Australia Week Festival ends celebrating Women in Leadership and Conservation
The G’day Moris Australia Week Festival ended on Wednesday 11 April with the closing ceremony and presentation of certificates to participants of the Australia Awards Regional Women in Leadership Conference and an Official Tree Planting Ceremony by the Minister of Agro-Industry of a Wollemi Pine at the SSR Botanical Gardens.
Thirty-one Australian Alumni from Mauritius, Seychelles and Madagascar participated in the two-day Women in Leadership Conference especially designed to improve participant’s negotiation skills and decision-making qualities so that they are better equipped for leadership challenges in their professional environments.
During the conference, the Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, the Hon Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus shared her perspectives on leadership in the political sphere and participants received their certificates from the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Local Government, the Hon Fazila Jewa-Daureeawoo and the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Hon Maya Hanoomanjee.
The Wollemi Pine, one of the world’s oldest and rarest trees, classified as critically endangered (CR) on the IUCN's Red List, was planted by the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Agro Industry and Food Security, the Hon Mahen Kumar Seeruttun on Wednesday at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens. The Australian Government gifted this indigenous Australian plant to the Mauritian Government on the occasion of the country’s 50 years of independence.
Australian High Commissioner Ms Jenny Dee said “The Australia Week Festival has provided a unique opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Australia-Mauritius relations and our growing partnerships in the public and private sectors in trade, tourism, education and research, design, culture, women’s empowerment and conservation”.
Ms Dee said the week had also marked Australia’s partnership in maritime safety through the closing ceremony of a three year search and rescue capacity building program between the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Ministry of Ocean Economy and other Mauritian stakeholders.
Last week the festival celebrated the growing partnerships between Australia and Mauritius in education through the launching of the Ducere Foundation's Golden Jubilee Collection of African Children Stories in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research.
The film premiere of “The Dressmaker” last Saturday at Mcine in Trianon provided the backdrop for the presentation of awards to the winners of the Australian Student Design Competition organised with the Charles Telfair Institute for students enrolled in Curtin University and Western Australian TAFE graphic design courses. The winner and People’s Choice recipient, Pascale Mamet, received her awards from the Minister of Arts and Culture, the Hon Prithvirajsingh Roopun. The Runner-Up was Yeshika Dodah.
Australia Week Festival Celebrates Australia-Mauritius Relations
The Australian High Commission officially launched the G’day Moris Australia Week Festival at the High Commissioner’s residence on Thursday 5 April with guests across government, business, community and education sectors and performances by children’s choir “Rainbow Voices”.
The week-long festival, held from 5 to 11 April, will celebrate Australia and Mauritius relations in the context of the 50 years of independence of Mauritius.
A highlight of the Australia Week Festival will be the “Gourmet Australia in Africa” Dinner where renowned Australian Executive Chef, Chris Wade, will fuse the best of Australian and Mauritian cuisine and showcase Australian beverages at The Address Boutique Hotel on 6 April.
Other events include a Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Quiz on Radio One, an Australian Design and Cultural showcase featuring Australian film screenings of “The Dressmaker” and “Oddball” at MCine Trianon and a student graphic design competition and exhibition with the Charles Telfair Institute.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission will host a “Doing Business with Australia” roundtable in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, while the Australian High Commission will also hold an Australia Awards Regional Women in Leadership Conference.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Mauritius Ms Jenny Dee said “Our G’day Moris Festival, coinciding with celebrations to mark 50 years of independence in Mauritius and the strong links with Australia, provides a wonderful platform to showcase Australian excellence in food and beverages, our growing educational and business partnerships and creativity across design and film.”
“The Australia Awards Regional Women in Leadership Conference will provide the High Commission a unique opportunity to bring together our alumni from Mauritius, Madagascar and the Seychelles to work on advancing gender empowerment and women in leadership in the region,” she said.
The Australia Week Festival will end with an official ceremony where the Minister for Agro-Industry and Acting Foreign Minister, the Hon Mahen Kumar Seeruttun, will plant a Wollemi Pine in the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens on 11 April which was gifted by the Australian Government on the occasion of the 50th years of independence of Mauritius. The Wollemi Pine is one of the world’s oldest and rarest tree species, belonging to a 200 million year old plant family.
