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NAMATAN SHORT FILM FESTIVAL 2016
Australian High Commission congratulates winners of 2016 Namatan Short Film Festival
Community screening of 2016 Namatan Short Films
The Namatan Short Film Festival 2016 has begun, having just completed its first week of screenings around the country. Namatan has visited schools and communities in Port Vila, rural Efate and Santo. This week, Namatan will be holding screenings on Tanna, Malekula and Efate. The Namatan Finale will be held on 29 June, with prizes and entertainment on offer. To find out when Namatan will be screening near you, follow the link: http://vanuatu.embassy.gov.au/pvla/events.html Ae Blong Yu, Lukluk Blong mi! #NamatanShortFilmFestival
VIP Screening of 2016 Namatan Short Films
On 9 June, government officials and representatives of civil society were invited by the Australian High Commissioner, Jeremy Bruer, and his wife, Catherine Harrington Bruer, to enjoy a VIP screening of the Namatan 2016 short films. The VIP screening marks the beginning of the Namatan Short Film Festival, which will tour around the country between 13 and 23 June, with the finale on 29 June at Saralana Stage. Namatan is only possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, Air Vanuatu and Digicel, and our partners, VBTC, Wan Smolbag Theatre and Further Arts. To see if Namatan will be coming to a community near you, please visit the Australian High Commission website: http://vanuatu.embassy.gov.au/pvla/home.html
Over 40 people are hard at work learning new filming and editing skills to prepare them to enter the Namatan Short Film Festival for the first time. The training, which is on from 27-29 April, and is taking place in Port Vila and Luganville, provides budding film makers with the skills they need to become Vanuatu's next generation of directors and producers. Already got the skills you need? Don't forget to get your entry to this year's Namatan Festival in before 23 May. Namatan is only possible thanks to the valuable contributions of Air Vanuatu, Digicel Vanuatu, VBTC, Wan Smolbag Theatre and Further Arts.
Hundreds of people on the Island of Tongoa now have access to clean drinkable water
Hundreds of people on Tongoa can now access clean and drinkable water thanks to an Australian-funded World Health Organisation (WHO) program. The WHO, working closely with Vanuatu’s Ministry of Health, provided materials and engineering expertise to rehabilitate a water system and taught locals how to protect their water source, ensuring the villagers on Tongoa remain strong and healthy into the future. #AustralianAid #WHO #WASH
Australia and Vanuatu officially launched the constuction of the Tavalapa health dispensary
On Friday 22 July, Vanuatu’s Minister of Health, Toara Daniel, and Australian High Commission First Secretary Jed Abad, officially launched construction of the Tavalapa health dispensary on the island of Tongoa. Funded by the Australian Government through the Tropical Cyclone Pam recovery program, and in partnership with the Vanuatu Government, the dispensary will provide basic health care to almost 4,000 people on Tongoa and neighbouring islands in the Shepherds group. The health dispensary is the first of a series of hospitals, health centres and dispensaries in cyclone affected areas that will receive support from Australia for essential repairs and reconstruction to ensure basic health services are reaching those in need. #AustralianAid #VanuatuRecoveryProgram
Happy Children's day
Hapi pikinini dei long yumi evriwan long Vanuatu! Gavman blong Ostrelia i stap wok wetem gavman blong Vanuatu blong helpem ol pikinini blong go long skul long raet age, risivim imunizasen, protektem olgeta agensem vaelens mo sapotem ol pikinini we oli kat disability blong kat askses long semak seveses olsem ol narafala pikinini. Pikinini i fiuja blong yumi. #ChildrenDay #AustralianAid
Australia and Vanuatu signed an MoU to strengthen cocoa chains in Vanuatu
On Friday 15 July, the Australian High Commissioner, Jeremy Bruer, and Vanuatu's Minister of Agriculture, Matai Seremaiah, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen cocoa value chains in Vanuatu. Jointly funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Vanuatu Ministry of Agriculture, this MoU will have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of ni-Vanuatu whose livelihoods depend on the cocoa industry. To learn more about Australia's support to agribusiness in the Pacific please visit: http://www.qaafi.uq.edu.au/pardi and http://aciar.gov.au/page/aid-program-initiatives #VanuatuCocoa
Roads for Development program launched the Community-Based Contracting program at Malampa
On Friday 8 July, Australian High Commission staff joined a delegation led by the Director of the Public Works Department, Sam Namuri, to officially launch the Community-Based Contracting (CBC) program in the province of Malampa. Jointly funded by the Australian Government through the Roads for Development (R4D) program and Vanuatu Government, CBC will soon also extend to the provinces of Tafea and Penama. The CBC program contracts roadside communities to maintain public roads. Local people benefit through paid employment, learn new skills and enjoying better road access. #AustralianAid
