“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”
Thanks to Bill Shankly, former coach of UK soccer team Liverpool, for the above quote. And congratulations to the Nauru Chiefs, who finished an impressive fifth place in Division One of the International Cup held in Melbourne. This equals the Chief’s best placing in the tournament, against tough opposition, and is a real credit to the players, coaches and others supporting the team.
The International Cup brings together teams from around the world, excluding Australia. This year it was held in Melbourne from 5-19 August, with 26 teams (both male and female) representing 21 nations.
Our shared passion for AFL is one of many things Australia and Nauru have in common. I’m looking forward to watching Crows and Tigers battle it out tomorrow with my Nauruan friends. As a Hawks tragic I would have liked to have seen more Nauruan-style energy, skills and fearlessness from them this season, though given I’ve been based in Canberra for some years I’ve developed a fondness for the GWS Giants (disappointing to see them lose last weekend!).
I’m proud that the High Commission can do its part to contribute to AFL and sport more broadly in Nauru. The Pacific Sports Partnerships Program supports a partnership between the Australian Government, AFL and the Nauru Football Association.
The benefits of sports participation are numerous. On an earlier posting I participated in a rugby league touch competition as a ring-in for the “Consular cases” team. We had a mixed team and did okay but the main benefits were our teamwork and supporting each other, sharing the event.
Apart from the obvious health benefits from keeping fit and active, shared participation in team sports promotes inclusion for all, including people with disabilities. An independent evaluation of Nauru’s Epon Keramen found that the program facilitated shifts in attitudes and behaviours for healthier lifestyles – participants reporting that after the program, they reduced alcohol and tobacco intake, and ate more fruit and vegetables.
Sports participation also helps support women’s empowerment and leadership, an issue we are deeply committed to through our development cooperation with Nauru.
Tubwa and congratulations to the Nauru Chiefs, the Pacific Sports Partnership Program and the female rugby players for doing us all proud and getting involved in sports.
High Commissioner John Donnelly, August 2017
What a day!
I’m still buzzing over a month on after the Anibare Boat Harbour Clean Up Day on 8 July. It was fantastic to see so many people in the community come together for a common goal: looking after Nauru’s beautiful environment.
The Anibare Boat Harbour Clean Up was funded through the Australian Direct Aid Program (DAP) in partnership with the Nauruan community and other community-minded organisations. It was a Nauruan-owned and –led initiative championed by the district communities of Anabar, Ijuw and Anibare and their Parliamentary representatives, Hon Jaden Dogireiy MP and Hon Riddell Akua MP.
The Anibare Boat Harbour is one of the most beautiful community areas on Nauru, enjoyed by all for a refreshing swim and picnicing with family and friends, and manned by Nauru Lifeguards year-round. I have an image of it as my wallpaper on my phone!
The harbour is also one of the main areas used by local fishing boats. In certain months when the westerly winds become too strong, it becomes the default harbour for unloading container ships. Because of its heavy use by the community, fishing and shipping industry, it can quickly fall into disrepair.
This initiative was the local community, in partnership with Australian aid and other local organisations, taking ownership of the important issue of environmental pollution and working together so the Harbour can continue to be enjoyed by everyone.
We had a great turn out on the day with children, families and expatriates coming together to pick up rubbish, filled up skip bins, water blasting algae build-up and removing waste from the bottom of the harbour. We also set up permanent garbage bins so waste can be managed going forward.
With combined Australian hard yakka and Nauruan mag rurn on the day the harbour looks so improved! I even joined the Hon Riddell Akua and local divers by donning the goggles and tank and collecting rubbish from the bottom of the harbour, with many helpers taking care of the waste that was on the surface. By mid-afternoon we even called in an extra skip bin!
And as well as a great outcome, the day was an enjoyable one shared with friends from near and far – thanks to Broadspectrum for putting on a free sausage sizzle, HOST International’s free ice cream, and plenty of fruit, water and refreshments to fuel our efforts during the day.
I know that everyone in the community will be working hard to make sure the harbour doesn’t again become clogged with waste. It will require continued energy and enthusiasm, but the Clean Up Day showed the communities in Anabar, Ijuw and Anibare have that in truckloads.
At the recent Parliament sitting this month, a number of members paid tribute to the great success of the day – and a great desire to see much more of it in future!
It is these kinds of community-driven projects that the Australian High Commission on Nauru supports – look out for the 2017-18 DAP funding round, opening in the next few weeks.
Championed by Anabar, Ijuw, Anibare; Supported by Australian Aid