The University of Tasmania's links with the South Pacific were celebrated recently when Dr Richard Herr travelled to Samoa to acknowledge the achievements of 10 Samoan Parliamentary staff.
Each staff member had been awarded a Graduate Diploma in Public Policy from the University of Tasmania. The Prime Minister of Samoa, the Hon Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, delivered the Keynote address and H.E Sara Moriarty, Australia’s High Commissioner to Samoa presented the testamurs to the graduates.
This graduating class follow another 29 members of the Samoan parliamentary staff who graduated in December 2015 and all join the 120,000 University of Tasmania alumni located in 120 countries worldwide.
The University is committed to supporting capacity building and development with our neighbours in the Indo Pacific region.
For nearly a decade, a twinned parliaments scheme has served as a platform for mutual cooperation on the professional development between the Australian and Pacific Island parliaments. The Tasmanian Parliament has twinned with Samoa. The University has contributed significantly to both the twinning arrangement and to parliamentary institutional strengthening in Samoa, chiefly the Law Faculty and members of staff, particularly Dr Richard Herr. This endeavour dates back to the 1980s and 1990s, when supported by the AUSAID program, a number of Samoans studied law at the University of Tasmania. Many of these now hold important senior positions in Samoa.
The University is delighted that the Samoan Parliament choose to continue this long-standing relationship. The strength of the Law Faculty's course has been recognised elsewhere in the Pacific with a program for the Solomon Islands and the Bougainville parliaments beginning early in 2016.