Australia Pacific Technical College Semester Two Orientation commenced
Australia Pacific Technical College (APTC) 2016 semester two orientation begins this week. Alison George, First Secretary at the Australian High Commission, welcomed over 76 students from Vanuatu and around the region including Tonga, Samoa, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Semester two begins on 18 July with students enrolled in Certificate IV in Hospitality, Certificate III in Tourism, Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, Certificate IV in Community Development, and Certificate III in Carpentry. It is particularly encouraging that two women have enrolled in the typically male-dominated carpentry course. Australia is proud to invest in APTC, which provides students with Australian-standard and labour market-relevant skills. Welkam lo everi studen, mo gud lak lo ol studies blo yufala everiwan! #APTC
Congratualtions to the Vanuatu Hockey Team
Congratulations to the Vanuatu National Hockey Team for winning silver at the Pacific Islands Hockey World League Competition. Australia is a strong supporter of the development of sports in the South Pacific, including Vanuatu, with the placement of Australian volunteer Dashiell Hewitt to build capacity and funding assistance through the Pacific Sports Partnership program. #VanuatuHockeyTeam #PacificSportsPartnership #Australian Volunteers
Lamap in Malekula host their Art and Cultural Festival
The community of Lamap in Malekula host an Art and Cultural Festival in August every year to showcase their rich unique culture and kastom. Andrea Pigdon, an Australian volunteer, has been placed with the Lamap Ecotourism Committee as the Ecotourism Development Officer, assisting in the development, and marketing of the festival. If you would like to attend this year's festival, please follow this link: http://www.malekula.travel/festivals.html
Australian High Commission welcomes the latest Volunteers
The Australian High Commission is pleased to welcome to Vanuatu the latest intake of Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID). Four new AVIDs arrived in June to begin their placements in Vanuatu, working to strengthen capacity in key areas identified by the Vanuatu government. #AustralianVolunteers #AustralianAid
Australia Celebrates Naidoc Week
The Australian High Commission wishes everyone a happy NAIDOC Week 2016 (3-10 July). NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. NAIDOC Week is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life right across the world. This year’s theme is “Songlines - The living narrative of our nation.” The theme highlights the importance of songlines to the existence of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For more information on NAIDOC visit: http://www.naidoc.org.au/about
Deakin University lecturers and 14 student teachers in Vanuatu
Two Deakin University lecturers and 14 student teachers are in Vanuatu to learn about Vanuatu's education system and will be visiting schools around Efate. Their visit was made possible through the New Colombo Plan, an initiative of the Australian Government which aims to encourage Australian students to study and undertake internships throughout the Indo-Pacific region. #NewColomboPlan
Congratulations to Australia Scholarships Awardee, Anthea Joseph Arnhambat
Congratulations to Anthea Joseph Arnhambat for successfully completing two masters degrees - in business administration and professional accounting - at the University of Canberra under the Australia Awards Scholarships program. Anthea will be returning soon to work in Vanuatu's Ministry of Finance and Economic Management. #AustraliaAwards
Australian High Commission farewelled Lieutenant Commander Robert Lewis
On 15 June, the Australian High Commission officially farewelled Lieutenant Commander Robert Lewis and his wife Sam. Lieutenant Commander Lewis has served in Vanuatu as a Maritime Surveillance Adviser for the Vanuatu Maritime Wing (PMW) through the Australian Defence Cooperation program (DCP). He has provided valuable assistance to the (PMW) particularly in support of the RVS Tukoro, which, prior to being damaged by Tropical Cyclone Pam, was one of the busiest patrol boats in the South Pacific. LTCDR Lewis’s successor, Lieutenant Commander Trevor Stecum, has already arrived in Vanuatu and will take up the position on 1 July. Through the DCP, the Australian Government is helping the Vanuatu Government protect its borders and marine resources. #AustralianDefenceForce
Congratulations to Ifira Mama's cricket team
Congratulations to the Ifira Mama's Cricket team on winning the Women's Island Cricket Championship against Mele. The Australian Government is proud to be supporting Mama's cricket in Vanuatu.
