On 19 November the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), and Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley arrived in Solomon Islands for a three-day visit (19 – 21 November) to attend the Pacific Games.
Their Excellencies had the pleasure of attending the Opening Ceremony of the 2023 Pacific Games, which were officially launched by the Honourable Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and included a beautiful display of Solomon Islands’ rich culture.
Today, Governor-General Hurley began by meeting with Prime Minister Sogavare. They discussed the deep connections between our people and our shared love of sport. Governor-General Hurley shared his appreciation for the opportunity to visit Solomon Islands, and expressed Australia’s commitment to supporting Solomon Islands to host a successful and safe Pacific Games.
The Governor-General then met with Mr Patteson Oti, Acting Governor-General of Solomon Islands. They discussed Australia’s support for the Pacific Games, and the deep and enduring links between our two countries.
Australia’s Governor-General also joined with the Hon Stanley Sofu, Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, to officially open the new Solomon Islands National Weather Forecasting Office. The new building, funded by Australia and delivered by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), will enhance the ability of the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services to deliver 24/7 weather forecasting services and provide timely and accurate warnings for cyclones, severe weather, floods and tsunamis.
“The work you’ll be doing here is so important for all Solomon Islanders,” Governor-General Hurley said. “Australia is well aware of the impact of natural disasters, and our last four years have been marked by bushfires, floods and cyclones. Having accurate and timely weather forecasting information and warning systems is critical for effectively preparing for, and recovering from, natural disasters. I hope this facility will assist Solomon Islands Weather Services to provide quality advice and guidance to the people of the Solomon Islands, including through natural disasters.”
“I hope this building will be a symbol of the longstanding relationship and friendship between our two peoples, our two governments and our two countries. We are bound by geography, by our shared history, our values and our hopes for the future, and this is another brick in the whole creation of who we are, as two nations together.”
This project will leave a lasting legacy for Solomon Islands. It also supports the Solomon Islands Meteorological Services to do their important work delivering weather warnings and information about extreme weather events to thousands of visitors to Solomon Islands over the next two weeks for the Pacific Games.
Governor-General Hurley and Mrs Hurley enjoyed watching Australian para-athletes competing in the 2023 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Oceania Para Table Tennis Championships (17-20 November). Solomon Islands is hosting this event alongside the 2023 Pacific Games. Australia’s 14-strong team played qualifier matches for the 2024 Paris Paralympics.
In a display of support and encouragement, the Governor-General and Mrs Hurley paid a visit to the Australian athletes residing at King George the Sixth National Secondary School (KGVI) for the Pacific Games. KGVI is a temporary home for athletes competing in the Pacific Games.
Australia funded the refurbishment of 54 buildings across seven schools, including KGVI, to provide accommodation for Pacific Games athletes. All work was undertaken by local companies – with over 50 contractors and over 1,000 local labourers. The refurbished buildings will provide beds for around 2,100 athletes (at any one time) during the Games. The Governor-General took the opportunity to interact with the athletes, engaging in conversations, sharing words of encouragement, and expressing his admiration for their dedication and hard work.
We are a team of journalists who are passionate about writing and reporting the news. We strive to provide our readers with accurate, timely, and insightful information. We are committed to providing a platform for voices from all walks of life. We believe that democracy depends on an informed citizenry, and we work every day to make sure our readers have access to the latest news and analysis.