Media releases from the Australian High Commission, Honiara
Australian High Commission Media Release– Signing Ceremony for New Solomon Islands - Australia Community Partnerships
On Tuesday 8 August, Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade and Member for Hograno/Kia/Havulei Hon Jeremiah Manele, Member for South Choiseul Hon Sammy Galo, Member for East Are’Are Hon Peter Kenilorea Jnr, and Premier Tongua Tabe of Choiseul Province witnessed Project Coordinators from across Solomon Islands being awarded grants for community infrastructure. Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands HE Rod Hilton wished the project coordinators well in implementing their projects and expressed Australia’s long-term support for small-scale infrastructure through community partnerships.
High Commissioner Hilton said “I’ve seen first-hand the difference that the Solomon Islands-Australia Partnership can make to those living in villages in Solomon Islands, particularly through community infrastructure. These projects directly support community needs, and Australia is proud to work with Solomon Islands communities to deliver them.”
The project coordinators and other community leaders explained how this funding would impact their communities at the grassroots level. Mr Harisimae, Project Coordinator of the Halevaka Canoe House in Temotu Vatud Constituency, said “thank you to Australia for helping us to improve our livelihoods in a remote part of Solomon Islands. We want to help our young people learn traditional ways of building canoes to preserve our culture – this new project will help us do that”. Mr Hatingongo, Project Coordinator of the Taubangibo Borehole Brackish Water Project, told attendees how important fresh water supply is for people in Rennell & Bellona Province, saying “this new project will give fresh water to our community”. Ms Isarongo, Project Coordinator of the Katova Community High School Amenity Infrastructure Project, explained the importance of good quality sanitation infrastructure for students, to encourage attendance at school.
Thirteen projects were selected out of 61 applications, based on the standard of their applications and how they demonstrated benefit to the community.
The successful projects are spread across various provinces and include:
- A borehole, solar powered pump and water tanks in Bubumala, North-West Guadalcanal Constituency
- A new concrete footpath, concrete drains and solar lighting at Wagina Community High School in South Choiseul Constituency
- The completion of a classroom building at GS Faisi Technical Vocational School in East Honiara Constituency
- An ablution block at Baenga Primary School in Temotu Nende Constituency
- A Halevaka Canoe House in Duff Islands, in Temotu Vatud Constituency
- A community hall at Hatagua Community School in Rennell and Bellona Constituency
- A borehole water supply project in Taubangibo, in Rennell and Bellona Constituency
- An ablution block at Taba’a Parish, in North Malaita Constituency
- An ablution block and water tanks Mt Olive Primary School, in North Malaita Constituency
- A footbridge connecting 200 people in two communities in Nukiki, in North-West Choiseul Constituency
- An ablution block Katova Community High School , in Hograno/Kia/Havulei Constituency
- A community hall and resource centre in, Raeao, in East Are’Are Constituency
- And a climate change mitigation sea wall in Horara, Gao/Bugotu Constituency
Australia’s Community Partnerships Fund is a small grants program, which supports community-led projects that seek to improve living standards. These community projects reach widely across Solomon Islands – and Australia is looking forward to continuing our collaboration with communities across the Hapi Isles.
We strongly encourage applications for projects that benefit disadvantaged groups such as women, youths, those with disabilities and those from isolated communities.
The Australian High Commission will open the next funding round in the coming weeks, to be announced via our Facebook page.
Governor General, His Excellency Sir David Vunagi
Prime Minister, the Honourable Manasseh Sogavare
Chief Justice, Sir Albert Palmer
Speaker of Parliament, the Hon John Patterson Oti
Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Manasseh Maelanga
Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services, the Hon Anthony Veke
Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Matthew Wale
Permanent Secretaries and other statutory office holders
Members of armed forces from Solomon Islands, Australia and New Zealand
Members of the diplomatic corps
Friends, colleagues, ladies, and gentlemen
Anzac Day has been one of the most important dates on Australia’s calendar since 1916.
At first, it gave people a chance to honour the original Anzacs – the Australians and New Zealanders who fought so bravely at Gallipoli. Then it became a day for all those who had served in World War One.
As time passed and the Australian experience of wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations evolved, Anzac Day has become an occasion for us to honour all who have worn, and still wear, our country’s uniform in service.
Today we reflect on that service, and I’d like to welcome and thank the current and former serving members for the Australian and New Zealand Defence Forces here today.
In particular, I would like to acknowledge the more than 20 Australian and New Zealand Defence Force personnel deployed to Solomon Islands. They are working with the Australian Federal Police and their Fijian military counterparts to support Solomon Islands as part of the Solomons International Assistance Force, also known as SIAF.
Since November 2021 SIAF has worked side by side with the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force; a partnership founded on our enduring history, shared values, and deep friendships as Pacific Family.
These troops and their police colleagues are here at the request of the Solomon Islands Government.
Together they are here to work for our shared priority to ensure that the Blue Pacific remains peaceful, prosperous, and equipped to respond to the challenges of our time.
Through our SIAF partnership we have shown when the Pacific family works together - we can respond to the peace and security needs of the Pacific when it matters most.
Solomon Islanders are all too aware of what war and conflict looks like. As our Foreign Minister said last week, many countries in the Pacific have lived the reality of great power competition spiralling, and the chaos that followed - a situation we never want to see again.
Here in Solomon Islands, the memory of World War Two and the legends of heroic friends such as Sir Jacob Vouza (Voo-za), Biuku (Be-ick-u) Gasa, and Eroni Kumana live on. All those years ago our nations worked together in defence of common interests with Solomon Scouts and Australian Coastwatchers working hand in hand. Our security was inextricably linked then, as it is today, and Australia will always be grateful for the Scouts and their courageous service.
I would also like to acknowledge the service of members of armed forces for all other nations present today and acknowledge their service, sacrifice and courage. We pay our respects to their fallen.
It would be remiss of me on Anzac Day to not remember specifically the 85 serving members of the Australian Defence Force who have died in Solomon Islands. 84 of them were sailors who died when the HMAS Canberra sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942. The 85th was Private Jamie Clark, a young soldier who died on Mount Austin during a routine patrol while serving as part of RAMSI.
Jamie’s name will be projected onto the Australian War Memorial tonight along with more than 100,000 names of those Australians who have lost their lives in military operations so that we may enjoy the freedoms we hold so dear.
Lest we forget.
28 April 2022
Australia and Solomon Islands enjoy a close bond – indeed, we are Pacific family. The Blue Pacific is our shared home, our common region. The Coral Sea links us forever and continental drift is in fact pushing us closer together. But our deep friendship is based on much more than shared geography.
24 March 2022
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare met with High Commissioner Dr Lachlan Strahan on 23 March 2022 to discuss the ongoing partnership between Solomon Islands and Australia.
19 February 2022
Australia has delivered eighteen tonnes of tailored medical supplies and equipment to assist provinces respond to COVID-19.
2 December 2021
Following a formal request from the Solomon Islands Government under our Bilateral Security Treaty for assistance with the provision of safety and security, Australia has responded quickly and decisively to support the Solomon Islands as part of a Pacific effort including Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Zealand.