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Welcome to the Australian High Commission, Honiara
From the High Commissioner's Desk
25 July 2014
As I spend more time in Solomon Islands, I’m struck by the amazing ability of Solomon Islanders to achieve so much with limited resources. My visit to the National Referral Hospital (NRH) last Friday was a case in point.
The Australian High Commission has opened a Condolence Book in response to the tragic loss of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 to honour those who have lost their lives and to support those who have been bereaved.
An Australian volunteer Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) medical team is currently in Solomon Islands providing diagnosis and treatment for patients with ear, nose, throat, head and neck disorders.
The Australian frigate, HMAS Parramatta departed Honiara on Monday 14 July 2014 after spending three days in port.
HMAS Parramatta will be visiting Honiara from Friday 11 July 2014 until Monday 15 July 2014 as part of a three week goodwill deployment to the South Pacific.
Solomon Islands is the first country in the world to receive approval to trade timber products to Australia under new timber legality guidelines.
The Correctional Services of Solomon Islands today inaugurated eight new staff houses which were funded by the Australian Government. The five houses at Tetere Correctional Centre and three houses in Naha were handed over by the Australian High Commission to CSSI at two official ceremonies which were held in Naha and Tetere today.
Mrs Jean Pichu’s vision was realised recently when the Niu Areata Women’s Weaving and Sewing project was completed with the assistance of the Australian High Commission’s Direct Assistance Program.
Governor of the Central Bank, Denton Rarawa Deputy Governor, Gane Simbe Financial Inclusion Advisor, Krishnan Narasimhan, Staff of CBSI Manager of South Pacific Business Development, Commercial Banks representatives, Telekom and Bemobile representatives, Solomon Post representatives, Savings club members, School participants, Children and youth Ladies and gentlemen
Working to create safe family environments and preventing violence against women and girls is a central priority for both the Australian and Solomon Islands governments. Acknowledging that nearly 2 out of 3 women who have ever been in a relationship in Solomon Islands have experienced physical or sexual violence (or both) from an intimate partner, government, NGOs, communities, churches and donors are working to change attitudes and behaviours so that the violence will end.
One of my favourite things to do in Honiara is to wander through the central market on a Saturday morning. It’s the heartbeat of the city, full of colour, noise and movement, and a demonstration of the enterprise of Solomon Islanders. Of course, it’s also a great place to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, some nuts to snack on or – my particular favourite - a delicious fresh fish for dinner. My wife Dawn also loves the markets here and is constantly exploring Honiara’s markets for artworks and handicrafts.
Thousands of farmers across Guadalcanal are set to benefit from a new SBD320, 000 partnership between the Australian aid program and Solo Enviro Beautification (SEB).
After more than six years living and working in Solomons, well-known Australian pharmacy adviser Mike Nunan is saying ‘lukim iufala.
More than one hundred representatives from Nanala community and the Guadalcanal Provincial Government celebrated the opening of the Nanala Community Primary School, funded by the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program.
Nearly a month after devastating heavy rains and flash flooding, Australia continues to work closely with the Solomon Islands Government and NGOs to provide relief and recovery assistance.
Australia is working with NGOs to help communities affected by floods in rural Guadalcanal.
An 11-person New Zealand and Australian medical team arrived in Honiara on Monday 28 April to assist the National Referral Hospital with an influx of patients following the recent floods.
Solomon Islanders thinking of applying for an Australia Awards Pacific scholarship next year have until 16 June 2014 to lodge their application.
HUNDREDS COMMEMORATE 99th ANZAC DAY AT DAWN SERVICE.
25 April 2014
Hundreds of Australians, New Zealanders and Solomon Islanders gathered at the Cenotaph in the early hours of Friday morning to commemorate ANZAC Day.
Australia’s ongoing support to malaria control and elimination in Solomon Islands has helped strengthen malaria and dengue control activities during the flood crisis.
Each year on 25 April, Australians and New Zealanders gather to remember the servicemen and women who have served their nation in times of war, in conflicts or peacekeeping operations.
