Australian Embassy
Federated States of Micronesia

Embassy Events




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Australian support to local Doctor delivers world class eye surgery


Australia’s support to a local doctor means that the FSM now has the capacity to carry out world class cataract operations. This should see a continued reduction in the levels of blindness and vision problems in the country.  Pohnpeian eye surgeon Dr Padwick Gallen is now carrying out cataract operations at the Pohnpei Hospital, achieving world class results in this complex procedure.


Australia’s aid program funded ophthalmologist Dr Kearney to visit FSM to provide eye treatments for five years.  However, some years ago Dr Kearney realised that FSM doctors had the capacity to provide this treatment themselves if they were given the opportunity to undertake the specialised training.  Dr Kearney arranged for Dr Gallen to undertake further training in ophthalmology (the treatment of diseases of the eyes) at the Pacific Eye Institute in Fiji.  Dr Kearney’s family funded most of Dr Gallen’s training. 


Dr Gallen commenced providing cataract surgery and other treatments at the hospital following his return to Pohnpei this month.   Dr Kearney was very impressed with the quality of the surgery being undertaken upon his return to Pohnpei. 


“Dr Gallen has clearly shown that he has the ability to undertake this delicate and complex procedure to a very high standard”, said Dr Kearney.  “Citizens of FSM should be proud of this important achievement. If they come to Dr Gallen for eye treatment they can feel very confident that they will be well looked after.”




Picture on the left: Dr Padwick Gallen performs cataract surgery, watched by Australian Embassy staff, Dr Kearney, and Pohnpei Hospital Operating Theatre Supervisor Mira Allen.

Picture on the right: Dr Padwick Gallen (on right) performs cataract surgery at Pohnpei Hospital, with Operating Theatre Supervisor Mira Allen, Nurse Giftleen Kusto and Dr Kearney looking on.




The United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day is marked annually on 25 November. It is the start of the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence Against Women leading up to International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The Australian Embassy in Pohnpei is supporting White Ribbon Day and the 16 days of activism campaign this year through a White Ribbon Walkabout, FUN RUN / WALK, on 5 December 2015, starting at 4.30PM at Mangrove Bay. This is the Embassy’s second annual Sunset Fun Run. This year, the run is part of the 16 days’ of activism campaign to help stop domestic violence. Everyone is welcome to participate and show their support to the campaign. Participation in the run is FREE and a Free T-shirt will be given to all participants.

As part of the 16 days’ campaign, the Embassy also hosted a workshop on 1 December with representatives from various group organisations to discuss what is domestic violence and the different aspects of it. The workshop was very informative and comprised group discussion around misconceptions and facts about domestic violence.

More information on the White Ribbon Day campaigns can be found on the following websites: United Nations - or White Ribbon -








Putting FSM islands on the map – jigsaw puzzles to teach kids geography

Kolonia, Pohnpei - Island Research & Education Initiative (IREI) has developed a unique educational resource for children, to encourage them to learn the fundamentals of our nation’s geography through play. Entitled “Maps of Micronesia -- Book of Puzzles,” the resource is a highquality, full-color book containing within it a series of seven custom-made jigsaw puzzles. Each puzzle separately introduces one main island or island group in Micronesia via a child-friendly map and descriptive text and artwork. The unique jigsaw-puzzle approach was chosen to support children’s natural curiosity and allow them to learn while playing.

The production of these books was funded by the Direct Aid Program through the Australian Embassy in Kolonia. Created as a non-profit endeavor, the books will not be sold. Instead, they will be individually donated to children and their families throughout the FSM. They will be presented to the public for the first time on Saturday, May 19th at the Pohnpei Public Library. Representatives of Island
Research & Education Initiative and the Australian Embassy will be at the library from 09:00 until 12:00 and give a present of one book to each family that brings their children to this event.

First Secretary and Consul Mr Sam Upritchard helped launch the release of the new Maps of Micronesia puzzle books at the Pohnpei Public Library on Saturday 19 May 2012.


In celebrating NAIDOC Week this year, the Embassy hosted a special Story Hour at the Pohnpei Public Library during the Cultural History slot on 3 July 2012.


With close to 100 participants, First Secretary Sam Upritchard and Second Secretary Casey Parker led a storytelling of Tiddalik - the Frog who wouldn\'t laugh. Children were given a brief background on NAIDOC Week and did a craft project creating animal masks for the different animals that were in the story. A book set of 15 stories written by Indigenous Australian writers was also donated to the library.

