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Wife of Australia’s Governor General Sings for the Children of Senese

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – 23 JUNE 2023: At the end of the Australian Governor General’s visit to the Senese Inclusive Educational Institute yesterday, his wife, Her Excellency Linda Hurley sang the song “Sunshine” for the children.

A teacher by profession, Her Excellency Linda Hurley bonded well with the children and could not pass the opportunity to show her appreciation for the children after they performed a series of Samoan sivas for their delegation. The song was also interpreted in sign language.

When commended for her beautiful voice and the song, she smiled, and at last night’s function to launch of the “Change Makers” short films, the Governor General His Excellency David Hurley reflected on the spirit of their visit that his wife had been singing all day long.

Before Senese Inclusive Education, the Governor and delegation visited the BRIDGE school project at Aana.1.

Governor artworks
Governor artworks

Inspecting some of the students artworks.

Governor assured SENESE of Australia’s commitment
His Excellency assured the Senese Board and staff of Australia’s continued support for the service provided by Senese to the country.

Senese is the recipient of Australia’s Samoa Hearing Aid Clinic which provides services not only for children but patients referred from the National Hospital.

The programs coordinator Naomi Asi acknowledged Australia’s assistance through partnership with the Royal Institute for the Deaf & Blind in Australia that is supplying all their hearing aids and equipment for the clinic.

“The clinic was specific for children, however, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, we now open our doors to adults and patients referred from the Ministry of Health to our clinic,” said Asi.

The equipment from Australia has allowed the clinic to do testing and fitting for hearing aids especially that Samoa does not have a hearing service clinic like the one offered at Senese.

“The program is now working on putting together community awareness programs where we take our services out to the community,” Asi said.

One of Senese’s patients is former Member of Parliament, Toleafoa Faamatala Afamasaga shared his personal experience with His Excellency.

Governor hearing
Governor hearing

Senior citizen and diplomat, Afamasaga Toleafoa Faamatala sharing his experience of his hearing restored through the Hearing Aid Project assisted by Australia.

Being a public servant all his life and recently appointed Samoa’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, Toleafoa said it would have been very hard for him to continue if it was not for the Hearing Aid services provided by SENESE.

“Without the support from Senese, I’m useless but now I am able to continue to serve,” said Toleafoa.

The Governor Generals delegation also viewed the handicrafts, hand painted fabric and other material produced by those at the institute who are deaf, mute and autistic.

Following an energetic and touching performance of Samoan sivas by the students, Her Excellency Linda Hurley then recited the song Sunshine with its message of hope.

Governor Linda sings
Governor Linda sings

A teacher by profession, Linda Hurley sings “Sunshine” for the children to reciprocate their energetic and touching performance of Samoan sivas.