Australia is working with NGOs to distribute more supplies to those affected by floods in rural Guadalcanal.
Standing shoulder to shoulder
20 April 2014
The past couple of weeks have been exceptionally hard for Solomon Islands. The heavy rains and flash flooding were unprecedented. Homes and infrastructure were damaged and destroyed as rivers burst their banks.
A visiting Australian surgical team is spending two weeks in Western Province where they are providing consultations and treatment for people with medical and general surgical conditions.
Solomon Islanders thinking of applying for a scholarship to study in Australia next year now have until 22 April 2014 to lodge their application.
Today I announce Australia will provide a total package of $3 million to assist Solomon Islanders affected by flooding. This funding will continue to assist the Government of Solomon Islands, NGOs and the United Nations to respond to the immediate needs of people affected by the disaster, as well as supporting early recovery efforts.
Australia responds to Solomon Islands flooding.
5th April 2014
Today we announce that Australia will provide $250,000 in emergency relief supplies to assist the Government of Solomon Islands respond to the needs of people affected by flooding. This follows a request for assistance from the Government of Solomon Islands today.
AUSTRALIA STANDS WITH SOLOMON ISLANDS DURING FLOOD CRISIS.
4th April 2014
Australia has immediately pledged over SBD 330,000 to support Solomon Islands in the initial response to flooding in Honiara and Guadalcanal.
A 12-day visit to the National Referral Hospital by an Australian urology specialist team has been a great success with the team seeing over 40 Solomon Island patients, including 18 surgical operations mainly helping women with treatments to help improve their quality of life.
Australian Urology Specialist Team to visit Honiara.
11th March 2014
An Australian urology specialist team will visit Honiara from 13-23 March to provide free consultations and treatment for Solomon Islanders with urological conditions.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is Inspiring Change. Australian High Commissioner, Andrew Byrne, has recognised the inspiring work of the Correctional Services of Solomon Islands Women’s Network with a major award.
Joyce Konofilia’s perspective on studying in Australia.
7th March 2014
Joyce Konofilia is the owner of Solomon Host, a local business which offers tourism training and consultancy services for Solomon Island government agencies and businesses.
In 2012, Solomon Islands was ranked by the World Bank as one of the worst countries in the world for sexual violence.
The empowerment of women and girls is one of the most effective ways to achieve higher economic growth and better living standards among the millions of people in developing countries in our region.
International Womens Day Breakfast.
7th March 2014
The Australian High Commission hosted a breakfast this morning to celebrate International Women’s Day, which is recognised internationally on Saturday, 8 March.
APTC HANDS OVER RESOURCES TO SINU TOURISM SCHOOL.
28 Februray 2014
The Solomon Islands National University is now better equipped to train the next generation of Solomon Islands’ hospitality workers, with the handover of more than 400 Hospitality Learning Resources from the Australian Government funded Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC).
From the High Commissioner's Desk - Out and About in Makira.
28 February 2014
This week I had the opportunity to visit Kirakira in Makira province. My aim for the trip was to begin understanding some of the challenges facing communities in the provinces.
The Australian High Commission has welcomed thirteen new Australian Volunteers to Solomon Islands who will use their skills and expertise to develop host organisations across the country.
It's about coming back and contributing to the development of Solomon Islands”, says Australia Award scholarship recipient David Qurusu.
A message from the Australian High Commissioner, Andrew Byrne.
25 January 2014
Tomorrow we will be celebrating Australia Day. It's a day when Australians reflect on what we have achieved and what we can be proud of in our great nation. In other words, tomorrow we're celebrating what's great about being Australian.
Good afternoon everyone, thank you in particular for the warm and generous welcome my wife Dawn and I have received since we arrived in Honiara just over a month ago.
The Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA) recently signed a funding agreement with the Australian Government for a further SBD$280,000 grant until June 2014. This will support training and providing retailing opportunities for the association’s members, specifically to improve economic opportunities for Solomon Islands business women. The support will also go towards supporting the operation of the secretariat, skills development training and the popular bimonthly Meres’ Market.
