Australian High Commission
Republic of Nauru

Australian High Commission Events


Presentation of Credentials of Her Excellency Angela Tierney, High Commissioner of Australia to Nauru

On Friday 5th January the new Australian High Commissioner to Nauru, Her Excellency Ms Angela Tierney, presented her Credentials to His Excellency President Baron Waqa at the office of the President.

Ms Tierney was received by the Commissioner of Police for the playing of the National Anthems and Inspection of the Guard of Honour.

As well as the presentation of credentials and an introductory meeting with President Waqa, the new High Commissioner also made courtesy calls on Hon. Shadlog Bernicke, Minister for Telecommunications; Hon. Aaron Cook, Minister for Utilities; Hon. Asterio Appi, Deputy Speaker; and Mr Michael Aroi, Secretary for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In the evening the President hosted a well-attended dinner in honour of the occasion at the Anibare Restaurant, Menen Hotel.

There were performances from a local dance troop as well as a song by His Excellency’s all male singing group.

High Commissioner Tierney gave a speech acknowledging the mutual and continuous relationship between Nauru and Australia, saying she looks forward to a successful tenure on Nauru in an exciting and significant year, with the 50th Anniversary of Independence and hosting of PIF 2018 Summit. The President also gave a speech welcoming High Commissioner Tierney to Nauru and expressing that he looked forward to working closely with the new High Commissioner.

It was a very enjoyable night for all who attended. 


Sports Complex Etangit Karamwen ground breaking ceremony

On 7 November 2017 Australian High Commissioner John Donnelly, President Baron Waqa and Sports Minister Tawaki Kam joined other members of the Nauru and Australian governments and local community members for the official ground breaking ceremony for a new Multipurpose Community Sports Complex. Minister Kam and the High Commissioner led the ground breaking.

The complex is known as Etangit Karamwen which means ‘place of play’ and is expected to be completed by August 2018, allowing it to be used for meetings during the Pacific Islands Forum Leaders Meeting in September 2018.

The Australian Government, represented by the High Commissioner, and the Nauru Government, represented by the President, signed a Direct Funding Agreement to commit a total of AUD4.3 million towards the construction of the sports complex. The Nauruan Government will contribute AUD1.6 million towards the project.


Australia-Nauru Development Cooperation: Signing of MOU and Joint Statement on Zero Tolerance to Fraud and Corruption


On 25 October 2017 High Commissioner John Donnelly and Minister for Finance and Sustainable Development the Hon David Adeang signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and a Joint Statement on behalf of Australia and Nauru. The Development Cooperation Program MOU had been last signed in 2009. The updated MOU reflects a number of important changes since then. The second document was a new Joint Statement on Zero Tolerance to Fraud and Corruption in the Australia-Nauru Development Cooperation.


Australia Day Celebrations in Nauru 2017


The Australian High Commissioner John Donnelly (centre) addresses the guests at the Australia Day event and encourages them to sing along with the Australian High Commission staff and the Australian Federal Police . Photo courtesy of Nauru Media.


On 26 January, staff from the Australian High Commission and other Australian government agencies celebrated Australia Day with 150 guests at the Bay Restaurant. Guests included His Excellency Honourable Baron Waqa, Ministers, senior public officials and Australian and local business figures.

The evening featured dance and song performances from local traditional dance troupes. The Australian High Commission choir joined forces with Australian Federal Police staff to sing “Give me a home among the gumtrees”. Local Australian singer, Annie Jeffs, provided a beautiful rendition of “I still call Australia home” as part of her set list.

His Excellency and the Boys from Boe choir performed Eko edae tekai ("There's No Time Like The Present") and Anan iyiyimau ("We Celebrate Your Achievement Through This Song").

Guests remarked that it had been “the best Australia day in Nauru, ever."


His Excellency Hon  Baron Waqa MP, President of the Republic of Nauru, (centre) reciprocates in kind by playing  the guitar and singing traditional Nauruan music. The President  was joined by friends and guests that attended the evening  including the Member for Aiwo, Hon. Milton Dube MP,  (Far right) Mr Rayong Itsimaera , Secretary for Health and Sports (second from right) and Mr Michael Aroi,  Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade (fourth from right). Photo courtesy of Nauru Media.


