The Prime Minister of Solomon Islands the Hon Rick Houenipwela delivered a public lecture on the history and future of the relationship between his country and Australia at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific on Wednesday 13 June.
Prime Minister Houenipwela, an alumni of ANU, said he was greatly honoured to be back at ANU, and pleased to be in Australia on an official bilateral visit.
He said while Australia is the single largest partner and investor in Solomon Islands, the Pacific island also shares Australia's culture of mateship and a fair go.
During his lecture, Prime Minister Houenipwela paid tribute to the 8000 Australians who served in the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).
"Some Australians paid the ultimate sacrifice, and they will never be forgotten. Australia helped the Solomon Islands during its darkest period; regional cooperation like that saved us from ourselves," Prime Minister Houenipwela said during his lecture.
He said the relationship between Australia and the Solomon Islands will only go from strength to strength in future and it will be mutually beneficial.
The Prime Minister was hosted by the Provost Professor Mike Calford, Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific Professor Michael Wesley and Distinguished Policy Fellow James Batley. Following his lecture, Prime Minister Houenipwela had lunch with ANU academics and Solomon Islands PhD students.