Twelve new Australian volunteers have arrived in Solomon Islands to begin their placements with government ministries, non-government organisations and community groups.

The volunteers, funded under AusAID’s Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, will use their skills and expertise to build and develop their host organisation in Solomon Islands to help improve the lives of Solomon Islanders.

Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands, Matt Anderson said around 60 Australian volunteers are placed in Solomon Islands every year.

“The volunteers make a great contribution to local organisations through the transfer of their knowledge and skills, but also play a big role in helping tackle poverty in Solomon Islands,” Mr Anderson said.

“I know the volunteers learn as much from their host organisation as the training and skills they share with local counterparts, so there are mutual benefits for everyone.”

Mr Anderson said that through their participation in work, sport and community, the volunteers also promote links and friendships.

“There are currently 47 volunteers now working in Solomon Islands and more will arrive throughout the year. They immerse themselves in local activities and take time to learn and appreciate Solomon Islands culture and way of life.”

Mr Anderson said the volunteer program in Solomon Islands is in addition to Australia’s annual SBD$780 million (A$104.1 million) provided through the Solomon Islands - Australia Partnership for Development.

The new volunteers and their Solomon Islands placements are:

Rachel Louttit - Policy Development Officer, TVET Division, Ministry of Education

Kirsten Crombie - Policy Development Officer, Literacy Association Solomon Islands

Alexander De Barros Santos - Resources Mobilisation Officer, Coalition for Education Solomon Islands

Thomas Hilton - Special Education Officer, Red Cross Special Development Centre

Liz Reece - Organisational Development & Training Mentor, Small Business Enterprise Centre

Sonja Janson – Registrar, Ministry of Health & Medical Services

Katrina Moore - Legal Officer, Public Solicitors Office

Jake Ward - Water Technician Support Officer, Adventist Development Relief Agency

Meg Edmonds - Waste Water Management Support Officer, Solomon Water

Catherine Bailey - Human Resources Development Officer, Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corporation

Ian O'Reilly - NGO Strategy and Organisational Development Mentor, Development Services Exchange (DSE)

Marc Fitcher - Events Management Officer, Western Province Government.


Press Release, Australian High Commission Office, Honiara