Opening of the Nauru Community Resource Centre


Ms Barina Waqa, Secretary for Multicultural Affairs gives an address at the Community Resource Centre opening ceremony. 
Minister for Justice and Border Control, Hon David Adeang MP, and  Dan Heldon, Charge d'affairs cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the center.


On 13 January, Hon David Adeang MP,  Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Australian High Commission Charge d’affaires, Dan Heldon, officially opened the Community Resource Centre (CRC) in Yaren District through a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The CRC is an Australian Government-funded project in partnership with the Department of Multicultural Affairs. The new building is open to all residents of Nauru. It will house the main offices for service providers and Community Liaison Officers who assist local and refugee communities, and provide a space for community meetings and functions.

The interaction of different communities at the CRC is envisioned to develop greater collaboration between the Nauruan  and refugee communities.

Opening ceremony of Nauru Primary School


From left: Burnessa Fritz, Nauru Primary School Principal; Dan Heldon, Charge d'affaires, and; Her Excellency, the Hon Charmaine Scotty MP, Acting President and Minister for Education.


On 6 October 2016, Nauru Primary School held an opening ceremony to celebrate the completion of the construction of two new classroom buildings that were made possible through the partnership between the Governments of Australia and Nauru, the Murphy Group and Canstruct Construction Solutions.

The event began with a flag raising ceremony conducted by Nauru Primary School prefects, and the singing of the Australian and Nauruan national anthems. Speeches were then given by the Acting President and Minister for Education, Her Excellency, the Hon Charmaine Scotty MP, Mr Dan Heldon, Charge d'affaires, Mr David Knockles, First Assistant Secretary, Detention Services, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, and Mr Rory Murphy, CEO of the Murphy Group.

Acting President Scotty, Mr Heldon and Nauru Primary School Principal, Burnessa Fritz, then officially opened the building through a ribbon cutting ceremony and plaque unveiling. Students then performed dances and recited poetry, before guests were offered tours of the new classrooms. 


Signing of condolence book in remembrance of His Honour the Chief Justice of Nauru, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi


From left: Australian High Commissioner to Fiji, Ms Margaret Twomey, and Australian High Commissioner to Nauru, Mr John Donnelly, sign a condolence book in remembrance of His Honour the late Chief Justice Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, at the Nauru High Commission in Suva.


On 3 October 2016, the High Commissioner to Nauru, Mr John Donnelly, and Australia's High Commissioner to Fiji, Ms Margaret Twomey, met with Nauru's High Commissioner to Fiji, Ms Kim Aroi, to sign a condolence book in remembrance of His Honour the Chief Justice of Nauru, the late Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, at the Nauru High Commission in Suva.

His Honour Justice Madraiwiwi was appointed as Nauru's Chief Justice in September 2016 and, through his extensive experience, made significant contributions in his duties to the Nauru judiciary.


Schools Visit by Aboriginal Storyteller Larry Brandy


Mr Brandy interacting with staff and students at Nauru College.


As part of the High Commission’s ongoing National Aboriginal and Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week celebrations, Aboriginal  storyteller Larry Brandy visited schools in Nauru from Monday 15 to Thursday 18 August 2016. Mr Brandy’s visit was organised by the Australian High Commission in cooperation with Nauru’s Department of Education.

Mr Brandy’s visit provided students in Nauru with the opportunity to learn about the unique history and culture of Indigenous Australians, as well as the similarities between their own traditional Nauruan culture and that of Aboriginal culture. This included teaching students of traditional Aboriginal practices, such as hunting kangaroos and emus, which students were able to re-enact using traditional Aboriginal hunting tools. 

Mr Brandy’s visit was well received by staff and students, with participants demonstrating their appreciation to Mr Brandy by performing their own songs and dances.

In a recent article written for DFAT, Mr Brandy reflected on his own experiences as a Wiradjuri man and the importance of NAIDOC Week:

“ NAIDOC Week is an important week for that and it is great to see so many events around Canberra and the country.

I really enjoy what I do. I am passionate about my Wiradjuri culture and sharing it with people of all ages. I particularly love working with boories (children) because they are our future. If a young child learns about Aboriginal culture in a positive way it is a wonderful first step.