Further information on the Australia Week Festival, including instructions for on-line voting for the People’s Choice Award for the Australian Student Design Competition, is available on www.mauritius.embassy.gov.au or on www.facebook.com/ahcportlouis
Australia farewells Mauritian athletes heading to the Commonwealth Games
The Australian High Commissioner to Mauritius, Ms Jenny Dee, hosted a reception at the Australian residence on 19 March to farewell Mauritian athletes who will be taking part in the 2018 Commonwealth Games which will be held on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia from 4 to 15 April 2018.
“We are very excited to be welcoming some 6,600 athletes to the Commonwealth Games which are being held in my home state of Queensland,” Ms Dee said.
“Sport is a universal language and as our two countries prepare to participate in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, let us also celebrate the shared values of the Commonwealth – our great sporting values of competition, team work and fair play - and our rich diversity.”
The Minister of Youth and Sports, the Hon Stephan Toussaint and the President and members of the National Commonwealth Games Committee, who will lead the Mauritian team were present for the occasion with members of Team Mauritius from the Athletics, Para – Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Badminton, Table Tennis, Squash and Triathlon disciplines.
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be the biggest international sporting event staged in Australia for a decade and the largest ever hosted by the Gold Coast, attracting more than 100,000 visitors, a worldwide TV audience of more than 1.5 billion people and up to 15,000 volunteers.
The 2018 Games will also be the largest-ever para-sport program in Commonwealth Games history, comprising up to 300 para-athletes and 38 medal events across seven sports. There will be an equal number of men’s and women’s medal events across the Games.
The Games will feature 10 compulsory sports (athletics, aquatics, badminton, boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball, squash, rugby sevens, weightlifting) and eight optional sports (beach volleyball, basketball, cycling, gymnastics, shooting, table tennis, triathlon, wrestling). Unique to the Commonwealth Games is the full integration of para-competition into the program. The GC2018 para-sports are athletics, aquatics, lawn bowls and powerlifting.
Australia and Mauritius collaborate to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals in schools through the Young Mauritians’ Plan for the Planet
On 26 February, the Australian High Commission welcomed the launch by the Mauritian Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, the Hon Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, of the Young Mauritians’ Plan for the Planet, an innovative extra-curricular school programme that will enable the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals to young people in Mauritius, at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre.
The Young Mauritians’ Plan for the Planet forms part of an International Programme, the Young Persons’ Plan for the Planet, which is a joint initiative of the Australian National University, Questacon (Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre), Future Earth Australia and Inspiring Australia.
The Mauritian project will be implemented in 10 secondary schools across the 9 districts of Mauritius where students will develop an action plan on how to achieve SDGs using business planning principles. The programme is being run concurrently in other countries including Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Fiji, Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.
“We are pleased to see the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre and Questacon continuing to collaborate on science education with this new program being championed by the Australian National University. The Young Mauritian’s Plan for the Planet is an excellent tool to promote the SDG goals in schools while developing students soft skills and interest in STEM using real-world challenges,” said Australia’s High Commissioner to Mauritius Ms Jenny Dee.
“We are delighted that Ms Suzy Urbaniak, the 2016 winner of the Australian Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools, is in Mauritius for the launch of this innovative programme and is supporting the partnership between Australian and Mauritian schools, teachers and students,” she said.
Mr Ian Chambers, Director of the Young Persons’ Plan for the Planet Project, from the Australian National University (Canberra) developed and published “A Plan for the Planet” in 2012 based on his work with global corporates and government around global management and sustainability.
Also present at the launch were Dr Naugah, Chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre and Dr Aman Maulloo, Director of the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre.
Australia supports the creation of a National Chapter of the Organisation of Women in Science for the Developing World in Mauritius
The President of the Republic of Mauritius, HE Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, officially launched the Mauritian Chapter of the Organisation of Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) during the closing reception of the Australia Mauritius Research and Innovation Forum in Ebene on Monday 19 February 2018.
OWSD is an international non-governmental organisation committed to promoting women’s access to science and technology, and increasing their participation in decision-making processes for the development of their countries and in the international scientific community.
The National Chapter will be hosted by the Food and Agricultural Research Extension Institute (FAREI) with Dr Devika Saddul, research scientist of FAREI’s Livestock Research Department, as the inaugural President of the Executive Committee.
The Chapter will enable its members to access research training, career development and networking opportunities that OWSD offers to women scientists throughout the developing world at different stages of their career.
