Australian High Commission
Solomon Islands

Australian High Commission News

Media releases from the Australian High Commission, Honiara

High Commissioner Rod Hilton's speech on ANZAC Day 2023

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.

Australia: A steadfast partner and friend to Solomon Islands

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.

Australia and Solomon Islands working together as family

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.  

Australia and Solomon Islands - stronger together in the face of COVID-19

19 February 2022

Australia has delivered eighteen tonnes of tailored medical supplies and equipment to assist provinces respond to COVID-19.

Supporting Solomon Islands

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.