Visually impaired Fa’aolo Utumapu Uta’ilesolo, one of the guest presenters is a Masters graduate through the Australian Scholarship Awards Program
APIA, SAMOA: WEDNESDAY 10 JUNE 2015: The Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sue Langford yesterday hosted a function to promote Australia’s Disability-inclusive development strategy.
Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop MP, launched Development for All 2015-2020, on 25 May in Canberra. The Strategy supports people with disabilities in developing countries to find pathways out of poverty and realise their potential.
Australian High Commissioner Sue Langford said “the strategy is a guiding framework which ensures our aid investments include people with disability in all aspects of our aid programming, not as an add on but as an integral way of how we do our business. This is not only good development practice but it also boosts economic growth and creates better development outcomes for all”.
Through the new strategy, Australia will continue to promote disability-inclusive education, help remove physical barriers through infrastructure investments and work with partner governments to enhance access to vital services.
Australia has been supporting Samoa’s Disability Program 2013-2017 which aims to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in social, economic and political life here in Samoa.
Australia provides ongoing support to inclusive education including through scholarships for Samoan students to Australia and the region. Faaolo Utumapu Utailesolo, one of the guest presenters is a Scholarship Graduate with visual impairment who was funded to undertake her studies through the Australian Awards Program. Utailesolo spoke about her independence as a student in Australia.
Samoa’s Assistant Electoral Commissioner Legal and Policy, Mathew Lemisio, outlined the steps Samoa’s Electoral Commission is taking to ensure participation of people with disabilities in the upcoming elections.
Special Olympics of Samoa Director Tusitina Nuuvali, spoke about the collaboration between Australia and Samoa to use sports to reduce the stigma faced by people with disabilities.
The Luncheon was held at the Australia Pacific Technical College at Vaivase.