“The Australian High Commission is honoured to have President Gurib-Fakim, herself a reknowned scientist and member of the OWSD, launch the Mauritian chapter and we encourage other individuals and organisations to support the network and its activities to promote women leadership in science,” Australia’s High Commissioner to Mauritius, Ms Jenny Dee said.
“We congratulate Dr Saddul, an Australian alumni, the newly elected Executive Committee, and all Mauritian OWSD members for the initiative they have shown in creating the network here,” she said.
The Australian High Commission continues to support initiatives that advance gender equality, women’s economic empowerment, and promote women leadership, including in STEM (science, technology, engineering and medicine).
Women in science who are interested in becoming members of the National Chapter can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Inaugural Australia Mauritius Research and Innovation Forum
The Australian High Commission and the Mauritian Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research held a joint press conference on Sunday 18 February 2018 to announce the launching of the inaugural Australia Mauritius Research and Innovation Forum which will officially launched at the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebene on Monday 19 February.
The forum, being held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research in the context of the golden jubilee independence celebrations, will bring together Australian and Mauritian policy makers, academics, industry players, innovators and thought leaders to discuss the role of research and private sector partnerships in driving innovation, promoting inclusiveness, and delivering sustainable economic development.
Around 100 delegates are expected to attend the Forum with up to 20 representatives from leading Australian universities and research institutions and government, along with strong support from the Mauritian business, academic and research community.
It will be preceeded by a Ministerial roundtable on 18 February with senior-level delegates to the Forum.
“Australia and Mauritius have always enjoyed a strong relationship based on historical people-to-people links. Today, with an increasing focus on global partnerships and innovation, that relationship has evolved to encompass growing education and research collaborations between Australian and Mauritian institutions and the private sector,” said Australia’s High Commissioner to Mauritius Ms Jenny Dee.
“We hope the Forum will discuss new challenges and identify opportunities for further cooperation in priority areas – across agriculture, fisheries, education and training, and advanced technologies - including to support Mauritius as a regional education hub,” she said.
The Minister of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research, the Honourable Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun said “I am confident that, in tandem with Australian institutions, our higher education institutions can reach out and offer a high quality education to Africa and the Indian sub-continent, through the special links that Mauritius has with SADC, COMESA, African Union or the IORA member states.”
“As part of this collaboration, I wish to salute the generous gesture of institutions like Murdoch University, Edith Cowan University and Deakin University for having granted Mauritius with a number of tuition-waiver scholarships for post-graduates programmes,” the Minister said.
Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun highlighted that the mission of her Ministry was to develop a culture of achievement and excellence; generate new knowledge for the socio-economic and sustainable development of the nation; and to ensure learning opportunities are accessible to all.
“Collaboration with Australian Universities as privileged partners to our local higher education institutions will undoubtedly be of mutual benefit. So, let us work closely with a view of reinforcing and strengthening the friendly bilateral relations that exist between Australia and Mauritius,” the Minister said.
The forum builds on a number of recent joint research projects with a particular focus on the ocean economy in Mauritius including marine spatial planning with CSIRO, Australia’s leading science organisation, and in renewable energy with Carnegie Clean Energy and the Mauritius Research Council. While the Australia Africa Universities Network is building regional research capacity and collaboration.
“This Forum is in line with the Australian Government’s Foreign Policy White Paper and Global Innovation Strategy which recognises that innovation is vital to the world’s future prosperity and the best innovations are born out of collaboration,” Ms Dee said.
Historical Visit of Australia’s Speaker of the House of Representatives marks Mauritius’ Golden Jubilee of Independence
The Speaker of the House of Representatives of Australia’s Parliament, the Hon Tony Smith MP, visited Mauritius from 11 to 13 January 2018 to mark the country’s Golden Jubilee of Independence and underline the longstanding and warm relations between the two countries.
Mr Smith is the first Australian Speaker to visit Mauritius and undertook a wide-ranging program including calls on the President and Prime Minister, a high-level business roundtable organised by the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a presentation at the University of Mauritius on democracy and role of the Speaker, and meeting other senior government, community and Australian alumni figures.
In recognition of the shared interests in education, the ocean economy, women’s empowerment and culture, including the history of indentured labour, Mr Smith’s program included a number of site visits such as Aapravasi Ghat and Port Louis harbour where Western Australian fisheries company - Austral Fisheries – has operated for more than a decade.
