Australian High Commission
Mauritius
Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar, Comoros, Reunion Island (consular)

High Commissioner's Speech - Official Opening of Curtin Mauritius

Official Opening of Curtin Mauritius,  Thursday 3 May 2018 - CTI, Moka

 

Acknowledgements

 

The Hon Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius

The Hon Leela Devi Dookhun-Luchoomun, Mauritian Minister of Education and Human Resources; Tertiary Education and Scientific Research

Mr Cedric de Speville, Chairman, Charles Telfair Institute, and CEO Eclosia Group

Mr Colin Beckett, Chancellor;

Professor Deborah Terry, Vice-Chancellor, Curtin University, and the other executives present here from Curtin

Mr Michel de Speville, President Founder of the Eclosia Group

Mr Jeremy Charoux, Executive Director of Charles Telfair Institute

Professor Eric Charoux and Mrs Odylle Charoux, Founders of the Charles Telfair Institute

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

   

It’s an honour to be here tonight in what is a milestone occasion in Australia’s partnership with Mauritius – and timely that it occurs this year when Mauritius marks its 50 year anniversary celebrations

 

Australia and Mauritius have strong relationship based on our historical ties, people-to-people links and shared values in support of democracy and good governance

 

  • it is well-known that Australia is home to one of the largest Mauritian diaspora with some 30,000 people of Mauritian descent

     

  • our two-way tourism figures are growing with some 22,000 Australians having visited Mauritius in 2017

     

    • supported by direct Air Mauritius flights from Perth where Curtin University is located.

       

There is significant two-way trade– over A$400 million, with over 100 Australian companies represented in Mauritius recognizing Mauritius standing as a regional financial services hub

 

  • more than 2,300 Mauritian students are currently studying in Australia with a significant number studying for an Australian qualification through local education institutions in Mauritius

 

  • and at the forefront of this collaboration is the longstanding Curtin and Charles Telfair Institute partnership.

     

Australia is a committed partner in the Indo-Pacific region

 

  • and in the Indian Ocean we recognize that Mauritius has an important position and role to play as a gateway to the region – and to Africa in particular.

     

Our cooperation in the Indian Ocean is deep and wide-ranging, encompassing active engagement in regional fora (like the Indian Ocean Rim Association) and multilateral efforts (like the Combined Maritime Forces) to address common challenges and pursue common interests across security and transnational crime, blue economy, environment and climate change, and women’s economic empowerment.

 

Today, our education cooperation reflects this increasingly globalised world

 

  • we have witnessed a growing number of research and education partnerships developing between our two countries coinciding with Mauritius’ strategy of becoming a leading education hub for the region in line with its Vision 2030.

     

A key focus of this growing partnership has been in the field of the ocean economy, but also agro-industry, health, education and training, and renewable energy with a strong focus on sustainable development

 

And working together to draw on latest innovations and technologies.  This includes:

 

  • CSIRO and the Prime Minister’s Office on marine spatial planning and partnerships with the Mauritius Oceanography Institute, Mauritius Research Council and Mauritius Sugarcane Industry Research Institute

     

  • And innovative education approaches is at the core of the partnership between Curtin and CTI

 

Australia’s broader education partnership is multi-layered, from pre-primary to primary, to secondary, vocational and tertiary education

 

  • Dukesbridge pre-primary
  • Ducere Foundation’s African Children’s Collection – primary school creative writing project
  • Young Mauritian’s Plan for the Planet program with high schools (RGSC – Questacon – ANU) entrepreneurship, business planning and the sustainable development goals
  • Australian Mathematics Trust Competition – high schools

 

The opening of Curtin Mauritius at the Charles Telfair campus is a landmark in Australia’s relations with Mauritius and on behalf of the Australian Government, I warmly welcome and commend the parties involved on this important next step

 

  • Reflecting a deep commitment to support the development of Mauritius as a regional education hub.

     

Curtin’s name was taken from Australia’s former Prime Minister John Curtin, who held office during World War II (1941-1945) and I know the University takes pride in fostering the values that John Curtin was known for – vision, leadership and community service – into its innovative curriculum and world class research.

 

Australia has a global reputation for education, science and research.

 

  • Over 1 billion people around the world rely on Australian discoveries and innovation everyday

     

  • Our global achievements include discovery of penicillin in 1945, the "black box" flight recorder, invention of Wi-Fi, ultrasound and a vaccine for cervical cancer

     

  • We have a tradition of cutting edge research, today looking for breakthroughs using block chain technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, and big data.

     

Curtin University is ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world and with established campuses in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Dubai is recognized as a proven global leader in tertiary education. And recognized for its strong connections with industry and a commitment to preparing students for the jobs of the future

 

  • Australian education institutions have created a cadre of Australian Alumni making a difference to the communities we live in around the globe – including right here in Mauritius predominately through this important partnership between Curtin and CTI

     

  • There are more than 9000 alumni from Curtin, but also the courses being offered with Western Australia TAFE.

     

  • We look forward to seeing this number grow.

     

  • And continuing to support our alumni – as important Ambassadors, entrepreneurs and change agents pursuing excellent in their chosen field

     

As John Curtin himself said - “The pursuit of knowledge is far more important than even knowledge itself. It involves discipline and training, which, in turn are moulders of character" (April 1932)

 

The opening of Curtin Mauritius today supports the vision of Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper aimed at promoting international collaboration in education, science and research, while working with governments and the private sector to ensure inclusiveness and sustainable economic development.

 

I look forward to seeing and supporting the next phase of our education partnership born out of the launch today of Curtin Mauritius.