State House

Office of the President of The Republic of Seychelles


Australia And The Seychelles

November 08 2011 -- Australia's Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, has today completed a visit to the Republic of the Seychelles.  The first visit by an Australian Minister following Australia's Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce, visited in 2009.

"Australia is committed to building its relations with the small island states of the Indian Ocean," said Mr Marles."As Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs I am very familiar with the challenges faced by small island states."

"Fisheries management, coral reef protection, climate change and the challenges of integrating small island economies into the global market - these are some of the issues we in Australia work on every day with our Pacific island partners."

"I believe Australia can work with our island neighbours here in the Indian Ocean as we work with our island neighbours in the Pacific, sharing our expertise and experience."
"As the current President of the Indian Ocean Commission and a close friend to Australia, Seychelles is an important partner as we take this forward.  I was honoured to have the opportunity to discuss these issues and possible areas of cooperation with President Michel, Vice President Faure and Foreign Minister Adam here today in Victoria."

Australia is a strong advocate for small island states and recently hosted a meeting of small developing states from around the world in the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October.  48 small states assembled in Perth to discuss the critical challenges they face from climate change and sustainable development.

"It is small island states who are most affected by issues such as coastal inundation and the frequency and intensity of natural disasters," said Mr Marles.  "The meeting in Perth gave those small states a chance to have their voice heard.  We hope it will also help build political momentum ahead of the Durban climate change summit in a few weeks."

Australia and Seychelles share strong people to people links, led by the large Seychelles diaspora in Australia and an increasing number of Seychellois students studying in Australia under the Australian Government's Australia Awards scholarship program - 11 in 2011, and a further 10 in 2012.

While in the Seychelles, Mr Marles also announced Australia would provide A$20,000 through the Australian Sports Outreach Program to the Seychelles National Youth Council to build a multipurpose volleyball and basketball court for the youth of Ile Perseverance, a new housing estate with approximately 8,000 habitants.