Apia, SAMOA – On Sunday 25th June, His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) and Her Excellency Mrs. Linda Hurley concluded their official visit program to the Independent State of Samoa by attending a church service at the invitation of Head of State Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aleto’a Sualauvi II and his Good Lady Masiofo Fa’amausili Leinafo Tuimaleali’ifano.
The church service was hosted by the Head of State’s church in Falelatai, the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa, with Reverend Rimoni Wright presiding over the service.
Following the church service, the Governor-General and Mrs. Hurley shared to’onai with the Head of State and Masiofo Faamausili.
There was a unique opportunity for the Governor-General and the Head of State to discuss the significance of their faith, and the power of collaboration in fostering a brighter future for both our nations.
Last week, the Governor-General and Mrs. Hurley also met with Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mata’afa and members of her Cabinet in a lunch hosted by the Prime Minister at Taumeasina Resort.
The Governor-General congratulated the Prime Minister on Samoa’s 61 years of Independence – a significant milestone.
Prime Minister Fiame shared with their Excellencies her reflections following her trip to Australia in March, where she had the opportunity to visit Uluru and learn more about its sacred place in First Nations Australian cultures.
During their visit, the Governor-General and Mrs. Hurley also engaged with organisations that are supported by Australia, including the Samoa Family Health Association, a non-profit organisation providing family planning and sexual and reproductive health services; as well as SENESE, a non-government organisation that is committed to providing inclusive learning support for children and youth with disabilities.
They also visited A’ana College and met with Samoan teachers who took part in the Australian-funded BRIDGE School Partnerships program. This program pairs Australian and Samoan teachers to exchange knowledge and build capability, helping ensure students can thrive.
In a reception hosted at the Australian High Commissioner’s home last week, the Governor-General and Mrs. Hurley launched the latest season of the video series ‘Change Makers’ that celebrates extraordinary Samoans who are making meaningful contributions in their respective fields.
At the reception, the Governor-General also highlighted our collective work in responding to a changing climate and recognised Samoa’s Australia Awards scholarships alumni who are ‘change makers’ in this critical field.
The Governor-General said: “Linda and I thank the people of Samoa for their incredible warmth and hospitality. We have been deeply touched by the kindness and generosity we have experienced during our time here. We are proud of the strong bonds of friendship, cooperation and shared values that unite Samoa and Australia, and we know that the partnership between our two nations will continue to flourish in the years to come.”
In addition to Samoa, the Governor-General and Mrs. Hurley’s visit program includes Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Cook Islands and Vanuatu between 21-29 June. Their Excellencies’ visit to the Pacific was an opportunity to celebrate and further strengthen the close bonds between Australia and the region.
Photos: Jordan Kwan