“It’s an honour to be the first Australian Speaker to visit Mauritius and I congratulate Mauritius on its 50 years of independence,” Mr Smith said, speaking during his visit.
“Australia and Mauritius have a longstanding and warm relationship, given our many shared interests in Commonwealth values and democratic institutions, commitment to peace and prosperity, and interest in developing commercial ties. I hope to develop our links further through increased parliamentary relations and exchange.”
Prior to his visit to Mauritius, Mr Smith met the Mauritian Speaker, the Hon Maya Hanoomanjee in the Seychelles where both were participating in the Conference of Speakers and Presiding Officers of the Commonwealth.
Mr Smith visited Dukesbridge preparatory school which has been partnered with an Australian school in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games being held in April on the Gold Coast. He also visited Genderlinks’ Safe Haven Halfway Home for Young Women and symbolically handover Rp400,000 raised during the Australian High Commission’s White Ribbon Charity Dinner held last November in collaboration with Les Chefs du Coeur’s and corporate partners.
Mr Smith's visit to Phoenix cemetery where he paid respect to War War II serviceman, Arnold Partington, who is buried in the cemetery was a particular moving part of his program.
With a large diaspora community, over 2,000 Mauritians currently studying in Australia, and increasing education, research and innovation partnerships, two-way trade stands at more than A$400 million in 2017. Over 100 Australian companies are operating in Mauritius.
Madagascar wins the prestigious Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize for two consecutive years
Australia is pleased to announce that Mrs Rina Hariniaina Razafimahefa from Madagascar Oil has been awarded the prestigious Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize and will undertake a Masters in Health, Safety and Environment at Queensland University of Technology in January 2018, representing a win for Malagasy Australian Awardees for two consecutive years.
Last year, the prize was won by another Malagasy woman, Ms Harimalala Tsiverisoa, from the Ministry of Mines who is currently studying a Masters of Development Studies at the University of Melbourne.
The Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize was established by the Australian Government to remember the life and achievements of HE Sandra Vegting, Australia’s High Commissioner to Mauritius and Seychelles and Ambassador to Madagascar and Comoros from 2011 to 2014.
The Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize is awarded annually to the most outstanding female Australia Awards Masters scholarship recipient from Mauritius, Madagascar and the Seychelles.
The award enables eligible awardees to identify and undertake activities that will contribute to their own leadership and skills development goals. Awardees are entitled to apply for funding up to the value of $2,000 (AUD) over the period of their Australia Award in Australia.
Commenting on the announcement of this year’s Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize, Australia’s High Commissioner Jenny Dee said “the Australian Government is committed to advancing women’s economic empowerment and their participation in leadership. The Sandra Vegting Leadership Prize, which celebrates the memory of our former colleague, compliments my department’s innovative Women in Leadership strategy which was launched in 2015 to promote gender equality, and helps support the professional aspirations of women in the Indian Ocean region.”
Since 2014, four female Australia Masters Awardees have benefitted from the prize. In 2014, Mrs Bhima Ausgur from Mauritius became the first awardee, receiving her award from Australia’s Foreign Minister, the Hon. Julie Bishop during her visit to Mauritius and in 2015, Mrs Mary Allas from Rodrigues became the second awardee.
Australia Awards- Africa: Developing capacity and leadership of Malagasy professionals
A workshop for the seven Malagasy beneficiaries of masters’ scholarships of the Australian government under the Australia Awards – Africa program was held on 20 and 21 November 2017 at the Carlton Hotel, Antananarivo. The aim of this pre-departure briefing workshopwas to prepare the awardees to live and study in Australia when they start their studies in the beginning of 2018.
The Australian government continues to support the sustainable socio-economic development of Madagascar through capacity building under the Australia Awards program in public policy, extractives and agricultural productivity. Since 2012, more than a hundred Malagasy professionals (55 % women) have benefitted from this program mainly in short courses.
This year, twenty-eight Malagasy nationals have been selected for awards under the program. Six of these awardees from the civil society recently participated in a Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) fellowship program on blue economy with emphasis on blue carbon.
Part of the Australia Awards’ programs on mining governance of the University of Sydney and University of Queensland were held in Madagascar this year. While fifteen Malagasy professionals participated in the University of Sydney’s fellowship program, the University of Queensland short course enabled twenty-four participants from eleven African countries (including Madagascar) to learn about the mining sector in Madagascar and better understand the challenges of the sector in Africa.