Professional-development workshop for PWD managers
Investing in the capabilities and knowledge of staff is vital to the success of any organisation. That’s why the Public Works Department (PWD), with support from the Australian-funded Roads for Development (R4D) program, held a professional-development workshop for PWD managers and engineers from 31 May to 2 June. Building the capacity of PWD staff will help ensure quality services are delivered across Vanuatu. R4D is a long-term partnership with the PWD to improve rural roads access for communities and economic opportunities.
Launching of the Last New Hebrideans Documentary
Acting Australian High Commissioner, Simon Flores, joined Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jotham Napat, to officially launch The Last New Hebrideans, a 10-episode documentary that portrays the daily struggles of ni-Vanuatu living in remote areas of Santo. The documentary, produced by Slone Fred and the local Island Sun Pictures company, was supported by the Australian Government through the regional Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS) program. To learn more about PACMAS, please visit: http://pacmas.org/
Welcome to the latest intake of Australian Volunteers
The Australian High Commission is pleased to welcome the latest intake of Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) to Vanuatu. Fourteen new AVIDs arrived in May to begin their placements in Vanuatu, working to strengthen capacity in key areas identified by the Vanuatu government. The latest intake will be working in a range of organisations, including the Ministry of Health, the Department of Environmental Protection and Conservation, Air Vanuatu, the Disability Promotion and Advocacy Association, Promedical, ACTIV Association, Care International, the Vanuatu National Youth Council and the Vanuatu Society for Disabled People.
Australia Awards Alumni attend a career development workshop
On 20 May, over 20 Australia Awards alumni attended an Australian High Commission career development workshop to give them the skills, knowledge and motivation to achieve their career goals. Through the Australia Awards Alumni Network, scholarship recipients have the opportunity to receive ongoing professional development and networking opportunities with fellow Australia Awards alumni. If you are an Australia Awards alumni but have yet to register your interest, private message the High Commission Facebook page for more information.
Screening of Suffragette to mark National Women's Day
Australian High Commissioner, Jeremy Bruer, co-hosted with the Minister of Justice and Community Services, Ronald Warsal, a screening of Suffragette to mark National Day for Women in Vanuatu. The film tells the story of the efforts of the women's movement in early 20th century in England to win the right to vote. At the screening, the Minister of Justice and Community Services announced the government's endorsement of reserved seats for women MPs, to be tabled at the next Parliamentary sitting on 10 June. Australia is committed to empowering women across the world, particularly in the Pacific region. #Empoweringwomen #PacificWomen
Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Port Vila Development Program
The Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer, the Minister of Infrastructure and Public Works Jotham Napat and other dignitaries attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the main road works package of the Port Vila Urban Development Program (PVUDP) on Thursday 19 May 2016. The PVUDP is jointly-funded by the Australian and Vanuatu governments and the Asian Development Bank. The package of works includes: the resurfacing of the Kumul and the Lini highways plus some other key... roads within Port Vila CBD; drainage improvements, including at flooding hotspots; installation of footpaths, kerbs and gutters; and improvements to lighting and signage. RMS Engineering and Construction Company from Australia began work in April 2016, with work expected to be completed by the end of 2017. In addition to these road and drainage works, PVUDP will provide public toilets and community sanitation facilities at a number of locations across Port Vila. Construction is also underway on a septic waste treatment plant just outside town and improvements to George Kalsakau Drive in the CBD.
Congratulations to the Australian High Commission Cricket Team
Congratulations to the Australian High Commission Cricket Team for winning the 2015-16 business league trophy. The Vanuatu Police Force Team provided strong competition but in the end the High Commission Team prevailed. Well done to both sides for a game well played and to all the teams who participated in the competition. Thank you Vanuatu Cricket Association for organising the games. #VanuatuCricketAssociation
Australia Funds the new generation of the Pacific Patrol Boats
The Australian Government has announced that Austal Ships has been awarded the contract to construct and maintain a new generation of Pacific Patrol Boats under the Pacific Maritime Security Programme. Overall 21 brand-new vessels will be handed over to Pacific island countries, including Vanuatu. Australia remains committed to supporting maritime security in the Pacific region. To learn more, please visit: http://vanuatu.embassy.gov.au/pvla/ahcmedia2010.html
2016 World ICT Day
Australia's High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer joined Vanuatu's Prime Minister Charlot Salwai to celebrate the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) Pacific Day on 17 May 2016. Australia is a strong supporter of Vanuatu's ICT sector, through the Governance for Growth program. The program has supported lower telecommunication costs, better internet access, and a greater number of school computer labs across Vanuatu. To learn more, please visit: http://ictdays.gov.vu #AustralianAid #ICTDay #OGCIO
Australia Urology Team perform life saving
A big thank you to the Australian urology team who were in Vanuatu from 7 to 13 May as part of the Australian-funded Pacific Island Program (PIP). The team supported the local staff in operations on 25 patients. Each year Australia funds a number of specialist medical teams to travel to Vanuatu, to help build the capacity of local medical practitioners. As a result medical staff now perform the majority of operations themselves. #Health #Partnership #AustralianAid
Vanuatu Aelan Chocolate Factory opens at ACTIV Association
Vanuatu's very own chocolate factory, Vanuatu Aelan Chocolate Makers, was officially opened on 6 May by the ACTIV Association. Now Vanuatu and the world can enjoy more of Vanuatu's finest chocolate from the islands of Santo, Malekula and Epi. Australia played its part in this delicious creation through assistance from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, the Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative and the Australian High Commission's Direct Aid Program. Get down to ACTIV for your taste of Vanuatu's finest quality chocolate.
