NEWS

Bainimarama Hails Aust For Support

In yet another example of the warming relationships between Suva and Canberra, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama used the Fiji Day in Australia to thank Australia. Mr Bainimarama praised the swift
16 Oct 2016 11:00
Bainimarama Hails Aust For Support
From left: Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and John Wells at the Sydney Fiji Day celebrations at the Whitlam Leisure Centre Grounds, Liverpool, Sydney, Australia yesterday. Photo: DEPTFO News

In yet another example of the warming relationships between Suva and Canberra, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama used the Fiji Day in Australia to thank Australia.

Mr Bainimarama praised the swift and generous Australian help after Cyclone Winston.

Speaking during the celebrations held in Sydney, Mr Bainimarama also shared an anecdote about conquering his nervousness of flying in helicopters by putting his fate in the hands of Australian pilots.

In an event which was attended by Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, her husband John Wells, Mayor of Liverpool, Wendy Waller and thousands of the Fijian diaspora, Mr Bainimarama said the Australia-Fiji family has now reconciled.

He made special mention of the Australian Navy who sprang into action post TC Winston.

“Friends, Australia’s reputation and standing in Fiji has never been higher than in the wake of Cyclone Winston.

“And to a large extent, that’s because of the wonderful assistance that so many Australians provided on the ground in Fiji – the more than one thousand servicemen and women who rushed to the affected areas – either on H.M.A.S Canberra or the aircraft that were also sent to help us.”

Mr Bainimarama said: “I especially want to thank the Australian Government, the Australian people and all of you for your wonderful response to the plight of those Fijians who lost so much in Cyclone Winston back in February.

“I know that some of you who are here today will either have lost loved ones or friends and you will certainly know people who lost their homes.

“And it was wonderful how all of you and Fijians around the world banded together to assist the relief effort.

“To raise money or donate goods or services to help your fellow Fijians back on their feet.

“I come today on behalf of the entire Fijian nation to say vinaka vakalevu.

“Vinaka vakalevu for caring. Vinaka vakalevu for the hours you put into rallying around our people back home. We will be forever grateful for the way in which Fijians in Australia and elsewhere sprang to our assistance. Just as you did for Cyclone Evan at the end of 2012.

“And as you have done so many other times in the past.”

Edited By Maraia Vula

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