Announcing the calls for the next intakes in September 2017, HE Jenny Dee, Australian Ambassador said “this program provides the opportunity for the recipients to benefit from a world-class education, training and support delivered by Australian universities so that they can bring an important contribution to the socio-economic development of their respective countries upon their return. We hope that more Malagasy professionals would be able to take advantage in key sectors such as agriculture, environment and management of natural resources including marine resources."
Women and persons with a disability are strongly encouraged to apply for an Australia Award. The program can provide support to applicants and awardees requiring assistance
The Australian High Commission marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women with a fundraising Charity Dinner
The Australian High Commission partnered with Les Chefs du Coeur association on Thursday 23 November to host a White Ribbon Charity Dinner which raised over Rs400,000 for local NGO, Gender Links’ “Safe Haven Half Way Home” for young women who are victims of abuse.
The event attracted attendance by eminent guests, including the newly appointed Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, the Hon Roubina Jadoo-Jaunbocus, and the Mauritian and Australian business community. The event was the Australian High Commission’s flagship activity for the 2017 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women observed on 25 November. This kicks off 16 days of activism against gender based violence which ends on 10 December, marking International Human Rights Day.
A number of leading local businesses, artists, members of the business community and legal and judicial sectors including Women in Uniform supported the White Ribbon Charity Dinner and took the White Ribbon pledge to never to commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women.
Commenting at the White Ribbon Charity Dinner, the Australian High Commissioner to Mauritius, HE Ms Jenny Dee said: “The Australian Government has a steadfast and ongoing commitment to ending violence against women and girls and supporting gender equality. Gender equality and women’s empowerment accounts for at least 80% of Australia’s overseas aid program.”
“Through the Australian Awards scholarship program, the Australian High Commission’s small grants community development program, and visits by Australian specialists - including Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls - we have been sharing our experiences and providing support and capacity building to Mauritian government officials, community groups, legal practitioners, front line police officers, business groups and women entrepreneurs to support gender equity, combat gender-based violence, and promote women’s economic empowerment.”
“I am pleased that the High Commission has received such strong support from our partner for this Charity Dinner, Les Chefs du Coeur, and the local corporate sector and local artists. It shows a real interest to work together to recognise the challenges and commit to prevent violence against women.”
COP 23 : SYAH CLIMATE ACTION CHALLENGE
The COP 23: SYAH Climate Action Challenge 2017 was launched by the SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH) on Monday 13 November 2017 at the Indian Ocean Commission in Ebene, Mauritius. The Challenge, which received the support of the Australian High Commission and the Indian Ocean Commission, follows two successful ‘Prep4COP’ Climate Change advocacy training workshops for Small Island States youth that were co-organised by the SIDS Youth AIMS Hub (SYAH) and the Commonwealth Youth Climate Change Network (CYCN) in Mauritius in 2016 before COP 22 and again in September 2017 in Seychelles before COP 23. Both workshops received the support of the Australian High Commission and the Indian Ocean Commission.
Commenting at the launch of the COP 23: SYAH Climate Action Challenge 2017, the Australian High Commission’s Second Secretary, Barbara Minois said: “Australia is committed to the Paris Agreement and is working with countries in the region to manage natural resources, respond to the impacts of climate change and natural disasters and find pathways to sustainable economic growth. The High Commission is pleased to be working with SYAH for the second year running to build capacity, promote awareness of climate change and its impacts and provide support for our youths of today so they are equipped to take on the challenges of our leaders of tomorrow.”
Meghna Raghoobar, the co-founder of the regional youth-led organisation SYAH which exists in 8 islands in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean region highlighted: “The aim of this challenge is to create more awareness about COP events and Climate Change impacts on Small Islands States to the younger generation, while engaging them in an action-oriented initiative through the challenges. The prizes have also been selected in order to ‘walk the talk on Climate Action”
Around 30 youths of 16 – 25 years were teamed up in groups of 6-7 to take part in the challenge. There was a short video voice on ‘Nature Speaking’ by Julia Roberts which was an awakening point for many of the youth; followed by a presentation on the impact of plastic waste presented by the focal point of SYAH-Mauritius Siid Siddhartha. The participants were then assessed on three different levels: creativity through the DIY (Do It Yourself) Challenge with plastic waste and other waste materials. This challenge helped the youth in developing an upcycling mind-set, while re-awakening their creativity side which was facilitated by Emilie Davantin former Sustainable Product design at the University of Mauritius and Project Intern at SYAH. In order to provide some basic knowledge on Climate Realities based on Al Gore’s Climate Reality training which Meghna Raghoobar followed in Pittsburgh last month a Quiz Challenge was organised in such a way that the youth learnt more about COP events, Climate Change impacts and the essence of climate action. The last challenge was about the Climate Circuit designed by Dodowork Play in collaboration with SYAH where the youth had to come up with an implementation plan of a project idea they would implement in December 2017 with Rs 8000 seed-funding being given to them.
