Warm congratulations Samoa on 60th Independence Anniversary
As a close friend and partner, Australia offers its warm congratulations to the people of Samoa as you celebrate 60 years of independence. In 1962, Samoa led the way in the Pacific in forging its own path, a tradition steeped in history.
Memories of voyages traversed long ago remain today, evident in the similarities of names and places shared across the Pacific. Perhaps the most profound of them all is Savai’i, which many in the Pacific understand to mean ‘homeland’. We see Hawai’i, Awaiki, Hawaiki, Havai’i spring up around the region, with oral traditions and legends that speak of ancient voyages across vast expanses of ocean originating from the ‘homeland’.
Many scholars believe that these names have their origins from Samoa. If that is the case, it is not surprising. This tradition of summoning courage in the face of uncertainty, from the age of voyaging, to 60 years ago when the Mau Movement marched for Independence, has proven over and over Samoa’s long history – and mettle – in meeting the challenges before them.
Building on this history, Australia is honoured to work with and learn from Samoa as it voyages into the future. Under Australia’s new Government, headed by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, we will stand shoulder to shoulder with Samoa as we together face unprecedented challenges to the region. We know nothing is more central to the security and wellbeing of the Pacific than climate change. We have heard the Pacific, and we will act.
As an investment in Samoa’s future, Australia is excited to be taking forward two significant new programs through our development partnership to be launched soon. With a focus on governance for economic growth, and human development and social inclusion, over eight years Australia will work in support of Samoan-identified priorities to address the economic and social effects of COVID-19 and build a better future. We will work hand in hand with the Government to give those most vulnerable in Samoa’s communities better opportunities, improving gender equality, disability inclusion, and health and education outcomes.
As the Australian Government’s Pacific Flights Program supports weekly flights to Samoa starting this month, we can’t wait to connect the many Samoans and Australians who share family ties. After a tough few years, this will be a particularly special reunion.
Congratulations Samoa – the people of Australia wish you a very happy and well deserved celebration. We can’t wait to see what the next 60 years holds.
Ia manuia le fa’amanatuina o le 60 tausaga o lou Malo Tutoatasi, Samoa.
Australian High Commissioner to Samoa
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