Last week, Australians in the Solomon Islands came together with various Solomon Islanders to celebrate Australia’s National Day.

Held at the recently opened Breakwater Café, the key note addresses were made by Dave Peebles, the Acting Australian High Commissioner and Solomon Islands Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Manasseh Maelanga, who both highlighted the strengthened relationship between the two countries.

“Any national day is a cause for both reflection and celebration: about the things we have done well as a nation, and the things that we didn’t get right through-out our history. That is true for Australia, and for Solomon Islands, and for every country in the world. But one thing Australia and Solomon Islands can be very proud of is the strong friendship between our two countries. We are not just neighbors, we are partners and we are friends. Of course, our countries are different in some ways. But we are brothers and sisters in the Pacific, and that common humanity is far more important. There were many examples of the strength of our partnership in the past year,” says Mr. Peebles.

“Solomon Islands and Australia enjoy a cordial relationship that has grown from strength to strength over the years. Australia is Solomon Islands’ closest and important bilateral partner with which we share many things in common, whether trade, political, economic or sporting links. Although there are times when our positions differ, as friends we have managed to address the issues,” says Hon. Maelanga.

Hon. Maelanga also acknowledged the support through AusAID programmes, RAMSI intervention and assistance and the Seasonal workers scheme.

“Our partnership provides an example to other countries around the world. The only way we are going to tackle our common challenges in the 21st century – whether climate change, or promoting economic development for all – is through such strong partnerships,” says Mr. Peebles.