Australia

Australia supports Samoa’s Le’auva’a Primary School

The support was made available through Australia’s Direct Aid Programme.

Australian High Commission, Sara Moriarty officiated the opening together with school principal, Ada Uhrle-Mikaele, Sagaga district school inspector, Lafaitele Aiga Esera and school executive committee, member Mr Sala Lameko Thursday.

“The Government of Australia takes pride in working with local communities on projects such as these that aim to achieve sustainable development in Samoa,” Ms Moriarty said. 

Call for bold move by Australia to improve Pacific relationship

But observers said no substantial change is expected for Australia's engagement in the region after the Coalition's surprise win at the weekend.

Shane McLeod of the Australian think-tank, the Lowy Institute, said Australia's so-called Pacific step up, a suite of policies and funding initiatives brought in in 2017, will likely continue.

But he said with losses on the hard right, there may be more room for the government to manoeuvre on climate change.

2019 Australia election: Polls open for 'generational' vote

PM Scott Morrison says he has united his conservative government in the nine months since he replaced Malcolm Turnbull.

Labor opposition leader Bill Shorten has pressed his case with stark policy alternatives.

Australia has mandatory voting and a record 16.4 million enrolled voters.

The nation holds elections every three years, but no prime minister has succeeded in serving a full term since 2007.

Kepu to join London Irish after World Cup

Irish, who will join the English Premiership next season after winning promotion, announced the signing of the Test centurion on social media on Monday night. 

Kepu has been a mainstay of Australian Test rugby and the Waratahs for more than a decade, playing 135 Super Rugby matches and 103 Test matches.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said Kepu would leave a hole at the Waratahs, but also had provided a strong foundation for the next generation to develop.

Australia can be surprise package at World Cup

The Wallabies endured their worst test campaign in 60 years in 2018, winning four out of 13 matches and slumping to sixth in the world rankings.

However, former scrumhalf Gregan, who scored 99 points in 139 internationals, believes Michael Cheika's men can peak come tournament time in September, just as they did in 2015 when they reached the final.

"They do have time in a World Cup year, which is a unique year. It is about getting it right when you get over here," said Gregan in an interview with Reuters in Sapporo.

Australia to employ 7 Samoans at meat processing plant

This is an opportunity for the young men to provide for their families, and the goal is to strengthen partnerships between Australia and the Pacific island countries while working in these remote areas of Australia.

The Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Sara Moriarty said Samoa’s participation in the Scheme would help to deepen the friendship between Australia and Samoa.

“This is an opportunity for Samoans to gain important skills, training and income that they can take back to their families and communities,” Ms Moriarty said.

Kiwis to play British Lions, Tonga in 2019

New Zealand will play Mate Ma'a Tonga on 22 June at Mt Smart Stadium in the first match of the new Oceania Cup.

The Kiwi Ferns will also play against an unnamed opponent in the double header - they'll play a second match against Australia in October.

The Oceania Cup will be played in June and November during the international Test windows.

Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Fiji and Australia make up the six-nation competition.

Cardinal found guilty of sexual offences in Australia

Pell abused two choir boys in the rooms of a Melbourne cathedral in 1996, a jury found. He had pleaded not guilty.

The verdict was handed down in December, but it could not be reported until now due to legal reasons.

Pell is due to be sentenced on Wednesday. He has lodged an appeal against his conviction.

As Vatican treasurer, the 77-year-old cardinal was one of the Church's most powerful officials.

His trial was heard twice last year because a first jury failed to reach a verdict.

Kangaroos to face Kiwis in Wollongong in October

The announcement of the trans-Tasman Test provides the first details of the international calendar which is expected to include an Oceania series and Great Britain Lions tour to New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

It will be the first time the Kangaroos have hosted the Kiwis in Australia since the mid-season ANZAC Test was cancelled in 2017.

The two nations have only met once since, with New Zealand defeating Australia in Auckland last October.

Australian stripper under fire for drinking beer from didgeridoo

Video posted to Instagram shows Bambi Le Fist drinking out of the instrument during Australia Day celebrations.

She was wearing a floral bikini and shouted "straya" after finishing. Perth model Cassy Walker filmed the video and quickly faced criticism for the stunt, the Daily Mail reports.

"This is so disrespectful to our culture," one person wrote. "This is wrong on so many levels."

Ms Walker's Instagram is now private and cannot be accessed unless she has given people permission to view it.