I have been surprised how even very young children take in what I am saying. I have been in shopping malls where a young child came up to me with her parents and says hello because I was at her childcare centre a few weeks before.

I have also been in an aged care centre where the carers said that the old people probably wouldn't get up and dance. But they did and they loved it. It is wonderful to see how interested people are in Aboriginal culture and in wanting to learn more.

I involve my audience in my storytelling as that is a great way for people to learn. Audience members become emus, kangaroos and hunters as they learn about traditional Wiradjuri culture. I use real artefacts as well as animal masks to help people get involved. I have also started to use my language a little bit more and children love to count with me in Wiradjuri.          

Storytelling is found in all cultures and is a way to share knowledge. I have shared stories with First Nations people in Alaska and Canada, and on an Apache Reservation. I talked about kangaroos and emus with Inuit children and they told me about wolves, bears and caribou.

I was lucky enough to learn from archaeologists and Aboriginal people about my culture and I love passing on my knowledge so that young Aboriginal people who don't know much about their culture will want to learn more. This is happening more and more but we still need to do more to help young people, particularly teenagers and young adults, feel proud and not ashamed to be Aboriginal.”


Learning Village soil turning ceremony



On Thursday 11 August, the High Commissioner, John Donnelly, and the Minister for Education, the Hon Charmaine Scotty MP, officially opened the start of works of Nauru’s Learning Village through a symbolic sod turning ceremony in Yaren.

The Learning Village will include a community library, Nauru’s University of the South Pacific Centre, and a community centre for other education providers, including the University of New England, Fiji National University and other post-secondary providers.

“The Learning Village will play a key component in delivering on the outcomes of Nauru’s TVET Strategic Plan 2015-19. This strategy will not only equip local teachers with Australian standard qualifications and teaching capabilities, but also provide certification in six disciplines – information technology, hospitality, textiles, construction, engineering and automotive” High Commissioner John Donnelly stated in his speech.

High Commissioner John Donnelly also recognised that “other service providers are using Registered Training Organisations to offer accredited training to Nauruan personnel employed at the regional processing centres”.

“The Learning Village can contribute to developing a skilled-labour force, through providing programs and pathways for students and existing workers,” High Commissioner John Donnelly concluded.


National Reconciliation Week 2016

National reconciliation week is an annual event to mark the reconciliation movement between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians.

The first steps towards reconciliation are said to have began with the 1967 referendum in which 90% of Australians voted for the removal of clauses in the Australian Constitution which discriminated against Indigenous Australians.

National Reconciliation Week falls on the anniversary of the 1967 referendum on May 27 and concludes on 3 June which is the anniversary of the High Court Judgement in the Mabo case which acknowledged the pre-existing rights of Indigenous Australians before British settlement.

The theme for National Reconciliation Week 2016 is ‘Our History, Our Story, Our Future.’

The Australian High Commission celebrated National Reconciliation Week by hosting a function to highlight Indigenous art and artists and welcomed attendees to an open mic event where guests were allowed to perform songs on the stage.

Policy Officer, Jillian Suggate hosted the event and gave a welcoming speech to those who attended and presented a feature on the theme of National Reconciliation Week and a speech given by Stan Grant, an Indigenous TV presenter who highlighted the importance of recognising the ongoing impact of past policies and practices on Indigenous Australians as well as Indigenous Australian’s triumph and resilience. Stan Grant concluded his speech with a message of hope mentioning the willingness of many Indigenous Australian and non-indigenous Australians to work towards reconciliation and their hope for a better future.

Senior Administrative Officer and Consul Joanne Kaczmarek who is a Torres Strait Islander performed a traditional prayer song, before the event was officially opened to attendees to take to the stage.

Local musicians including Samvic Namaduk performed with visiting artist Annie Jeffs and surprise performances were given by Utilities CEO Abraham Simpson, visiting school teacher Annie Smith, Ted Thomson and the Australian High Commission’s own visiting DFAT Officer Oliver Doraisamy who played an outstanding version of ‘Let it be’ on keyboards.

A great evening was enjoyed by all and the Australian High Commission wishes to thank all those who had attended and who had participated in the open mic activities.