Over 400 people at Ekipe access clean, drinkable water
Over 400 people in Ekipe, North Efate now have access to clean, drinkable water thanks to funding from the Australian High Commission's Direct Aid Program (DAP). Australian High Commission staff member Helen Sese had the honour of attending the opening of the project and got a firsthand look at the community's hard work. The DAP program provides small grants to communities across Vanuatu to promote economic and social development.
Monday 25 April, the Australian and New Zealand high commissions commemorated ANZAC Day with a dawn service at Port Vila's War Memorial (Cenotaph). ANZAC Day provides an opportunity to reflect on and remember the dedication and sacrifice of our servicemen and women in conflicts around the world. Today, the spirit of ANZAC, with its qualities of courage, mateship and sacrifice plays an important part in Australia's national identity. Lest we forget. #ANZACDay
Meet Damian Farrell, Australian Volunteer working with the Disability Desk
My name is Damian Farrell, I am an Australian volunteer working with the Disability Desk within the Ministry of Justice and Community Services in Port Vila, Vanuatu. My family and I have been living here for nearly four years now.
The Disability Desk plays an integral role in ensuring that people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups can enjoy the same human rights as the rest of society. The experience of working in Vanuatu has been wonderful, moving and at times challenging. It feels great to know that as a volunteer I can make a positive impact on the lives and communities of those I work with. For more information about Damian click here
Meet Chris McCowage, Australian Volunteer for International Development with VMGD
Chris McCowage is an Information and Communications Technology Officer based at the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-hazards Department (VMGD). Chris started his assignment in August 2014 and will be finishing in November 2015. He has been assigned to help VMGD transition to digital instruments and communication methods to ensure timely and accurate weather observations. This new technology, which includes automatic weather stations and tide gauges, will assist in mitigating the risks from hazardous weather, including cyclones and tsunamis. For more information about Chris click here.
Australia and Vanuatu annual bilateral security talks
On 23 November, Australian and Vanuatu government officials held their annual bilateral security talks. Australia through the Defence Cooperation Program and the Policing and Justice Support Program is helping Vanuatu protect its maritime borders and resources and strenghten policing services across Vanuatu. To learn more, please visit: http://dfat.gov.au/…/improving-community-safety-resilience-…
Meet Merilyn Tahi founder of the Vanuatu Women\'s Centre
25 November we celebrate the first day of 16 Days of Activism with Merilyn Tahi, Founder of the Vanuatu Women\'s Centre. Together, we are committed to raising awareness of the rights of women and girls in Vanuatu, and across the globe. #16days #EndGBV
White Ribbon Day 2015
Wednesday 25 November, Australia and the world celebrate #WhiteRibbonDay2015 to end violence against women and girls. Fasen ia i mas stop naoia. #16days #EndGBV. To learn more about Australia\'s support to Pacific women please visit:http://pacificwomen.org/
Vanuatu Basketball Federation received new equipment
On 17 November the Vanuatu Basketball Federation (VBF) received brand new equipment for its Hoopz for Health Basketball Program. The equipment was funded by the Australian Government Pacific Sport Partnerships (PSP) and includes basketballs, uniforms, bibs, whistles and ball pumps. This will help the VBF promote a healthy lifestyle for Ni- Vanuatu men and women and to raise awareness on major health issues, particularly non- communicable diseases. #PSP #VanuatuBasketballFederation #HoopzForHealth
Australian Army\'s 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment conducted training with Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF)
The Australian Army’s 51st Battalion Far North Queensland Regiment was in Vanuatu from 28 September to 24 October to conduct training with Vanuatu Mobile Force (VMF) personnel as part of Exercise Vanuatu Alliance 2015. The training focused on developing the ability of the VMF to plan and conduct operations in remote areas. 51 FNQR has been travelling to Vanuatu to train with the VMF every year since 1998.
