21 December 2017
I have been in the Solomon Islands for 12 months now and it has been a very busy time for Australia in Solomon Islands.
15 December 2017
Thank you for standing with me in resolute opposition to violence against women.
1st December 2017
All women everywhere have a right to live lives free of violence and free of the fear of violence.
18 November 2017
A delegation of Solomon Islands government officials visited the narrow stretch of water between Australia and Papua New Guinea last week.
16 November 2017
Australia and Solomon Islands have a lot in common. We share a passion for laid-back beach BBQs with family and friends, for example, especially when there are fresh-caught fish and prawns on the barbie.
2nd November 2017
This week, after a long drive some 60 km to the north east of Honiara, I visited the beautiful community of New Tenabuti to hand over a solar-powered charging station, lighting and battery kits to the Ghobulonga Women’s Association. The hard work of these wonderful women is benefitting three villages - Gheghede, Ghesa and Ghovu. With solar power, they will save money on kerosene, have lights in the evenings, their children can do homework, and they can spend more time growing and selling fruit and vegetables.
31st October 2017
Australia and Solomon Islands reaffirmed their commitment to work in partnership during the Solomon Islands-Australia High Level Consultations today. Senior officials met to review partnership progress and identify future priorities.
6 October 2017
In recent years cruising has become one of the fastest growing areas of the Australian tourism industry, with the Pacific Islands a destination of choice for many Australians holidaying on cruise ships. As regular readers of this column would know, I have made maximising the benefits for Solomon Islanders from the cruise industry one of my priorities. I am therefore delighted to report an increase in the number of cruise boats coming here over the last two years. In 2017 we expect 16 cruise boats, both large and small, will visit Solomon Islands. The Australian High Commission has worked closely with Carnival Australia to promote Solomon Islands as a destination and we are very happy to see this work coming to fruition.
15 September 2017
At last week’s Pacific Islands Forum Leaders’ Meeting in Apia, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced measures to step up Australia’s engagement with the Pacific.
6 September 2017
Australian High Commissioner Roderick Brazier joined Honourable Bodo Detke MP and several community chiefs and leaders to officially handover a new fresh water prawn and Tilapia fish Aquaculture project to Divit Rural Training Centre on Wednesday.
4 September 2017
40 Solomon Islands students will study in universities both in Australia and the Pacific region in 2018 under Australia Awards Scholarships.
1 September 2017
More Australian students will head to Solomon Islands in 2018 to study and undertake work placements under the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan mobility program.
25 August 2017
Ladies and gentlemen, as our nearest geographic neighbours, the South Pacific is a region of great importance to Australia.
22 August 2017
Australia has handed over a collection of referee kits to support Solomon Islands football referees. During half-time in the exciting first season Telekom S League match between Marist FC and newcomers the Henderson Eels on Saturday (19 Aug) at Lawson Tama Stadium, the Australian High Commission delivered the kits to Solomon Islands Football Federation President William Lai. The brand new sets of uniforms were generously donated by the Ku-ring-gai Referees, part of Football NSW, with particular support from Mr Mark Cepak.
14 August 2017
I extend my warm welcome and that of the House to the Solomon Islands Prime Minister, the Hon. Manasseh Damukana Sogavare MP
11 August 2017
This week we commemorated the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal. The events which took place over 7-9 August, 1942 changed this region forever. It saw the turning of the tide of the Pacific theatre of World War Two and cemented the friendship between Australia, the US and the Solomon Islands. For Australians we remember in particular the loss of HMAS Canberra and the loss of 84 crew who perished with her on 9 August, 1942. We were privileged to have with us Mr Bill Quinn, who watched the Canberra sink from HMAS Australia. He lost many mates.
4 August 2017
Last month we celebrated what regional partnerships can achieve when we farewelled the Regional Assistance Mission Solomon Islands. This month we will commemorate another significant milestone in our shared Pacific history: the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal in World War II.
26 July 2017
Australia’s Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Keith Pitt MP, visited Honiara to attend the 9th Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum. While he was here, Assistant Minister Pitt also met with Solomon Islands and Australian business people and
visited several agricultural producers that are contributing to the growing trade and investment partnership between Australia and Solomon Islands.
6 July 2017
A Women’s Leadership Seminar on Sports and Elections hosted by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, New South Wales Branch and the Australian High Commission and will be held on Monday 10 July in Honiara at the Heritage Park Hotel. Photos and interviews of the group will be available from 2:15 – 2:45pm.
29 June 2017
Solomon Islands is one step closer to cheaper and more reliable electricity that will boost business activity and improve people’s lives.
