As part of an official visit to Honiara to coincide with the completion of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI), the Governor-General of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove, were welcomed to Mercy School by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Dr Franco Rodie.
During the visit, the Governor-General acknowledged Australia’s ongoing support for education in the Solomon Islands, both through government funding and direct aid programs. On behalf of the government of the Solomon Islands, Dr Rodie expressed his appreciation for Australia’s commitment to education and highlighted the role of charities such as Make A Mark Australia in empowering communities to provide better access to early and primary education.
The Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove met with the Village Chief; the teachers, parents and students at the school; and those who were involved in the funding and building of the new MAMA classrooms. The students performed a beautiful song written especially for the occasion, underscoring the warmth of the relationship between the school and MAMA, and their appreciation for the special visit.
After the traditional welcome, the Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove, accompanied by Australia’s High Commissioner, His Excellency Roderick Brazier, viewed the new classrooms before Lady Cosgrove read a story to the students.
The Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove were then joined by Permanent Secretary Rodie, Principal Simon Rilaua and some of the 1,070 students currently enrolled at the school, to officially unveil a plaque commemorating the visit and the opening of the five new MAMA classrooms.