The winners of the first prize were given Rs 5000 as CASH Prize + Rs 8000 Seed-Funding to implement Climate Action initiative + Mentorship session with Dodoworkplay for project implementation offered by the Australian Aid and an educational tour at île-aux- aigrette on 09 December 2017 offered by Mauritius Wildlife Foundation. The aim is to assist them in the implementation of a Climate Action project this December 2017. The second prize winners were given Stand-up Paddle and Kayak sponsored by TamarinBay Boathouse to be done tentatively on 16 December 2017 which will be organised by SYAH team. The third prize winners got an Educational tour at île-aux- aigrette on 09 December 2017 organised by SYAH team, and the rest of the participants would be redeeming their carbon-footprint by planting trees with FORENA at la Citadelle (if they wish) in line with POLWI by nature on 25 November 2017.
Australia Awards – Building capacity and Leadership
A closing ceremony for the University of Queensland’s short course on Local economics and Social Development in Extractives, which is part of the Australian Government’s scholarship program, was held in Antananarivo on 12 October 2017 in the presence of the Malagasy Minister for Mining and Petroleum, the Hon. Mr Zafilahy Ying Vah and Her Excellency Ms Jenny Dee, Australia’s Ambassador to Madagascar.
Twenty-three participants from eleven countries including Madagascar participated in the short course which was run by the University of Queensland. While the first part of the program was held in Australia, the second part was held in Madagascar where participants were able to discover the country’s mining sector and better understand the challenges of this sector in Africa.
In her speech at the closing ceremony, Ambassador Dee said "Capacity building is crucial for socio-economic development in Africa. Through its Australian Awards program, the Australian government is targeting key sectors of the economy, offering the opportunity for African professionals to access international quality training. "
Lynda Lawson, Course Leader of the University of Queensland’s program, highlighted that the course modules were not only adapted from the Australian model but also took into account the local context of resource-rich countries such as Madagascar. "At each stage of the program, participants were called upon to apply the knowledge that they acquired in their reintegration plan from their practical work, assessments and interaction with local communities that had been impacted and professionals in the extractives sector," said Lawson.
Mrs Fenosoa Razanakolona, a Malagasy participant, said: "Through this scholarship, I have had the opportunity to learn from both the theoretical modules and the visits to mining operations which has helped me acquire new knowledge. I am convinced that Madagascar can develop and implement sustainable development through mining activities, but this requires the collaboration of all stakeholders in the sector. "
Calls for applications under the Australia Awards program (www.australiaawardsafrica.org) are currently open. Malagasy professionals can apply for Masters and short courses in the areas of Public Policy, Extractives and Agriculture.
Diego Suarez welcomes first Royal Australian Navy Ship
HMAS Newcastle arrived in Diego Suarez port 10 October 2017, marking the first Royal Australian Navy ship to visit Madagascar since the Second World War.
Australian Naval Ships are playing an active role in supporting international maritime security efforts in the Indian Ocean region.
Newcastle has conducted several security patrols in the Indian Ocean. In June 2015, the ship conducted a goodwill visit to the Seychelles on the occasion of the country’s National Day celebrations.
The ship is currently supporting international efforts as part of the Combined Maritime Force to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East Region.
“It is a very special moment for us as HMAS Newcastle visits Madagascar. This visit is a testament of Australia’s commitment to maritime security in the Indian Ocean. It also provides an opportunity to remember the Australian servicemen who have been laid to rest in the Indian Ocean region”, said Australia’s Ambassador to Madagascar, HE Jenny Dee.
While in port, Newcastle’s Commanding Officer, Commander Mark Sirois, will call on local officials in Diego Suarez and will lead a Commemorative Service at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Diego Suarez where Second World War Australian serviceman, Able Seaman John Frederick Ellis has been laid to rest.
