Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister and Minister for Women Hon. Marise Payne applauds the Pacific Sports Partnerships programme (PSP) progress in the country. 

She  was accompanied by Minister of Youth and Sports  Hon. Francois Chani  had the opportunity to meet the various sporting federations that are under PSP through the invitation of Vanuatu Cricket Federation. The sports includes Cricket, beach volleyball, football and the National Aquatic Federation gathered at the Independence Park yesterday.

Payne was impressed to see women from Black Sand and Eratap areas who took time out of their busy schedules, dressed up in colourful island dresses and played cricket at the Park yesterday. 

"It's fabulous to see lots of ladies here in different roles, and lots of gentlemen as well,  it is our pleasure to meet you. To see these amazing ladies playing cricket here today(yesterday) and congratulation to you.

"On top of our busy schedules in the morning here in Port Vila, i'm excited to see some cricket, i'm  once known in Australia as cricket tragic just ask anyone," Payne said.

Payne believes in uniting people through sports.

 "It is good to be here today with her Excellency of Australia here in Vanuatu with officials and Minister and with so many representatives of Vanuatu sports that are associated with Australia whether its volleyball, swimming, cricket,  we are really excited and enthusiastic about our Australian Pacific Sports programme and the work we are able to do.

"This a great way of bringing people together in Vanuatu and Australia and we have already been told about Alex Blackwell and a fabulous female role model she is as a cricketer .

"There are so many opportunities to strengthen that engagement whether it is a league or our amazing swimmers working towards Commonwealth and Pacific Games and every thing we do together," she added.

In addition Payne stated about strengthening the engagement of the two countries Australia and Vanuatu through sports.

"Australia is a sports mad country there is no doubt about that so the opportunity to grow our people in sports engagement and expand that to schools and spread that across our churches is something that we are really passionate about.

"So i think this is a beginning of our relations between Australia and Vanuatu. I really look forward to working with you.

"Vanuatu is our key country under our Australia Pacific Sports Partnership programme  and the more we can do, the more we will see with each other . visiting each other and engaging," Payne added.

"Sport is such a powerful tool ,engaging young people, we learn more about each other and we work together in a nice effective way

"This is a great opportunity for me to see our sports partnership in action. Looking forward to have an opportunity to come back and see you in action on the sporting field," she concluded.

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