Alumni of the prestigious Australia Award Scholarship Program joined forces on Wednesday night to share experiences, and learn something new about each other.

More than 60 awardees representing a dynamic and diverse group of leaders from across Solomon Islands met at the Mendana Hotel. The group was graced with addresses from Caroline Vave Laore, former Commissioner for Peace and Reconciliation, and newly elected President of the Solomon Islands Australia Alumni Association (SIAAA), and His Excellency, Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne.

Ms Laore shared her experience as a former awardee and how her Australia Award Scholarship transformed her as a person and developed her capacity as a local professional consultant.

Australian High Commissioner Andrew Byrne encouraged attendees to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with fellow leaders from across the country, all of whom have advanced their skills with the assistance of an Australia Awards Scholarship.

The event closed with an election for a new executive, with Ms Laore elected as President, Mr Richard Pauku as Vice President, Ms Freda Wickham as Treasurer, Ms Natalina Hong as Secretary and Mr Patrick Taloboe, Dr Nemia Bainivalu and Mr Joseph Huta as General Executive Members.

All Solomon Islanders who have received an Australia Award are encouraged to check the "Solomon Islands Australia Alumni Association (SIAAA)" Facebook page to learn of the new executive committee and get regular updates on upcoming events and professional development opportunities.

Australia Awards are prestigious international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government to support the long term development needs of Solomon Islands through the opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia and the Pacific.

The Solomon Islands Australia Alumni Association (SIAAA) aims to contribute to the growth and development of Solomon Islands by helping Australia Alumni to remain connected with Australia and each other both socially and professionally.

Press Release: Australian High Commission Office, Honiara