ANZAC Day Dawn Service 2016

On 25 April 2016, the Australian High Commission hosted a ANZAC Day commemorative dawn service at the Wilson Security residential compound in Anibare District. 

Despite the wet weather, the event was well attended with an estimated 300 guests, including the acting President HE Hon David Adeang MP, Minister for Ronphos Hon Aaron Cook MP, and Australian and New Zealand public including current and former military service personnel.

Australian High Commissioner HE John Donnelly presented a welcome address, Deputy High Commissioner  Dan Heldon read In Flanders Field, and SAO/Consul Loren Hyde was the master of ceremonies for the service. Ltd Col Allen Mortensen AM (Rtd) (Site Manager for International Health and Medical Services) gave the ANZAC Day Address in honour of current and former Australian and New Zealand military and peacekeeping personnel, and spoke about Nauru's war history and experience during WWII. Rory McBride from Brisbane Catholic Education read The Ode of Remembrance, and Tim Frost from Broadspectrum played The Last Post and Reveille on the bugle for the ceremony.

The Nauru Police Force (NPF) provided a Catafalque Party and the catering for breakfast was kindly donated by Broadspectrum. 

The Cenotaph that was used for the wreath laying during ceremony stayed erect throughout the day to allow people to pay respects until late evening.

The Australian High Commission appreciates the support provided by the Government of Nauru, NPF, religious leaders, local media and RPC service providers for this event.


Education and Health Sector Funding Agreements

On Thursday 7 April, High Commissioner John Donnelly and Minister for Finance and Sustainable Development, the Hon David Adeang MP, signed funding agreements covering Australian support to Nauru’s health and education sectors. Together the two agreements are worth about $6 million

The Health Agreement will support the Government of Nauru to provide a cost effective health system which delivers improved health outcomes for Nauru, including through

  • Improving quality of primary health;
  • Increasing human resources
  • Improving the quality of health information available; and
  • Improving the management of non-communicable diseases.

The Education Agreement will support Government of Nauru to deliver education pathways that develop locally and regionally relevant skills, including by

  • Improving quality of and access to early years, primary and secondary education;
  • Creating a proactive and continually improving education system;
  • Improving learning outcomes for all students; and
  • A sustainable and high quality workforce to meet future education needs.

Launch of the Pacific Sports Partnership Program

In celebration of the UN International Day of Sport for Peace and Development, the Australian High Commission launched the Pacific Sports Program in Nauru. The Pacific Sports Partnerships (PSP) program is an Australian Government initiative that has contributed $29 million to sport for development programs in the Pacific since 2009. The PSP delivers positive development outcomes in key areas of health, disability and social inclusion, with a strong emphasis on empowering women and girls through participation in sport. In Nauru, the program is looking to support AFL and athletics programs.

Australia Day in Nauru

The Australian High Commission marked Australia Day in Nauru on 26 January, with a dinner reception at the Bay Restaurant.  

The President of Nauru His Excellency Baron Waqa spoke at the event, wishing Australia well on their National Day and commenting on the close friendship Nauru and Australia shares.  

Guests were entertained by Nauruan hula, fire and knife dancers, and a special choir performance by the President and Australian High Commission staff.

Signing of the Seasonal Worker Program MOU

Australian High Commissioner John Donnelly met with President Baron Waqa to formerly present his credentials and to sign the Seasonal Worker Program MOU on 17 December 2015.  

 2015 Australia-Nauru Aid Talks

Assistant Secretary Pacific Bilateral Branch Jenny Da Rin visited Nauru in September to hold informal officials-level talks on Australian development assistance to Nauru in 2016-17. This photo shows the Nauruan and Australian officials that took part in the talks. Front Centre L-R: Australian High Commissioner Martin Quinn, Assistant Secretary Pacific Bilateral Branch Jenny Da Rin, Acting Deputy Secretary Planning and Aid Division Stephanie Tebouwa.


From Left: Assistant Secretary Pacific Bilateral Branch, Jenny Da Rin, Minister Charmaine Scotty MP and Australian High Commissioner, Martin Quinn attend the Dinner for participants in the Australia-Nauru Aid talks. 