60 Solomon Islanders receive Australia Awards scholarships for 2014.
18 December 2013
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has congratulated 60 Solomon Islanders who will receive Australia Awards scholarships to study at Australian or regional universities next year.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop today announced Australia will provide an additional A$5 million for the Prevention of Family Violence Program to help prevent incidents of family violence in Solomon Islands.
Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls.
16 December 2013
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women Michaelia Cash are delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AM as Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls.
When you look at a map of Solomon Islands, you get a glimpse of how hard it is to deliver to services to nearly half a million people scattered across around 90 of the 990 inhabited islands that make up the country.
Foreign Minister Visit to Solomon Islands,Nauru and Vanuatu.
16 December 2013
Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop will lead a bipartisan delegation to Solomon Islands, Nauru and Vanuatu on 16-19 December.
Improving water quality in Honiara.
10 December 2012
If you take a drive out of Honiara, up the steep pot-holed track that take you through the hills and beyond, you’ll come across Kongulai, the source of 60% of Honiara’s water supply. This picturesque scene with lush green palms, towering betel nut trees and icy cold water rushing through the rocks, is Louis Downing’s office for the day.
Australian volunteers celebrate International Volunteer Day.
5 December 2013
Australian volunteers and their Solomon Islands hosts gathered at the Australian High Commissioner’s residence to celebrate International Volunteer Day today.
OPERATION RENDER SAFE CONCLUDES.
3 December 2013
Operation RENDER SAFE, the Australian Defence Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal mission in the Solomon Islands has concluded and was a “spectacular success” according to the head of the Task Force Commander Doug Griffiths RAN. The operation consisted of a Task Force of nearly 200 Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists and support staff from the ADF, New Zealand Defence Force, Canadian Armed Forces, the United States Navy and Royal Solomon Islands Police Force.
Celebrating International Day of Persons with Disability.
3 December 2013
Australian Aid program’s Pacific Senior Advocate for Disability Inclusive Development, John Davidson reminds us why the International Day of Persons with Disability is so important.
From the High Commissioner's Desk -Edition 3.
1 December 2013
Last Saturday’s G’day Solomon Islands Fun Run exceeded my every expectation. The turnout of about 3000 runners and walkers was remarkable, the weather was kind, the sponsors generous, and from what I could tell – all the way at the very, very back of those running the 5km course - people had fun.
AUSTRALIA HONOURS GOVERNOR GENERAL'S FATHER WITH MEDAL
30 November 2013
Solomon Islands Governor General Sir Frank Kabui’s father has been honoured with a Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers Commemorative Medallion award in recognition of his contribution to the Guadalcanal Campaign during World War II in Solomon Islands.
Roadwork and repairs get underway in Honiara
27 November 2013
Seven major contracts have been awarded which will see more than 40 kilometres of roadwork repairs and maintenance undertaken during the next two years in and around Honiara. The scope of works is worth more than SBD$43 million.
Australia injects SBD14 million into Rural Development Program
26 November 2013
Australia is providing a further SBD 14 million (A$2 million) for the Solomon Islands Rural Development Program (RDP) to boost small-scale village infrastructure and agriculture services to help raise the standard of living in rural areas.
Australian paediatric specialist team visit Solomon Islands
26 November 2013
A visiting Australian volunteer paediatric specialist surgical team will spend this week at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara providing free consultations, treatment and surgery for children with medical conditions.
Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands and White Ribbon Day Ambassador, Matt Anderson has challenged the men of Solomon Islands to take the White Ribbon Day oath never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.
G’DAY SOLOMONS! INAUGURAL FUN RUN ATTRACTS HUGE CROWD
23 November 2013
The inaugural G’day Solomon Islands Fun Run kicked off successfully this morning, with around three thousand people having registered for the event.
Pharmacy Graduates Ready to Make a Difference
22 November 2013
Seventeen Solomon Islands students graduated from the two-year national pharmacy officer training course on Friday at a special ceremony in Honiara.