29 June 2017
Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator the Hon Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, and Solomon Islands Minister for Development Planning and Aid Coordination, the Hon Danny Philip MP, today signed the new Solomon Islands-Australia Aid Partnership. The Partnership sets out the Solomon Islands and Australian Governments’ shared vision for cooperation over the next three years to improve people’s lives. It will focus on stimulating economic growth, improving health, education and gender equality outcomes, and supporting ongoing stability.
Solomon Islands Government Meeting with Pacific Island Forum Leaders
Honiara, Thursday, 29 June 2017
Well, thank you very, very much, Prime Minister Sogavare; Excellencies; Ministers; representatives of our Pacific member states; [PIF] Secretary General Taylor; ladies and gentlemen.
26 June 2017
Australian High Commissioner, H.E. Roderick Brazier made his first visit to Munda and Noro on 14 and 15 June 2017. This follows his visit to Gizo 31 May and 1 June, to visit Australia’s development assistance projects, and consult stakeholders on challenges and opportunities in Western Province.
20 June 2017
Busufoula'a Hydro Project is a great example of a sustainable collaboration on hydro power between the local community and the Australian High Commission. The project was funded in 2012 under Australian Direct Aid Program funding and is located in the central ward of Malaita province.
16 June 2017
The Ehmunah Virgin Coconut Oil Processing Project located in Diula, Maluu in North Malaita is up and running thanks to Australian Direct Aid Program funding.The DAP funding provided materials for the shed, the machines, and training by Kokonut Pacifica. Former Australian High Commissioner, Mr Andrew Byrne, participated in the ground-breaking ceremony of the Ehmunah Virgin Coconut Oil Processing Project in August last year.
June 16 2017
A choice crop of workers
It’s been a big year for the Seasonal Worker Programme. Over 85 Solomon Islanders have travelled to Australia for work in the last 12 months – this is the highest participation since our involvement began in 2012.
16 June 2017
The Australian government has committed SBD 5.8m to [email protected] for another two years of operation in Malaita and Western Provinces, as part of its ongoing support for youth development in Solomon Islands.
6 June 2017
Australian High Commissioner Roderick Brazier has made his first visit to Gizo, and to the
Boeboe community on Kohinggo Island, on 31 May and 1 June 2017.
5 June 2017
Steve Dutton returned to Solomon Islands in February 2016 to take up an 18 month volunteering assignment with Solomon Islands Rangers Association (SIRA), hosted by Solomon Islands Community Conservation Partnership (SICCP). Steve is taking his second ‘gap year’ in the Solomons, (he started out his work in conservation with a ‘gap year’ in the Solomon Islands Forests Department just after independence, establishing some of the very early plantation inventory plots).
2 June 2017
I’m happy to report that this month Australia committed SBD11.1 million (AUD1.9million) to the Solomon Islands Government as a performance payment for progress towards health milestones in 2016. A recent independent review found that the Ministry of Health and Medical Services achieved 73 per cent of the performance milestones that had been set for 2016. This is an excellent performance, and an improvement on 2016 results where 63 per cent of milestones were met.
30 May 2017
Australian Direct Aid Program funding is helping the Temotuan communities of Malo and Nesapla to access safe and clean drinking water by providing ten 3000-litre water tanks.
25 May 2017
This is my first visit to Solomon Islands and I come as Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls – what an honour it is to be here.
12 May 2017
Many readers would have seen the HMAS Wollongong from the Royal Australian Navy sailing to and from Honiara over the past week.
25 April 2017
On 25 April, several hundred Australians and New Zealanders gathered at the Cenotaph in central Honiara to remember the servicemen and women who have served their nation in times of war, in conflicts or peacekeeping operations.
4 April 2017
Australian Direct Aid program funding of SBD 102,413.66 is helping the Special Development Centre School located at Tandai, west of Honiara. This school is the only educational facility for students with disabilities in the country, providing an academic curriculum as well as livelihood and life skills programs for its students.
16 March 2017
Operation SOLVAN is a demonstration of the government of Australia’s continued commitment to support maritime surveillance and security patrols in Vanuatu and Solomon Island’s Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ).
10 March 2017
Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner, Michael Hassett, joined civil society, government, church and community leaders from Malaita to celebrate International Women’s Day this week.
10 March 2017
This week marked my first International Women’s Day as Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.
8 March 2017
Today marks International Women’s Day – a day to reflect on the progress that has been made to date in advancing gender equality, as well as that which remains to be done.
7 March 2017
The Australian High Commissioner’s International Women’s Day Award was presented to Maureen Sariki, President and members of the Honiara Market Vendors Association executive today for their leadership and inclusive decision-making for market vendors in Solomon Islands.
6 March 2017
The Australian High Commission has provided Direct Aid Program funding of SBD $50,000 to the Divit Rural Training Centre, located at Visale, North West Guadalcanal.
