A group photo with the Ambassador for Women and Girls with male and female staff from Marie Stopes Timor Leste and the Ministry of Health at the Community Health Clinic, Aileu Health Facility in Timor Leste.

We all have the power to be agents of change, and we can all play a significant role in achieving gender equality. Through alliances, collaboration and partnership, the impact of individual efforts can be multiplied to be much more powerful.

Coming into the holiday season, here’s a few extra things to add to your To Do list to make sure your travel plans go smoothly.

Few Australians appreciate just how advanced and secure their passports really are. DFAT’s pioneering use of face biometrics is a big part of the story.

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.

Over the past five decades, Australia’s place in the tourism sector has changed significantly. We have grown from a destination attracting 220,000 overseas visitors and contributing $74 million annually, to one that welcomed over eight and a half million visitors who spent almost $40 billion in 2016. Tourism is now Australia’s leading services export, employs five per cent of the Australian workforce and has grown on average at three times the rate of the broader Australian economy. Tourism Australia’s vision is to make Australia the most desirable and memorable destination on the planet.

“The minute I stepped off the plane in Paro, an airport in the middle of a steep mountain range with prayer flags lining the single runway, I felt that sense of coming home.”

State Visits are usually very formal affairs, with lots of gilt and glitter.  But, with a relationship as close as Australia and New Zealand’s, you’d be forgiven for asking whether any of that is really necessary. We’re such great mates; wouldn’t it be possible to just get together for a barbecue? Why do we bother with all of the formalities?