OPERATION RENDER SAFE AND CCC ATTRACT INTERNATIONAL ATTENTION
22 November 2013
An Australian national television crew here in the Solomon Islands this week to cover the work of Operation Render Safe has come away equally impressed with the work of Sister Doreen and all the volunteers at the Christian Care Centre.
Australia helps Christian Care Centre with water project
22 November 2013
The Christian Care Centre now has better water storage and supply, with the installation of a new water tank, pump and pipes to connect running water to their houses.
OPERATION RENDER SAFE REBUILDS YANDINA SCHOOL
18 November 2013
While much of the Operation Render Safe activities in the Solomon Islands have taken place in and around the capital of Honiara, communities in other parts of the country have not been forgotten. A group of Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Army Explosive Ordinance (EOD) technicians along with Royal Australian Navy sailors and officers based on HMAS Tarakan have been working on the clearing of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and rebuilding classrooms at the local community school at Yandina in the Russell Islands in the country’s Central Province.
AUSTRALIA ASSISTS REMOTE COMMUNITIES THROUGH DIRECT AID PROGRAM
18 November 2013
Australian High Commissioner Matt Anderson has announced the recipients of the first round of the Head of Mission’s Direct Aid Program.
From the High Commissioner's Desk -Edition 2
17 November 2013
The inaugural ‘G’Day Solomon Islands’ Fun Run is just around the corner; on Saturday 23 November 2013. The theme of the event is ‘Iumi Stap Helti’, promoting the importance of fresh food, healthy lifestyles and physical activity. ‘G’day’ is a friendly term used in Australia meaning ‘hello.’
OPERATION RENDER SAFE UNDERWAY AND GETTING RESULTS
15 November 2013
Operation RENDER SAFE, the Australian Defence Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal mission in the Solomon Islands has commenced and is delivering significant results. The operation consists of a Task Force of nearly 200 Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialists and support staff from the ADF, New Zealand Defence Force, Canadian Armed Forces, the United States Navy and Royal Solomon Islands Police.
McMahons Community School in Tulagi, Central Province had a make-over during the week, thanks to Australian Defence Force personnel working in Solomon Islands on operation RENDER SAFE 2013 - a month long operation to clear explosive remnants from World War.
We gather at this hour, and on this day, to commemorate the moment, 95 years ago, when the guns of the Western Front fell silent.
High Commissioner to Solomon Islands
9 November 2013
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop today announced Mr. Andrew Byrne as Australia's next High Commissioner to Solomon Islands. He is expected to take up his appointment in December 2013, replacing Mr Matt Anderson.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop today announced that Ms Justine Braithwaite will be the next Special Coordinator of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Ms Braithwaite will be RAMSI's first female Special Coordinator.
G'Day Solomon Islands Fun Run Prizes
8 November 2013
The Australian High Commission is excited to announce some of the great prizes up for grabs at the upcoming ‘G’Day Solomon Islands Fun Run’.
More than 200 Australian Defence Force personnel will spend the next month in Solomon Islands clearing explosive remnants from World War Two and helping communities with school repairs and water supply projects.
A new era in diplomacy
1 November 2013
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the integration of AusAID with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on 1 November marked a significant milestone for Australia's international engagement.
Emergency response training for first responders
29 October 2013
Emergency workers in Honiara now have up-to-date skills to deal with a major incident following two days of intensive training at the National Referral Hospital.
The completion of the North Malaita phase of the Solomon Islands Second Road Improvement Project (SIRIP2) marks the end of the final phase of the project that has reconnected local communities to clinics, markets and schools across six provinces in Solomon Islands.
Solomon Islands will be well represented at the 12th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women being held in the Cook Islands this week.
Good morning, firstly I would like to acknowledge: The Honourable Gordon Darcy Lilo, Prime Minister of Solomon Islands; Minister for the Solomon Islands present here today, Mr Tony Koraua, President of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mr Gane Simbe, Deputy Governor, Central bank of the Solomon Islands; Mr Greg Pawson, President and members of the Australia-Pacific Islands Business Council; Mr Matt Anderson, Australia’s High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, members of the Diplomatic Corps, our eminent Master of Ceremonies, Mr Frank Yourn; distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.
