 January 2020
Australia’s new High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Dr Lachlan Strahan, presented his credentials today to the Prime Minister of Solomon Islands, the Honourable Manasseh Sogavare.
17 December 2019
Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, has announced the appointment of Dr Lachlan Strahan as Australia’s next High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.
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
6 May 2016
The Australian federal election will be held on Saturday 2 July 2016. It is now too late to enrol to vote for this election.
Online applications for a postal vote (for those already registered to vote) are available on the AEC website at www.aec.gov.au. Your application for a postal vote must be received by the AEC 29 June 2016.
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.
25 May 2016
Working with and learning from teachers in Malaita was so rewarding for Australian volunteer Jessica Hampton, she signed up to come back again for a second year.
20 May 2016
“Corruption is evil.”
17 May 2016
This week, both Australia and Solomon Islands will participate in an international forum which aims to stop illicit money flowing to international crime groups and disrupt human trafficking networks.
10 May 2016
Last week, Australian biosecurity specialists delivered computer and database equipment and specialised training in border operations information management to senior management and surveillance officers from Biosecurity Solomon Islands, within the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
9 May 2016
There are shrieks of laughter as students skip using a long rope. Others are engaged in a game of table tennis, while another group are working together to use a spinning top, following instructions given by Susan Larsen, an Australian volunteer. The students are impressed with their efforts when they make the spinning tops turn continuously for two minutes. Having a disability is not holding back any of the students from learning new skills and enjoying themselves in the process.
5 May 2016
Last Friday I was delighted to attend the launch of the National Development Strategy (NDS) by Prime Minister Sogavare and Minister for Development Planning and Aid Coordination, the Hon Danny Philip.
4 May 2016
Australia’s Federal Budget, released on 3 May 2016, confirmed Australia’s strong support for Solomon Islands.
27 April 2016
Honiara residents are set to benefit from upcoming improvements to Honiara’s water infrastructure.
22 April 2016
The Australian High Commission has welcomed ten new Australian Volunteers to Solomon Islands who will use their skills and expertise to develop host organisations across the country.
22 April 2016
Living standards across Solomon Islands are improving according to a poverty analysis recently released by the National Statistics Office.
20 April 2016
Among the more visible manifestations of Australia’s support to Solomon Islands are the two patrol boats, Auki and Lata, operated by the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force. In addition to the boats themselves, Australia provides ongoing assistance with operations and maintenance, including through two Royal Australian Navy personnel who work closely with the RSIPF Maritime Unit.
20 April 2016
The Australian Government is helping local communities to kick ambitious goals through the Direct Aid Program (DAP) - a small grants program that assists communities in isolated areas to improve their health, social and economic livelihoods.
20 April 2016
Australia Awards scholarships for study in Australia in 2017 remain open until 5 May through the Australia Awards Scholarships.
19 April 2016
Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA) members have had the opportunity to build their cooking skills through a five day training course last week.
7 April 2016
Australia is supporting the development of affordable residential property in Honiara through the placement of a newly-arrived Australian Business Volunteer.
6 April 2016
Australia is continuing its efforts to combat family violence in Solomon Islands, including under the ‘Let’s Make Our Families Safe’ Program.
4 April 2016
Two local lawyers have had the chance to strengthen their legal policy skills thanks to the Australian Government's Pacific Legal Policy Development Program delivered by the Australian Attorney-General's Department.
1 April 2016
Whenever people ask me what Australia’s doing in Solomon Islands, I ask them a question in return: “Would you like the short answer, the long answer, or the two minute answer?”
1 April 2016
Australia has provided a further SBD 24 million (AUD$4 million) to the Solomon Islands Government, earmarked to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, as part of it's ongoing commitment to improving access to quality basic health care for all Solomon Islanders.
30 March 2016
Up to 30 Australia Awards Scholarships are on offer for interested and eligible Solomon Islanders to study in Australia and across the region in 2017.
24 March 2016
Electoral officials from across Melanesia benefited from a Regional Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) workshop in Honiara recently.
11 March 2016
This week I hosted our annual International Women’s Day breakfast. The event forms part of a series of activities taking place here in Solomon Islands to mark International Women’s Day in 2016.
10 March 2016
The Australian High Commissioner’s International Women’s Day award was presented to the Christian Care Centre today for their work in helping women and children affected by gender based violence in Solomon Islands.