3 March 2017
Australian direct aid program funding of SBD $13,050 is helping the Macedonia House of Prayer community located at Gilbert camp, east of Honiara, to access safe and clean drinking water by providing three 3000-litre water tanks.
24 February 2017
From Tikopia to Fauro, Solomon Islands is made up of an incredibly rich tapestry of peoples and cultures, each with their own dreams and ambitions, as well as challenges and hardships. Almost 80% of Solomon Islanders live in rural and remote areas, and over the last two months it has become abundantly clear to me that in order to truly understand how Australia can support ongoing peace and prosperity for all Solomon Islanders, I need to understand what life is like in the Provinces. With this in mind, I undertook my first official travel outside of Honiara last week, and visited Auki, the capital of Malaita Province.
23 February 2017
Adamson, will visit Honiara on 23 and 24 February to meet with Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Foreign Minister Milner Tozaka to discuss Solomon Islands transition from RAMSI and Australia’s ongoing commitment to the country’s security.
17 February 2017
Twenty-five managers from Solomon Islands justice agencies are undertaking a Certificate IV course in Leadership and Management at the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) Solomon Islands Campus, funded by the Australian Government.
15 February 2017
Australian High Commissioner Rod Brazier has made his first visit outside of Guadalcanal to Auki, Malaita Province on 14 and 15 February 2017.
10 February 2017
Australian High Commissioner Rod Brazier today paid a courtesy call on the Guadalcanal Premier, Hon Anthony Veke and members of the Guadalcanal Provincial Executive at the Guadalcanal Provincial Headquarters.
8 February 2017
Australia is helping to strengthen democratic processes in Solomon Islands with workshops for political parties in Honiara this week and next.
6 February 2017
Six new Australian volunteers have arrived in Solomon Islands to commence assignments with various host government ministries, departments and non-government organizations.
6 February 2017
The Australia Awards Scholarships 2018 intake is now open for eligible Solomon Islanders.
27 January 2017
Australia Day gives all Australians an opportunity to reflect and give thanks. It’s a day to celebrate our history, culture and achievements with our friends and neighbours. For Australia, Solomon Islands is not only one of our nearest neighbours, but one of our closest friends.
6 January 2017
Australia and Solomon Islands today signed an agreement of up to AU$66 million (SB$377 million) over four years (2017 to 2020) for the Solomon Islands Health Sector.
11 December 2016
Twenty students from Australian Catholic University recently visited Solomon Islands to undertake teaching placements, supported by Australia’s prestigious New Colombo Plan. The New Colombo Plan was launched by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in 2014.
9 December 2016
After three very happy years, my tenure as Australia’s High Commissioner to Solomon Islands has come to an end. And what an ending it was. In my final week as High Commissioner I was privileged to host a visit to Honiara by Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop; our Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells; and their respective Opposition counterparts, Senator Penny Wong and Senator Claire Moore.
6 December 2016
Max Granger arrived in Solomon Islands in June 2016, after a short break in Australia, from a two-year volunteer assignment in Botswana. Following that long African assignment, a six-month assignment in Honiara looked a breeze. It wasn’t, but it has been far more rewarding.
6 December 2016
Charles Persson has been lucky to have lived and worked in several great locations in Australia, with his career also taking him to Italy, South Africa, Taiwan and Malaysia.
6 December 2016
Having access to rural communities across all parts of Solomon Islands is an experience afforded to few. Being guided by the people of these communities up steep mountains and through beautiful forests, to find pristine water supplies, provides an even greater insight into the landscape of Solomon Islands and the lives of its people. These aspects are a unique privilege for Emma Carden in her volunteer position at the Solomon Islands Rural Development Program (RDP II).
6 December 2016
My name is Anna Heaton. I am a registered nurse and currently 4 months into a 12 month assignment as a Nurse Educator at the Kilu’ufi Hospital in Malaita Province.
6 December 2016
After being offered a placement with the Solomon Islands National Statistics Office (NSO), Emma Nugent migrated north to the tropics of Honiara to work as a volunteer.
6 December 2016
The Australian High Commission joins all Australian Volunteers based in Solomon Islands and their local counterparts to celebrate International Volunteer Day.
25 November 2016
Today marks the International day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence
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.
21 November 2016
Only the very lucky can say that they do what they love and have new adventures almost every day. The rare opportunity to live this sort of life was presented to Clancy Dane when he took on a volunteer position at the Public Solicitor’s Office (PSO) in Honiara on 7 June 2016.
17 November 2016
Last week marked Cervical Cancer Awareness Week in Australia (7-13 November).
17 November 2016
Last week, the Australian Defence Force and Australian High Commission joined the Royal Solomons Islands Police Force (RSIPF) in the Shortland Islands in a reconnaissance visit to prepare for Exercise Coastwatchers in 2017.
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.