Community sanitation and hygiene awareness
On Friday 6 November, Mele, Waisisi and Seaside Futuna communities attended a sanitation and hygiene awareness session to help them manage and maintain new sanitation facilities that will be constructed under the Port Vila Urban Development Project (PVUDP). PVUDP is a joint project funded by the Governments of Vanuatu and Australia and the Asian Development Bank. To learn more about this project please visit: http://vpmu.gov.vu/index.php/projects/portvila-vanuatu
Australian High Commissioner hands over a fleet of machinery to Minister of Infrastructure & Public Utilities
Through the Australian Government-funded Roads for Development program, a fleet of tractors and graders will be soon working on Tanna and Ambae to help communities build and maintain better access to services including education and health and to support economic development. To learn more, please visit: http://dfat.gov.au/…/building-resilient-infrastructure-vanu…
Vanuatu marked Literacy Day 2015
On 3 November, Vanuatu marked Literacy Day 2015 at the University of the South Pacific Emalus Campus with events promoting the Ministry of Education’s new language and curriculum policy. Through the Vanuatu Education Support Program (VESP), Australia and New Zealand support the Ministry of Education to improve the quality of, and access to, education in Vanuatu. To learn more, visit: http://dfat.gov.au/…/Pages/education-assistance-vanuatu.aspx
Australian High Commissioner Marks Remembrance Day
On 11 November Australian High Commissioner Jeremy Bruer and his wife Catherine Harrington Bruer marked Remembrance Day at Port Vila’s cenotaph, at an event kindly hosted by the French Embassy. Vanuatu’s President, His Excellency Womtelo Reverend Baldwin Lonsdale, and its Prime Minister, the Honourable Sato Kilman, were also in attendance. The 11th of November commemorates the official end of WWI in 1918.
Vanuatu Basketball Federation represented at the Women\'s Basketball Empowerment Program Workshop
Congratulations to Mary Aaron who represented the Vanuatu Basketball Federation at the Women\'s Basketball Empowerment Program Workshop on the Gold Coast, Australia from 1 to 10 September 2015. Funded by the Australian Government and organised by the International Basketball Federation, the workshop included skills sessions about leadership, governance, communications and planning. Australia, through the Pacific Sports Partnership (PSP), is a strong and proud supporter of Vanuatu sporting bodies including the Vanuatu Football Federation, Vanuatu Basketball Federation, Vanuatu Cricket Association , Vanuatu Table Tennis Association and Vanuatu Volleyball Association. For more information about the PSP, please visit: http://dfat.gov.au/…/sport…/pages/sport-for-development.aspx
Australian Deputy High Commissioner Simon Flores joined Vanuatu Prime Minister Sato Kilman to launch the Vanuatu Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Policy 2016-2030
Australian Deputy High Commissioner Simon Flores joined Vanuatu Prime Minister Sato Kilman on 30 October to launch the Vanuatu Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Policy 2016-2030 which is supported by the Australian Government-funded Pacific Risk Resilience Program (PRRP) in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Vanuatu Government. Australia funds a range of programs to help prepare Pacific Island countries for the effects of climate change. For more information about the PRRP, please visit: http://www.asia-pacific.undp.org/…/clima…/in_depth/PRRP.html and http://www.sids2014.org/index.php…
Australia-Pacific Technical College witness skilled hospitality aboard P&O Cruise Ship Pacific Dawn
Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) Certificate III Hospitality students were given the opportunity to witness skilled hospitality firsthand aboard the P&O Cruise Ship Pacific Dawn on 28 October. Students were given a real insight into the skills needed for a career at sea. Many thanks to all those involved in the tour. For more information about the APTC, please visit: http://www.aptc.edu.au/index.php/about-us.
Vanuatu Police Force (VPF) male advocate presented the new VPF Standard Operation Procedures on Family violence to the Vanuatu Women\'s Centre (VWC)
Police Force (VPF) Senior Sergeant Iaken Ampen, a male advocate against violence against women, presented the new VPF Standard Operation Procedures on Family Violence to the Vanuatu Women’s Centre (VWC) in October. By working together, the VPF and VWC will be better able support survivors of violence in Vanuatu. Australia is committed to ending violence against women and girls and is a proud funding partner of the Vanuatu Women