9 March 2016
The Australian High Commission will tomorrow host its annual breakfast to celebrate International Women’s Day. The event will be attended by more than one hundred people at the Heritage Park Hotel.
29 January 2016
Now that Honiara is returning to life as it does in late January every year, we in the High Commission are starting to focus on what lies ahead in 2016. It promises to be another big year for Australia in Solomon Islands.
29 January 2016
Australia has provided AUD 2.7million (approximately SBD18 million) to the Solomon Island’s Government as part of its ongoing commitment to improving access to quality basic health care for all Solomon Islanders.
29 January 2016
Nine new Australian volunteers have arrived in Solomon Islands to begin assignments with various host government ministries, departments and non-government organisations.
27 January 2016
The efforts of Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers have been recognised at an official function to mark Australia Day earlier this week.
22 January 2016
SolTuna employee Mr Hearty Matamaru has been presented with the prestigious Australia Awards Ed Smith Memorial Prize to study a Masters Degree in Fisheries policy at the University of Wollongong.
18 January 2016
Australia and Solomon Islands will provide naval assistance to Vanuatu for its national election next week.
11 December 2015
Four Australian parliamentarians led by the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, left Honiara yesterday after a successful visit.
10 December 2015
The Minister for International Development and the Pacific, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, arrives in Honiara today. He will be in Solomon Islands for two days as part of a week-long Pacific visit encompassing Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Solomon Islands.
2 December 2015
In 2016, for the first time, a New Colombo Plan scholar will undertake long-term study in Solomon Islands under the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan.
2 December 2015
Today marks the “International Day of People with Disability”, a United Nations sanctioned day that aims to promote understanding of people with disability, and encourage support of their dignity, rights and wellbeing.
Australia and Solomon Islands Strengthening People to People Links: Thirty Two New Australia Award Recipients Announced
20 November 2015
Thirty-two students from Solomon Islands have been granted prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships to study at universities in Australia and the Pacific in 2016. Sixteen of the students will go to Australia, whilst another sixteen will study at institutions in Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, in fields including law, fisheries, commerce, health and engineering.
13 November 2015
Public-private partnerships in Guadalcanal’s oil palm industry show how customary land can be used for economic development, visiting Australian Indigenous leader, Warren Mundine says.
13 November 2015
Australian Indigenous leader and prominent businessman, Mr Warren Mundine, met with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare today to discuss opportunities for growth in Solomon Islands.
12 November 2015
Australian Indigenous leader, Warren Mundine arrived in Solomon Islands today as a special guest of the Australian High Commission.
4 November 2015
The Advisory Board of Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development (Pacific Women) held its third meeting in Honiara yesterday. This is the first time that the meeting has been held outside of Australia.
2 November 2015
Yesterday the Australian High Commission launched an exciting new initiative, “Red Cardim Vaelens” which will work with the local sports clubs in Solomon Islands to involve young soccer and rugby union players in combatting family violence.
29 October 2015
Cocoa grown, fermented and dried in Solomon Islands has won a leading international cocoa award overnight in Paris, France.
24 September 2015
I was honoured to participate this week in Pacific Microfinance Week 2015, which was hosted for the first time in Solomon Islands. The week has been a great opportunity to showcase Solomon Islands’ international leadership on financial inclusion, under the strong leadership of Central Bank Governor Denton Rarawa.
17 September 2015
The Australian High Commission staff are working hard to prepare for the upcoming G’Day Solomon Islands Fun Run.
7 September 2015
The Australian High Commission is preparing to again say “G’Day” to Solomon Islanders at its annual Fun Run event.
4 September 2015
Alumni of the prestigious Australia Awards scholarship program joined forces on Thursday night to discuss leadership and lifelong learning.
28 August 2015
Officials from the Governments of Australia and Solomon Islands Australia agreed to a new focus on promoting economic growth at the annual Solomon Islands-Australia High Level consultations, held yesterday.
21 August 2015
The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force is now at the forefront of regional capabilities to remove unexploded ordinance, thanks to training delivered by the Royal Australian Navy.
20 August 2015
The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force has improved capability to clear unexploded ordinance, thanks to a new Kawasaki mule vehicle gifted by the Australian Defence Force.
