From today, up to 2,000 workers from Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu can earn an income and develop skills by accessing low and semi-skilled temporary work opportunities in Australia. This, in turn, benefits their families and communities.
Australia now – a flagship public diplomacy initiative that celebrates contemporary Australian innovation, creativity and lifestyle – complements our trade and strategic relationship with a key partner country each year.
At our High Commission in Kuala Lumpur we recently did just this, with the launch of the acclaimed ‘Faith, Fashion, Fusion: Muslim Women’s Style in Australia’ exhibition at the renowned Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia. Developed by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, ‘Faith, Fashion, Fusion’ showcases the experiences of leading Australian Muslim women, how they express their faith through fashion, and Australia’s modest fashion industry.
One of the best parts of my job is meeting the workers from Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru, involved in the Program. I particularly enjoy seeing them grow into their new jobs and life in Australia. They make an astonishing journey coming to Australia, leaving behind their families, children and community. They do this for the opportunity to gain skills and experience, and ensure that their families have money for education, health and household needs.
My experience as an intern in the Australian Embassy in Japan has been everything I hoped it would be – and more! My understanding of international affairs and Japanese has increased and I have grown and developed as a person. Being provided with the opportunity to live, study and work in Tokyo while on a New Colombo Plan scholarship has also been phenomenal. Whilst Tokyo is a busy, densely populated city, it never ceases to amaze me there is always green space, festivals to attend, and places to relax. Life is never boring.
On International Volunteer Day 2017, Australian volunteer Brad Timms serves as a shining example of the personal, professional and profound lasting benefits of international volunteering.
The Jessore clinic was full of women and children of all ages and the clinic’s triage nurse was busy conducting eye examinations. I soon met an elderly patient named Monowara. She sat in the waiting room with a kind smile on her face. I immediately noticed opacity in her eyes – a tell-tale sign of cataracts.
The Foreign Policy White Paper, the first comprehensive policy paper on Australia’s international engagement since 2003, will chart a clear course in a time of change and uncertainty. It will set out the Government’s strategy for engaging with the world, and in particular the Indo-Pacific region, over the next decade. Australia’s interests are global, but our priorities are increasingly centred in Asia and the Indian and Pacific oceans, from India in the West to North America in the East, from Antarctica in the South to China, Japan and neighbouring countries in the North.
In the 1960s young Papua New Guineans training for positions as senior public servants at the Administrative College talked about the future of an independent country. The informal discussion group, known as the ‘Bully Beef Club’, comprised an exceptional group of Papua New Guinea’s future independence leaders, including the first Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare.
Australia Awards scholarships continue to change the lives of Indonesia’s future leaders, which has long-term benefits for Australia’s bilateral relationship with that country.