“The crew and I are extremely excited to conduct an inaugural port visit to Madagascar and showcase Australian support to Combined Task Force 150 maritime security operations in the region. It will also be an honour to pay our respects to one of our own during the visit.”
Newcastle is the fourth of the Royal Australian Navy’s Adelaide class frigates and is a long-range escort capable of air defence, surface and undersea warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction.
The 2017 Australia Awardees honoured at the Welcome Reception of the new High Commissioner
The 2017 Mauritian Australia Awardees of Australian Government Masters and Short-term (short course awards) scholarships took centre stage at the welcome reception of the new Australian High Commissioner, HE Ms Jenny Dee on 21 September 2017.
This year, 3 Masters and 10 Short-term scholarships (short course awards) were awarded to Mauritian professionals to study a wide range of courses including public policy and management, ocean governance and sustainable fisheries, agribusiness, public private infrastructure partnerships, trade policy and negotiations and mineral and energy economics.
Since the launching of the Australia Awards program in 2011, 128 scholarships have been awarded to professionals in the public and private sector in Mauritius.
Ms Dee noted the high quality of Mauritian applicants for the Australia Awards, who had competed against candidates from across Africa. “Australia is committed to continuing to partner with Mauritius in building capacity in priority areas and supporting reforms within departments and institutions. Through the Australia Awards program, skills and expertise are shared with awardees across Africa, supporting them to contribute to the socio-economic development of their countries on return”, said the High Commissioner.
Ms Dee who presented her credentials to the President of Mauritius at the end of July of this year, told the gathering of government, business, community and diplomatic figures that she was looking forward to further strengthening cooperation between Australia and Mauritius in the areas of the ocean economy, trade and investment, education and research, arts and culture, women empowerment and gender equality.
She commended the visit by Mauritius Education officials, Board of Investment and the Financial Services Promotion Authority to participate in the Australia in Africa Week in Perth earlier this month which successfully highlighted the opportunities of Mauritius as a regional financial services hub and resulted in stronger education partnerships.
Australia’s new Ambassador, HE Ms Jenny Dee, is accredited to the Republic of Madagascar
Australia’s new Ambassador, HE Ms Jenny Dee, presented her credentials to the President of the Republic, HE Mr Hery Rajaonarimampianina, at a ceremony at Ivaloha Palace, Antananarivo on Thursday 17 August 2017. HE Ms Dee succeeds Ms Susan Coles who recently returned to Australia.
“I look forward to further reinforcing cooperation between Australia and Madagascar in the areas of extractives, health, blue economy, climate change and environment, education, women empowerment and gender equality. I would also like to explore cooperation in agriculture and food security, research and innovation” Ms Dee said.
The friendly ties between our two island nations were further strengthened by the visit of Australia’s Foreign Minister Ms Julie Bishop in September 2014 and the landmark first ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) commemorative ceremony held at the Diego Suarez Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in April this year.
Over the last few years, there has been increased interest in developing other emerging economic pillars such as the Blue Economy and I look forward to building new partnerships between Australian and Madagascar institutions to support sustainable development” said Ms Dee.
As big island nations, our two countries share many similarities based on economic pillars including extractives, tourism and agriculture
Australian skills and expertise are well-placed to meet Madagascar’s growing needs. Innovation and research feature high on the Australian Government’s agenda and Australian institutions like the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) are looking at developing partnerships in Madagascar particularly under the blue economy and blue carbon initiatives.
Australia is committed to working closely with Indian Ocean Islands States on maritime security, economic growth and sustainable development, including through the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA),
Australia’s flagship scholarship program, the Australia Awards, is continuing to support Madagascar sustainable socio-economic development by building capacity in key sectors of the economy including in extractives, agriculture and public policy. The University of Queensland will deliver its short course in Local economics and Social Development in Extractives in Madagascar from 24 September to 13 October 2017.
Through its Direct Aid Program (DAP), the Australian Embassy continues to support local development projects in several regions of Madagascar targeting poverty alleviation, access to clean water supply, health, education, women's empowerment and rural development.
Ms Dee is a senior career officer with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). She has served overseas at Australia's missions in Jakarta and Harare.