09 August 2015
Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne and his team arrived safely in Honiara from their ‘Wakabaot Lo Weathercoast’ last week. The team included the High Commissioner’s wife Dawn Bennet, Ben O’Reilly, Tanya Morjanoff and WO Gary Fuss, also from the Australian High Commission.
08 August 2015
The Australian High Commission’s annual film festival is set to take Honiara by storm next week.
06 August 2015
Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne and his wife Dawn Bennett will go “Wakabaot lo Weathercoast” on Monday. They will be joined by Ben O’Reilly, Tanya Morjanoff and WO Gary Fuss, also from the Australian High Commission.
05 August 2015
A new customs system, ASYCUDA World will enhance trade, reduce business costs, and increase government revenue thanks to a partnership between the Solomon Islands and Australian Governments.
03 August 2015
The sinking of HMAS Canberra, an Australian naval ship, will be commemorated this week in a memorial held by the Australian Defence force. This marks the 73rd year since the ship was sunk after the naval battle off Savo Island during World War II.
03 August 2015
People of Central Province now have improved access to life saving medicine with the opening of an Australian Government funded Provincial Medical Store in Tulagi last week.
30 July 2015
Sasamunga community in Choiseul Province now has access to improved health services and essential medicine following the official opening of its fully refurbished hospital on Wednesday this week.
3 July 2015
HMAS Tobruk, the Royal Australian Navy's ageing amphibious supply ship, made her final voyage into Sydney Harbour last week ahead of her decommissioning. The ship will be put rest after a long and distinguished career, which includes a strong affiliation with Solomon Islands and the Pacific.
3 July 2015
Agriculture extension officers will now be armed with the latest technology to help boost food crops and combat pests and pathogens affecting production. Last week Biosecurity Advisor to the Solomon Islands Mr Bob Macfarlane presented 27 digital tablets to Mr Michael Ho’ota, Director of Extension from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock for use by Extension Officers in the Provinces.
26 June 2015
Australia has announced its new ‘Safe Families’ program, aimed at addressing family violence in the Solomon Islands. This initiative is part of Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development, a commitment from the Australian government to spend AUD 30 million on gender equality in the Pacific.
Australia assists Solomon Islands Women in Business Association to attend Women in Business Expo in PNG
24 June 2015
Members of the Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA) will attend the ‘Women in Business Expo’ in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on 2-12 July 2015. Yesterday Sue Connell, Minister Counsellor from the Australian High Commission handed over a cheque to SIWIBA, to help the association attend the Expo.
19 June 2015
The highlight of this week for me has been the seventh Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum. This year’s was the first ever to be held in Honiara – the first six were all held in Brisbane. And by the end of proceedings on Wednesday night, it was universally proclaimed as the best forum ever.
16 June 2015
The Australian Government has helped the Tiaro Bay community improve their diets and generate income through funding from the Direct Aid Program.
29 May 2015
The Saranga Community Learning Centre officially switched on its new solar lighting system for the first time today. The project, which was funded through the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program (DAP), will enable the community centre to conduct night classes in much sought after trades such as building, carpentry and joinery and will help them run computers, audio-visual equipment and small power tools.
22 May 2015
The Royal Solomon Island Police Vessel Auki, and its crew returned home yesterday after a two month relief mission to Vanuatu and Temoto Province in the wake of the devastation caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam.
13 May 2015
Solomon Islands will remain the third largest recipient of Australian aid globally according to the Australian Government 2015-16 Budget, delivered last night.
8 May 2015
St Joseph’s Tenaru Catholic Secondary School celebrated the opening of its new water tank facilities this week. The water supply system, which was funded by the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program, includes eight new water tanks and will provide fresh drinking water to over 500 students, teachers and surrounding community members.
8 May 2015
This week I was honoured to attend a ceremony at the Don Bosco campus for the visiting Rector Major, the tenth successor to Don Bosco himself. Those of us in the audience heard the Prime Minister give a stirring speech about his government’s vision for vocational training in Solomon Islands.
1 May 2015
The best part of my job is when I’m able to get out of the office and meet ordinary Solomon Islanders. Whether it’s opening SIWIBA’s new business development centre; attending an APTC graduation; or kicking a ball around with a local Aussie Rules team (a big thank you to the boys from the White River Demons for going easy on me!), getting out and mixing with the local community always reminds me that I have the best job in the world. Or at least in Australia’s diplomatic service!
