AUSTRALIA’S Defence Advisor to Solomon Islands, Lieutenant Colonel Justin Bywater, was promoted to the rank of Colonel by the Commissioner of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force in a ceremony at Rove Police Headquarters on Monday.
Australia’s High Commissioner, His Excellency Rod Hilton, said the promotion of Colonel Bywater was appropriate recognition for his commitment, dedication and professionalism over 28 years of service in the Australian Defence Force.
“Not only is this promotion appropriate recognition for Colonel Bywater, but the upgrade of the Defence Advisor position is reflective of the importance of the Australia-Solomon Islands security relationship,” said Mr Hilton.
“I am extremely happy that Commissioner Mangau conducted the presentation of rank on behalf of the Australian Chief of the Defence Force, General Angus Campbell. It reflects our two countries’ strong security partnership and our relationship as Pacific Family.”
The ceremony was attended by members of the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force, Australian Federal Police, Australian Defence Force, New Zealand Police, Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, and the Australian High Commission.
Representing the Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Permanent Secretary Karen Galokale acknowledged and thanked Colonel Bywater for his service and dedication to the Australia-Solomon Islands defence relationship.
“Australia and Solomon Islands have an ongoing security partnership and I look forward to seeing more collaboration in the months and years ahead.”
Australia and Solomon Islands have a deep and enduring history underpinned by strong people-to-people links, including in the security sector.
The Australia-Solomon Islands Defence Cooperation Program is more than 40 years old and includes support to maritime security, infrastructure, explosive ordnance disposal, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief and education.