Ms Dee holds a Master of Arts (Foreign Affairs and Trade) from Monash University and a Bachelor of Business (Journalism) from the Queensland University of Technology. She is married with two children.
Australia’s new High Commissioner, HE Ms Jenny Dee, is accredited to Seychelles
Australia’s new High Commissioner to Seychelles, HE Ms Jenny Dee, presented her credentials to the President of the Republic, HE Mr Danny Faure, at a State House ceremony in Victoria on Tuesday 8 August 2017. HE Ms Dee replaces Ms Susan Coles who recently returned to Australia.
Ms Dee said that she looked forward to fostering Australia and Seychelles’ warm relationship, building on our strong people-to-people links and enhancing cooperation in areas of common interest.
‘Australia and Seychelles have a long shared history and many common interests’, she said. ‘I am particularly keen to work more closely with Seychelles on safety and sustainability in the blue economy, an area in which Seychelles is a world leader, Australia has cutting edge expertise, and our progress together will benefit the Indian Ocean region and beyond’.
Australia and Seychelles also collaborate on customs and revenue management, good governance, maritime security, sustainable development and enhancing gender equality.
‘I also look forward to nurturing partnerships between our education, trade and investment institutions and to exploring cooperation in agriculture, health and innovation’ she said. ‘We share a love of sport and I believe that welcoming team Seychelles to the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018 will be a highlight of my tenure as High Commissioner’.
Australia’s flagship scholarship program, the Australia Awards, is continuing to provide essential support to Seychelles in building capacity in priority areas and supporting reforms within departments and institutions.
Ms Dee is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Director, External Budget Section. In Canberra Ms Dee has held a range of positions in DFAT, including as Director, Sri Lanka and Maldives Section; India Political and Regional Section; and Indonesia Economic and Transnational Issues Section. She has served overseas at Australia's missions in Jakarta and Harare.
Ms Dee holds a Master of Arts (Foreign Affairs and Trade) from Monash University and a Bachelor of Business (Journalism) from the Queensland University of Technology. She is married with two children.
Australia’s new High Commissioner, HE Ms Jenny Dee, is accredited to Mauritius
Australia’s new High Commissioner to Mauritius, HE Ms Jenny Dee, presented her credentials to the President of the Republic, HE Dr Ameenah Firdaus Gurib-Fakim, GCSK CSK, at a State House ceremony in Reduit on Thursday 27 July 2017. HE Ms Dee replaces Ms Susan Coles who recently returned to Australia.
Commenting on her future plans as Australia’s new High Commissioner to Mauritius, Ms Dee said: “I look forward to further strengthening cooperation between Australia and Mauritius in the areas of the ocean economy, agriculture and food security, trade and investment, education and research, arts and culture, women empowerment and gender equality. I am also interested in exploring new avenues of cooperation in the areas of sports (noting Australia’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games in 2018), science and textiles and fashion. We also have some exciting events ahead where we will celebrate our long-standing relationship - in 2018, we will be celebrating Mauritius’ 50 year anniversary of Independence and in 2020, we will mark 50 years of bilateral relations between our two countries.”
Australia and Mauritius enjoy warm relations based on strong economic and people-to-people links, particularly in education and marine economic activity. Over the last few years, education and research institutions in Mauritius have built strong relationships with their Australian counterparts and developed innovative partnerships with the Australian private sector. “I want to continue to support government research institutions and private sector to work together on the significant challenges of the 21st century.” said Ms Dee.
Australia is committed to working closely with Mauritius on maritime security, economic growth and sustainable development, including through the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), and the newly established Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub.
Australia’s flagship scholarship program, the Australia Awards, is continuing to provide essential support to Mauritius in building capacity in priority areas. Australian skills and expertise are well-placed to meet Mauritius’ growing needs, particularly as it positions itself as a hub for the region.
A number of exchanges have also occurred over the last few years between Australia and Mauritius in the fields of land administration and management, maritime security and prison reform. Ms Dee is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Director, External Budget Section. In Canberra Ms Dee has held a range of positions in DFAT, including as Director, Sri Lanka and Maldives Section; India Political and Regional Section; and Indonesia Economic and Transnational Issues Section. She has served overseas at Australia's missions in Jakarta and Harare.
Ms Dee holds a Master of Arts (Foreign Affairs and Trade) from Monash University and a Bachelor of Business (Journalism) from the Queensland University of Technology. She is married with two children.