Republic of Nauru Hospital Redevelopment Start of Works Opening Ceremony

Minister for Health, Hon Valdon Dowiyogo MP and Australian High Commissioner, Martin Quinn officially open the redevelopment of the RoN Hospital through a symbolic sod-turning ceremony on 27 July 2015.

Australian High Commissioner, Martin Quinn delivers a speech at the RoN Hospital redevelopment ceremony to attending Nauru dignatories including HE President Baron Waqa and Minister for Health, Hon Valdon Dowiyogo MP. 

Australia hosts the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting in Sydney


 Australia hosted Foreign Ministers from the 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum in Sydney on 9-10 July 2015 to discuss concrete steps to improve disaster management in the region. The Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting demonstrates the special value Australia places on its close historical, political, economic, aid and community links with the island countries and territories of the Pacific, and our commitment to playing an active and constructive role in our region. For further information, please visit our page on the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting: 

Public diplomacy visit by Torres Strait Islander musicians - The Brothers Dow

From left: Sao/Consul, Joanne Kaczmarek, Dave Dow, Chargé d\'affaires, Helena Studdert, President Baron Waqa, Dan Dow, DFAT Liasion Officer, Alison Musgrove 


The Brothers Dow perform for over 500 school children at the Nauru Civic Centre. Credit: Alison Musgrove


The Brothers Dow meet with local musicians and perform live with them at a local venue, Jules on the Deck. Credit: Alison Musgrove


Vietnam War veteran Rob Patterson (l), with High Commissioner Martin Quinn. Credit: Gay Uera



 Nauru Police Force Officers stand guard while bugler Tim Frost plays the Last Post. Credit: Gay Uera


New Zealand employees of Wilsons Security perform a traditional Maori Haka. Credit: Joanne Kaczmarek


Australian High Commissioner meets with Scholarship students in Australia 

Nauru’s HOM Martin Quinn met with 2015 Australia Awards recipients Benedict Abourke (left) and John Limen (right) whilst on his mid-term consultation. Benedict is studying for a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours) at the Queensland University of Technology for four years, and John is doing his Graduate Diploma in Development Planning at the University of Queensland. John’s program finishes at the end of this year.

Australian Awards Successful Pacific Scholarship Students 2015

Australian High Commission staff congratulated the Nauruan winners of this year\'s Australian Award Pacific scholarships. This year\'s Australian Award scholars will study subjects including law, education, environmental health, pathology, mechanics and nursing at either the University of the South Pacific or at the Fiji National University. Click here for more information about scholarships.

Dr Bernard Quin\'s Family Visit

The Nauru Government, the Australian Government and the Quin family joined to pay their respects to Nauruans killed during the Second World War. Representatives of both Governments and the family laid wreathes at the memorial dedicated to Nauruans who lost their lives in Truk.  Above left-to-right: Reverend Roger Mwareo, David Quin, Father Peter Quin, Michael Doyle, Acting President Aaron Cook MP, Australian High Commissioner Martin Quinn, Minister for Telecommunications Shadlog Bernicke MP. Below left-to-right: Minister for Education and Home Affairs Charmaine Scotty, Cathy Dunn, Patty Quin, Mardi Doyle and Patrick Doyle.  


The Children of Dr Bernard Quin - Father Quin, Mardi Doyle, Patty Quin and David Quin - after a wreathe laying ceremony at the memorial dedicated to the death of their father and four other Australians killed in Nauru during the Second World War. Members of the Nauru Government, including Acting President Aaron Cook and department heads, community leaders and the Quin family presented wreathes.


Members of the Quin family visited Nauru Secondary School and presented gifts to senior students

Australian Awards Successful Scholars 2014 

Australian High Commission staff congratulated the Nauruan winners of this year\'s Australian Awards scholarships. This year\'s Australian Award scholars will study at the Australian National University, Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, the University of Wollongong and the University of Queensland. Click here for more informationabout scholarships.

Alcohol Free Day 2014

The Nauru Police Force held events for Alcohol Free Day on 29 November. Australian High Commission staff member Damien Bruckard presents third prize in the women's to Mrs Czarist Daniel, a member of the Nauru Police Force team.