The Solomon Islands-Australia scholarship alumni network is ready for action with the constitution finalised to guide the operation and activities of the alumni.The development of the constitution follows the launch of the Solomon Islands - Australia scholarship alumni earlier this year and the formation of a six member executive steering group.
The executive steering group includes Belani Tekulu (President); Nanette Tutua (Vice-President); Rose Isukana, (Treasurer); Susan Sulu (Secretary); Caroline Vave Laore and George Hoa'au.
Belani Tekulu said the steering group has been working on the constitution as an important first step in the alumni's role and charter.
"The constitution provides the purpose and direction of the alumni to guide our activities. This is exciting progress as we will soon start to see how the alumni offers opportunities for Solomon Islanders to exchange ideas and information, not just within Solomon Islands, but across the region," Mr Takulu.
"Just like the scholarships provided Solomon Islanders with a unique opportunity to play a key role in the future development of our country, the alumni can be a powerful forum helping affect change for the betterment of all Solomon Islanders."
Mr Takulu said that over the coming years, the alumni network will provide opportunities for professional development
"The alumni will be a practical and useful way for keeping in touch and offer ongoing professional development opportunities."
"With so many Solomon Islanders studying in Australia, the alumni will help keep scholars connected with each other and be a forum to use their Australian-gained skills and experience for the long term future of Solomon Islands."
More than 70 former Australian scholarship holders attended the alumni launch earlier this year, where Solomon Islands Prime Minister and Australian scholarship recipient, Gordon Darcy Lilo, addressed the gathering.
"Records show nearly 1000 Solomon Islanders have received an Australian scholarship and although a number of these have registered, we want all former scholars to be part of the alumni, to be part of the long term future of Solomon Islands."
The Solomon Islands - Australian scholarship alumni executive are:
Belani Tekulu (President) - Managing Director, Red Mansion Restaurant, Panatina. Mr Tekulu completed a diploma in Occupational Health and Safety (National Safety Council of Australia) in 1990.
Nanette Tutua (Vice President) - Managing Director of Timol Timber Limited. Ms Tutua completed a Bachelor Applied science (food and nutrition) in 1995 from the University of Western Sydney.
Rose Isukana (Treasurer) - owns her own management and consultancy business, ProBus Finance. The company specialises in finance & capacity building services and general consultant skills, especially financial management knowledge to business women in the informal sector. Rose completed a Bachelor of Business from Queensland University of Technology, (1997-1999) and a Master of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Queensland (2004-2005).
Susan Sulu (Secretary) - is a Director at the Ministry of Development Planning and Coordination. Ms Sulu was awarded an Australian Leadership Award and completed a Masters of environmental change management University of Sunshine Coast, Queensland in 2011
Caroline Vave Laore - until recently was the National Commissioner for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She was also formerly a permanent secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Caroline completed an Australian Development Scholarship in 1998, graduating from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Commerce. She has been awarded an Australian Leadership Award to study a Masters of Social Research at the Australian National University in Canberra next year.
George Hoa'au - is currently acting Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also Assistant Secretary for the Regional Economic Cooperation Branch. George was awarded Australian Leadership Award and completed a Masters of International Law at the Australian National University in 2010.
In the next few months, there will be a survey of alumni to collect demographic data and alumni perceptions of the effectiveness of scholarships so if you are an Australian scholarship recipient and are yet to register with the Solomon Islands Alumni Association, please contact Alice Eric, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Press Release, Australian High Commission, Solomon Islands