Departing diplomat thanks Samoa

Outgoing Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty has announced her exit from Samoa after a three-year mission.

The diplomat posted a video message on the Australian High Commission’s official Facebook page last Friday evening to thank everyone she has interacted with over the years.

She said it was a privilege to represent Australia in Samoa working with the Government and people to strengthen the bilateral relationship, enhance business connectivity, people to people linkages, and deliver positive development outcomes that have a real impact on the lives of people in Samoa.

"I’d like to express my deep appreciation to the wide range of wonderful people and organisations I have interacted with,” she said in the video.

“I’ve learned so much about your beautiful country and fascinating history and culture, the importance of community, church and family.”

Ms. Moriarty said she has experienced a very warm welcome in Samoa at every place she has visited.

She said over the past three and a half years, Australia has demonstrated its commitment to stepping up its engagement with Samoa such as the enhanced engagement in the health sector through the measles response and the COVID-19 response through support to COVAX AMC to deliver testing cartridges and vaccines and upgrades to the health system.

Ms. Moriarty emphasised that Australia continues to be the major development partner to institute policies and programmes to make sure education and training programmes are disability-inclusive. 

She added that the needs of people with disabilities have been considered right from the design stage of the new Australian-funded parliament house construction and the upcoming legislative assembly office building.

In terms of sports, Ms. Moriarty explained that Australia has launched the Pacific-Aus Sports Hub here in Apia and is forging new pathways to help elite athletes gain important international experience while also assisting sports development at the grassroots level.

The departure of the diplomat for Canberra comes on the back of the deployment of 300 Samoans to Australia under the Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Programme since borders closed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another 300 had recently departed for Australia for seasonal worker positions in Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria.

"We’ve worked in education, we’ve helped prepare teacher development and school management policies and strengthen partnerships for inclusive education through our support to the education sector," she said.

"And hopefully many of you are appreciating seeing more Australian news, sports, and entertainment shows on TV at home. There have been so many milestones over the past three and a half years."

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