Australia scholarship alumni highlights leadership

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BY LYNTON AARON FILIA

SOLOMON Islands students of the Australia scholarship alumni celebrated their achievements on Tuesday this week.

The gathering at the Heritage Park Hotel brought together the Prime Minister and his office staff, Australia High Commissioner and alumni students.

The event also coincided with the launching of Professor Clive Moore’s book.

The event is celebrated under the theme “Leadership”.

Prime Minister Rick Houenipwela in his remarks said Solomon Islands over the years has benefitted much from the Australia Scholarship Awards scheme.

He said the scheme has enhanced long term development needs of Solomon Islands through opportunity to undertake studies, research and professional development in Australia and the Pacific.

PM Hou is also a member of the alumni, having been a scholarship recipient himself 27 years ago to undertake studies in Australia.

Hou encouraged the group that leadership is not only necessary in the government sector, but in all social institutions, spheres and levels of society.

“All of you sitting here tonight are a leader in your own right inclusive of your social standing, career path and place of residence,” Hou said.

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“Therefore, granted that this is the case today in Solomon Islands, the question arises as to what kind of leadership then do we need for Solomon Islands today?

“For me the ideal national political leader for Solomon Islands in the twenty-first century is characterised by three essential qualities which are visionary, tactfulness and modesty, and I would summarise these qualities as ‘strategic leadership’.

“To me politics is all about negotiations, and this entails being sharp with your negotiations skills, but most importantly being prepared to compromise.

“So whether at the party Caucuses or in Cabinet or on the floor of Parliament, this principle remains.

“Whether in introducing a policy or a new legislation, it requires negotiation skills.

“In the case of Solomon Islands introducing new policy can be quite difficult to forge the necessary support.

“Upon my appointment as the Prime Minister I was advised that my primary role is to coordinate the line ministries and their functions.

“As young emerging leaders you will agree with me that Solomon Islands is calling for new national political leadership.

“Be the agent for change that is needed now, and be the solution that tomorrow needs. You cannot be the game changer by watching as a spectator. You cannot cause the necessary change by complaining from outside.”

Hou thanked the Government and people of Australia for their continued generosity in providing such an esteemed opportunity.

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