Australia Day celebrated in Samoa
Australians were joined by Samoans and friends of Australia to celebrate Australia Day during a reception on Monday night.
The day is the official national day of Australia, celebrated annually on 26th January. It marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships at Port Jackson, New South Wales, and the raising of the Flag of Great Britain at Sydney Cove by Governor Arthur Phillip.
This year, the theme of the celebration is “Reflect, respect and celebrate.”
Speaking during the gathering which was well attended, Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty, said the occasion is an opportunity for families and friends to gather and reflect on what is great about their country.
“Australia day is an opportunity to reflect on our history, our heritage and the values that Australians hold dear,” said.
These values include fairness, tolerance, diversity, perseverance and support for one another. The tragedy of the recent bushfires which devastated Australia was not lost on the celebration.
The High Commissioner commended the bravery of the responders.
“We’ve seen this courage and resilience and the determined Australian spirit in response to the bushfire that devastated the towns and claimed lives in Australia,” she said
She thanked Samoa for her continuous support and sympathies in response to the bushfires.
“I take this opportunity to thank everyone who were fighting and supporting the people by providing medical assistance, and in particular I would like to acknowledge the sacrifice of three US Citizens who sadly lost their lives to the bush fire.”
As for Samoa and Australia’s relationship, the High Commissioner said they would look to continue to grow and strengthen the links between the nations in all areas including security, maritime, health, environment and sports among others.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi congratulated all Australians on the celebration of their national day. He also acknowledge Australia’s response during Samoa’s hour of need in terms of the measles crisis.
Tuilaepa said Samoa and Australia have an enduring and co-operative relationship that extends beyond security and economic aspirations.