The Australian Government initiative, Strongim Bisnis, awarded 10 photographers prizes for showcasing Solomon Islands products under a “Buy Local” photograph competition. The competition was part of a broader effort to encourage Solomon Islanders to buy local products instead of imported substitutes.
The competition was run in collaboration with local media and design studio Storeroom Productions, and the current Miss Solomon Islands, Gladys Habu. The competition was open to the public and asked entrants to take photographs of local products to showcase the product’s use in everyday life, Solomon Islands culture or with people.
Prizes were awarded for first, second and third place winners, as well as seven honourable mentions. The winner of second place, Lisa Firisua, said she entered the competition because “Buying local product[s] is important…it helps to building [sic] up our country”. All ten winning photographs were shared via Strongim Bisnis’ Facebook page.
Over 700 photographs were entered, with many from youth and women participants as well as People Living With Disability (PLWD). Henrii Yates, who won an honourable mention, decided to enter the competition because of his disability, explaining that “I wanted to show that even [though] I’m disabled… I can do it”.
The competition highlighted the diversity of Solomon Islands products with photographs displaying manufactured goods such as noni juice and laundry soap, local produce such as pineapples and bananas, and cultural items such shell jewellery and clothing. Australian High Commission Counsellor Economic, Andrew Schloeffel said “We want to congratulate everyone who entered this competition, especially the winners. Their photographs shine a light on local products which help create jobs for Solomon Islanders.” Strongim Bisnis is an Australian Government funded program that supports growth in the tourism, cocoa and coconut sectors with a strong focus on supporting women.