Solomon Islands' first Prime Minister upon gaining Independence in 1978, Sir Peter Kenilorea, has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Queensland.

Currently the Speaker of Parliament, Sir Peter was the guest of honour at the graduation day for Arts and Humanities students at the University of Queensland in Australia Wednesday.

Sir Peter, who has been a major figure in the Solomon Islands since Independence, has also played a significant role in the peace process during the ethnic crisis in the country.

The man behind his autobiography, Tell It As It Is, which was launched at the celebration to mark Solomon Islands' 30th anniversary of independence, describes Sir Peter as "... one of the Pacific's most remarkable leaders" who "... within the Pacific his only equivalent ... would be Sir Michael Somare".

"I'm sincerely grateful to the University for recognising my humble contribution to my nation and the region are significant and worthwhile enough to attract such a high honour," states now Dr. Sir Peter Kenilorea in receiving his Honorary Doctorate award.

The award will add to a long list of honours bestowed on Dr. Sir Peter, including membership of the Privy Council, a British knighthood, and the Order of Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon, the highest honour that Republic of China can give any foreign citizen.

Dr. Sir Peter's contributions extend beyond the Solomons, having headed up one of the region's most important bodies, the Forum Fisheries Agency, for three years.

Source: With Radio Australia