Tuesday, 7 October 2008 7:14 AM

Governor General Attends Religious Event in Australia

The Governor General, His Excellency Sir Nathaniel Waena is currently in Australia, attending a weeklong International Religious and Cultural Festival in the Queensland city of Bundaberg.

On arrival at Bundaberg airport on Saturday, Sir Nathaniel's official party was welcomed with a touching Aboriginal ceremony before being received by the Mayor of Bundaberg city.

The Governor General's attendance follows an invitation from the Australian organizers of the International Prayer Festival which is aimed at establishing new Christian partnerships for the advancement of the Christian Faith around the world.
Queensland is an iconic Australian region with historical links to the spread of Christianity, particularly the South Sea Evangelical Mission to Solomon Islands in the 1800's.

Sir Nathaniel is representing Solomon Islands to re-affirm the Nations support to the South Seas Evangelical Mission, commonly known as SSEC - which is one of the mother churches in the country.

Chairman of the Festival, Pastor Roy Funu - a Solomon Islander who lives in Australia for the last twenty years was among many South Sea Islanders who met Sir Nathaniel on Arrival last Saturday.

Pastor Roy says the event was organized by Christian believers in Bundaberg and is expected to engage Christians from Solomon Islands, PNG, Vanuatu, Fiji and other Pacific Islands decedents living in other cities in Queensland.

He says Queensland is an important place in the history of the South Sea Evangelical church.

The event will involve activities including evangelistic meetings and displays of cultural performances from representatives of the five Melanesian countries of the Pacific as well as Australian Aborigines.

On Sunday, Sir Nathaniel's delegation attended a church service at the Coral Coast Christian Church in Southern Bundaberg.

Around two hundred Christian groups from the SSEC church in Solomon Islands are already in Bundaberg to participate in the prayer festival.

Following the service, Sir Nathaniel took the opportunity to meet senior pastors of the church and few Solomon Islands decedents residing here.

The Governor General will deliver his address in front of thousands of Christians when the Festival opens this afternoon.

Sir Nathaniel is accompanied by the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Australia, Victor Ngele who flew from Canberra to meet the Governor General's delegation in Brisbane on Friday.

Other members of the delegation included ADC Moala Panda, Chief Protocol Officer Salana Kalu, Deputy Private Secretary Rawcliff Ziza, Lady Alice Waena and Personal Secretary, Leah Kutini.

The Governor General will spend a week in Bundaberg before traveling to Sydney on October 13.

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