Climbing Mt Popomanaseu
18 October 2013
In early October, Matt, Ben and Dave from the Australian High Commission in Honiara set out to climb the highest mountain in the Solomon Islands, Mt Popamanaseu.
AUSTRALIANS TREK TO THE TOP OF MOUNT POPOMANASEU
18 October 2013
Three diplomats from the Australian High Commission early this month hit the bush tracks in rural Guadalcanal to climb the highest mountain in Solomon Islands, Mount Popomanaseu.
WIN A YEAR OF STUDY IN AUSTRALIA
17 October 2013
The Australian Government has launched a global online competition that will grant one lucky international student a year’s worth of study and educational incentives in Australia in 2014.
Come to the Australian High Commission, corner of Hibiscus Avenue and Mud Alley, Honiara to register individuals or get together with your workmates, family, friends or a sports group to register your team for the race.
Get fit and Say G’day to Solomon Islands!
8 October 2013
The Australian High Commission is preparing to say G’day to Solomon Islands by holding their first ever fun run event.
Australian volunteer surgeons to visit Western Province
20 September 2013
A visiting Australian volunteer surgical team will spend two weeks in Western Province later this month providing free consultations and treatment for people with medical or general surgical conditions.
Shortland Islands: Far from the Capital, but close to perfect
18 September 2013
This month, three of us at the Australian High Commission accompanied the British High Commissioner, Dominic Meicklejohn, on a joint visit to the Shortland Islands, at the invitation of Sir George Lepping, Paramount Chief of the area and a former Governor-General of Solomon Islands.
Volunteer helps to fix broken bodies
05 September 2013
Australian volunteer Melanie Glapa worked as an occupational therapist at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara.
New volunteers set to make a difference in Solomon Islands
05 September 2013
Five new Australian volunteers have arrived in Solomon Islands to begin their placements with government ministries, schools, non-government organisations and community groups.
Honiara Netball Umpires trained under Australian assistance
26 August 2013
More than 20 umpires from the Honiara Netball Association successfully completed a skills upgrade training over the weekend with funding assistance from the Australian Sports Outreach Program.
2013 Australian Federal Election
23 August 2013
The Australian federal election will be held on Saturday 7 September 2013.
Australian High Commission supports Solo Icon 2013
21 August 2013
More than eight thousand people gathered on Sunday night at the Multi-Purpose Hall in Honiara to watch the finalists of the Solo Icon competition battle it out for the top spot.
APTC training helps promote Wogasia spear festival
21 August 2013
Every year on the island of Santa Catalina they celebrate the lunar new year with the festival of Wogasia. The spear fighting festival.
Breaking new ground
16 August 2013
Solomon Islands Minister of Finance, Rick Hou and Australian High Commissioner, Matt Anderson ‘turn the sod’ for the new Ministry of Finance building in Honiara.
71st Anniversary of the sinking of HMAS Canberra
15 August 2013
Servicemen and women, Dignitaries and local and expatriate communities gathered on board RSIPV LATA on Friday, 09 August for the commemoration of the sinking of HMAS Canberra.
115 Solomon Islanders graduate from APTC
08 August 2013
115 Solomon Islands students graduated from the Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC) on Wednesday at a special ceremony in Honiara - the largest APTC graduation ceremony held in Solomon Islands.
2013 Australian Federal Election
07 August 2013
The Australian federal election will be held on Saturday 7 September 2013.
I would like to begin by thanking the Premier, George Lilo for his warm welcome to Western Province. I have made several trips to Western Province over the last couple of years and I appreciate the chance to visit rural Solomon Islands whenever I can - but I especially look forward to visits to your beautiful province.
More than 20,000 people in the Marovo area in Western Province now have better access to essential medicine and equipment with the opening of a new pharmacy at Seghe’s Area Health Clinic.