27 April 2015
The Australian Government today supported the Ministry of Health and Medical Services to launch the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine in Solomon Islands.
25 April 2015
Today marks World Malaria Day – a day to take stock of advances made in the fight against malaria.
15 April 2015
Applications for Australia Award Pacific Sholarships for 2016 are now open. Visit the Study in Australia page for more information.
14 April 2015
The Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA) launched their new Business Development Centre at the National Provident Fund Plaza today.
25 March 2015
The Australian Government is proud to have supported four senior officers at the Auditor General’s Office attain degree qualifications at the University of the South Pacific.
Australia welcomes discussions between the Solomon Islands Government and Malaita on economic growth
23 March 2015
Last week Australian High Commission Second Secretaries Lisa Chadderton and Ben O'Reilly accompanied Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare to Auki to attend the Malaita Provincial Government policy launch
16 March 2015
Australia has provided an Australian Defence Force aircraft and personnel to support the Solomon Islands Government with an aerial assessment of Temotu and parts of Malaita following Tropical Cyclone Pam.
13 March 2015
I was very happy to host the annual Australian High Commission’s International Women’s Day Breakfast last Friday at the Heritage Park Hotel. The event drew together prominent women and men from all walks of life to celebrate the progress towards women’s empowerment in Solomon Islands but also to reflect on the challenges that still lay ahead.
13 March 2015
Each year, the Australian High Commission supports many Solomon Islanders to complete graduate studies in Australia through the Australia Awards Scholarship program.
6 March 2015
The Australian High Commissioner’s International Women’s Day award was presented to the National Financial Inclusion Taskforce yesterday for their achievements in improving access to financial services for women in Solomon Islands.
6 March 2015
Ladies and Gentlemen, The first international women’s day was held in 1911. More than a million people attended rallies to support women’s right to work, to vote, to access education and training, and to hold public office.
27 February 2015
We were delighted last week to host a visit to Honiara by Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment, Steve Ciobo (in our system, a Parliamentary Secretary is much like a junior minister). It was the first visit to Solomon Islands by a member of the Australian Government since the election and an important opportunity for early direct contact between the Abbott and Sogavare governments.
25 Februray 2015
The Australian Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding today with the Solomon Islands Government, Delite Flour Mill, Solomon Rice Company Limited and other stakeholders on food fortification in the Solomon Islands.
19 February 2015
The newly refurbished post-natal ward at the National Referral Hospital was officially opened today by the Minister for Health and Medical Services, the Hon. Tautai Angikimua Kaitu’u, and Australian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP.
18 Februray 2015
A National Cocoa Testing Laboratory was officially opened this afternoon by the visiting Australian Parliamentary Secretary the Hon Steven Ciobo and the Minister for Commerce, Industries, Labour & Immigration, William Marau.
17 February 2015
The Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Investment, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, is travelling to Solomon Islands from 17–19 February 2015. This will be Australia’s first high-level visit to Solomon Islands since its national elections in November 2014.
13 February 2015
I’ve been in Solomon Islands for just over a year now and I’m continually struck by the close cooperation between our two countries. But to me, our rapidly expanding people-to-people links are the most exciting part of our relationship.
30 January 2015
This week we’ve celebrated Australia Day, which has been an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Australian. Formally, of course, Australia Day marks the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet in what is now Sydney on 26 January 1788.
30 January 2015
Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to help improve the lives of Solomon Islanders living in rural areas, contributing funding of AUD 15 million for the Second Rural Development Program (RDP).
A Queensland State General Election has been announced for 31 January 2015
22 January 2015
The Australian High Commission in Honiara has not been appointed to provide voting services for this election. Electors living in the Solomon Islands can visit the Electoral Commission of Queensland website at http://www.ecq.qld.gov.au for information on how to vote or contact the ECQ directly by telephoning: +61 7 3227 6444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
16 January 2015
Staff from the Australian High Commission together with a number of other expats rolled up their sleeves this week to donate blood to help restock the National Referral Hospital’s blood bank.
16 January 2015
Early January in Honiara is a good time to reflect on the previous year and think about the year ahead. With many Solomon Islanders and Australians still enjoying their Christmas holidays, things are relatively quiet and there’s a little more time for contemplation.
14 January 2015
Eight undergraduate students from Australia’s Bond University arrived in Solomon Islands this week to undertake research placements in Kirakira, Makira province.