HMAS Canberra revisits Fiji to assess Winston recovery

The Australian Defence Force’s commitment to Fiji in the days following Tropical Cyclone Winston will be remembered during HMAS Canberra’s return visit to Fiji on 17-20 August.

CAPTIONLocal media greet HMAS Canberra at the Port of Suva, Fiji. Photo by Commander Ben MacDonald

The amphibious operations ship is on a port call to Suva and will conduct official engagements following Canberra’s participation in the multinational Exercise RIMPAC 2016.

HMAS Canberra’s commanding officer Captain Chris Smith said he was looking forward to seeing how the country had continued to recover from Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“We established some good relationships with the people of Fiji and the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and I’m looking forward to building on those relationships, both personally and professionally,” he said.

A key activity during the port call is a Lessons Learnt Symposium, to discuss the successes and opportunities to improve post-disaster recovery efforts, allowing Australia and Fiji to be better prepared ahead of any future disaster response event.

“The Lessons Learnt Symposium will give us some feedback on what we achieved in Fiji and is an opportunity to reflect on the things that were successful and those we can improve on,” Captain Smith said.

“We worked very closely with Fiji’s National Disaster Management Organisation during the emergency, and to sit down together and reflect on what worked and what can be improved is a great way of continuing to build our strong partnership.”

Other activities during the port visit to Suva include an official reception hosted aboard HMAS Canberra to welcome dignitaries and officials from the Government of Fiji, the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and guests from the community, ship visits for community groups and organisations, friendly sporting games, a UNSCR Resolution 1325 Women, Peace and Security discussion, and a celebration of World Humanitarian Day.

Australian Defence Force personnel were proud to work side-by-side with Republic of Fiji Military Forces personnel during Operation Fiji Assist 16, and are pleased to return to Fiji to continue to build people-to-people links with their counterparts..

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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