Back row L-R: AusAID Assistant Program Manager Jovian Samor, First Secretary and Consul Sam Upritchard and Second Secretary and Vice Consul Casey Parker with a selection of children at the Story Hour.


Embassy Supports graduation ceremonies at Madolenihmw High School

The Junior Class President of Madolenihmw High School (MHS) asked the Embassy for help in sponsoring the 2012 graduation ceremonies at MHS.  As a tradition, the juniors pay for all the graduation costs as a "goodbye gift" to the seniors.  Ambassador Quinn was happy to help.  On 23 May (L-R)  Ms Maryartha Santiago, School Counselor, Mr Danny Saimon, Junior Class President and Ms Belsy Elias, Junior Class Advisor, met with Ambassador Quinn and received the donation.  Ambassador Quinn will be present for the MHS graduation on 6 June 2012.

General Management Course Concludes in Pohnpei

Ambassador Quinn attended the official handover ceremony for the community based project built by participants of the General Management Course. The course, which was sponsored by the FSM National Police, Maritime Wing, with the assistance of the Australian Defence Force, is part of a police training program and allows participants to apply the practical skills of project management. The participants for this course were members of the FSM National Police, Pohnpei State Police, and FSM Immigration and Customs. The participants decided to build a barbeque shelter at the Spanish Wall Park beside the Pohnpei State Tourism Nahs. The community based project enabled the students to put in practice many of the skills and knowledge gained during the first phase of the course. An advisor of the Australian Maritime College was responsible for running the course.

Direct Aid Program and Sports Grants Awarded


Ambassador Quinn attended the 1st GEAR UP Science Fair and Expo at the COM Pohnpei campus gym that was funded under a DAP grant.  Students from six elementary schools competed for top prizes with their hands on science projects.  The females took the highest awards. The Awak Elementary School female groups won the 1st place with the topic “How salty does the sea have to be for an egg to float?” and the category of the “Most knowledgeable” with the topic “Converting salt water to salt”.

Acting First Secretary and Consul Casey Parker hands over an Australian Sports Outreach Program cheque to Lestley Robert of the FSM\'s National Olympic Committee on behalf of the Pohnpei Swimming Association for a grant to reopen the State swimming pool.  This project will provide for swimming lessons to youth and grow FSM\'s swimming program. 

Ambassador Quinn visits the Marshall Islands for President Loeak\'s Inauguration


Ambassador Martin Quinn attended the Inauguration of President Christopher Loeak of the Republic of the Marshall Islands on 17 January 2012.  This was a great opportunity to meet the new president and his cabinet and see other NGO partners that Australia helps support.

Ambassador Quinn caught up with Jaki-Ed master weavers at the University of the South Pacific-Majuro campus, using the Australian-funded \'Jined Kibed\', traditional weaving house.  The house is a dedicated space for weaving and especially the making of \'jaki-ed\' (mats).  "Jined Kibid" translates to "our mothers are the rudders of a canoe", that is, they will steer the development of their children and their future.  These are a few of the 10 remaining master weavers and they are teaching a new generation.


Royal Australian College of Surgeons visits FSM


Second Secretary Casey Parker visited the ophthalmology team from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons at the Pohnpei State hospital during their recent visit to the FSM (Jan 2012). Under the AusAID funded Pacific Island Program, teams of specialists volunteer their time to visit developing countries and provide much needed services. Hundreds of people in Pohnpei and Chuuk received free vision exams, prescriptive lenses, and for those who needed it most, corrective surgery to restore sight. (Photo on left: Dr Michael Hare shows Mr Parker some of the 1000 pairs of glasses that were donated from Australia to the team’s efforts in FSM. Photo on right: Dr John Kearney, performs cataract surgery while Mr Parker and Patrick Blank, the Embassy’s Public Diplomacy officer, view the procedure.)

Ambassador Quinn met with a team of Orthopaedic surgeons and their support staff during a visit of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons to the FSM. The specialist team, comprised of Dr Chris Robert, Dr Alexander Burns, Dr Kylie Stanton, Ms Madeleine Smith, Ms Annie Forestier and Mr John Roberts, and provided services at the Chuuk State Hospital and the Pohnpei State Hospital under the Pacific Islands Program which ran from 21 Nov to 1 Dec 2011.