Minister for International Development, Melissa Parke, today announced Australia would make a $10 million (SB$67 million) contribution to improve water and sewerage services in Honiara.
Minister for International Development Melissa Parke today announced that Australia will help support 8,000 operations to restore the sight of people in the Pacific.
Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo and Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr today signed an enhanced Partnership for Development between the two countries.
Thirteen new Australian volunteers have arrived in Solomon Islands to begin their placements with government ministries, schools, non-government organisations and community groups.
Solomon Islands and Australia begin a new era of cooperation today with the transfer of RAMSI’s development programs to the Solomon Islands - Australia Partnership for Development.
Always Happy to Help a Friend
25 June 2013
During our most recent Australian High Commission community visit to the Weathercoast, Mihai and I had an opportunity to provide first aid to a 10 year old boy named Doyle. Doyle was the son of our boat driver, Henry. He was from a community called Talise and was fishing when a fish hook lodged just above his left hip.
The Weathercoast: Raw, unrefined beauty
25 June 2013
The first thing anyone tells you when they find out you’re going to the Weathercoast is to prepare for rain and rough seas. The Weathercoast stretches along the southern coast of Guadalcanal from Tangarare or Mbambanakira in the west (depending on who you ask), to Kopiu or Marau in the east.
Helping Temotu Build Back Better
19 June 2013
What were you doing 127 days ago? You would probably need to check your diary to see what you were doing at 12.12pm on Wednesday, 6 February, when an 8.0 earthquake, followed by a localised tsunami terrorised the population of the Santa Cruz islands, in the far east of Solomon Islands.
An Australian plastic and reconstructive medical team arrives in Honiara this week and will spend two weeks working at the National Referral Hospital in Honiara and Gizo hospital undertaking plastic and reconstructive surgery and training local staff.
Solomon Islanders thinking of applying for an Australian scholarship to study at Pacific regional universities next year only have until 18 June 2013 to lodge their application.
Twelve new Australian volunteers have arrived in Solomon Islands to begin their placements with government ministries, non-government organisations and community groups.
New Provincial Pharmacy Store Opened in Afio
21 May 2013
Around 26,000 people in South Malaita now have improved access to drugs and medical equipment, following the opening of a new pharmacy store in Afio last week.
Australia’s aid program to Solomon Islands continues to grow, reflecting Australia’s strong commitment to Solomon Islands, the transition of RAMSI development programs to the Solomon Islands-Australia Partnership for Development and joint efforts by both governments to improve the lives of all Solomon Islanders.
The Gillard Government will increase Australia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) to a record $5.7 billion in 2013-14.
Honiara will soon benefit from its own Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) campus following the launch of a SBD14 million (A$1.9 million) partnership between APTC and Honiara’s Don Bosco Technical Institute today.
AusAID Director General Peter Baxter visited Solomon Islands’ National Referral Hospital today to meet the Australian medical team assisting local health authorities to combat a major outbreak of dengue fever.
Solomon Islands and Australia Today Signed a Joint Statement on Zero Tolerance to Fraud in the Solomon Islands – Australia Partnership for Development.
Solomon Islands and Australia have agreed to an enhanced Partnership for Development at today’s high level aid partnership talks in Honiara.
His Excellency, the Governor General, Sir Frank Kabui and Lady Kabui
Honorable Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo
RAMSI’s Special Coordinator, and my friends and colleagues of the Diplomatic Corps – on this day I acknowledge His Excellency the New Zealand High Commissioner
Commissioner and members of the RSIPF
Commander and members of the PPF
Commander and members of the CTF and serving members of the ADF
To ex-service personnel, distinguished guests, friends, boys and girls.
Gud fella morning olketa, and tangio tumas fo kam lo hia lo dispefela special day blo Australia and New Zealand
Heading into disasters to help those in need
11 February 2013
With apologies to James A. Michener, but ‘where do we get such men’? Those who, in a time of disaster and crisis, head towards the prospect of harm—more concerned with helping others than their own safety.