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Global insights - Dispatches from Australia’s global diplomatic network

From Taipei: Community comes together for bushfire appeal

A special bushfire fundraiser jointly organised by the Australia and New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, the Australian Office Taipei (DFAT and Austrade) and Trade and Invest Queensland, on 16 January 2020, generated over TWD$1,000,000 (approximately $50,000) in less than three hours with the generous support of the local Australian and Taiwanese business communities.

Australian Office Representative Gary Cowan led the fundraising efforts, thanking the business community for supporting affected communities.

The fundraiser included a charity auction, including copies of the New Taipei City firefighter calendar signed by Hannah Quinlivan, who starred alongside Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson in the movie ‘Skyscraper’ and is married to Taiwan’s most famous popstar Jay Chou, and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi.  Authentic Aussie food and beverages were supplied by Little Creatures Taipei.

All funds raised went to the Red Cross to support bushfire recovery efforts.

From Lima: Australia is open for business

The Australian Embassy in Peru’s Australia Day event this year centred around promoting the benefits of the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement that entered into force on 11 February 2020.

Acknowledging the outpouring of support from Peru during the recent bushfire crisis, Ambassador Diana Nelson used her speech to underline the values Australia shares with Peru, including support for open markets and free trade, democracy and human rights and the rules-based international order. Echoing the Ambassador, Peru’s Foreign Minister Gustavo Meza-Cuadra affirmed our shared support for regional institutions, such as APEC, and the economic opportunities our high quality free trade agreement would facilitate.

Photo of Ambassador to Peru Diana Nelson (left) greeting Peruvian Minister of Culture Sonia Guillen at the Australian Embassy in Peru’s Australia Day event.
Ambassador to Peru Diana Nelson greeting Peruvian Minister of Culture Sonia Guillen at the Australian Embassy in Peru’s Australia Day event in 2020. Credit: Arturo Huerta.

From Adelaide: A leader in agricultural science

South Australia is a leader in high-end food and wine. Leveraging the State’s clean and green reputation, producers are looking for investment and new markets, while researchers and authorities are keen to share the South Australian story and expertise with visitors.

Over the past decade, much of South Australia's success in the agribusiness sector has been due to scientific advances in farming systems, genetics, water use and pest and disease management. The University of Adelaide's Waite Campus is regarded as one of Australia's leading research, education and commercialisation precincts for agricultural science.

Waite houses experts in plant biotech, cereal breeding, sustainable agriculture, wine and horticulture, plant and soil health, land management and crop and pasture breeding transformation. The campus attracts many international delegations keen to benefit from this expertise.

From Jakarta: ‘Australia Connect’ Campaign

The Australian Embassy in Jakarta has launched a new public diplomacy campaign, Australia Connect, to generate greater cultural connections between Australia and Indonesia and promote Australia as a modern, diverse and multicultural democracy and a first-class destination for business, education and tourism.

The campaign began with an exhibition to mark the 70th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Indonesia in mid-November 2019.

A video prepared by the Embassy to celebrate the campaign launch is available on YouTube: Australia Connect

From Darwin: Innovation in the Territory

The number of innovation start-ups in Darwin is growing, supported by a technology innovation ecosystem centred around the Darwin Innovation Hub. The Hub was established in 2017 as a partnership between Paspalis, the Northern Territory Government and Charles Darwin University. It provides a setting in which to grow NT start-ups seeking investment capital, as well as attracting start-ups from Asia that want a market like the Territory’s in which to grow and test their products. The NT's strengths lie in areas of shared challenge across the Indo-Pacific, including remote service delivery and tropical health.

From Cook Islands: PacificAus sports diplomacy in Rarotonga

A three-day visit by three members of the Australian Diamonds Netball team, Paige Hadley, Caitlin Thwaites and Joanna Weston, to Rarotonga under the PacificAus Sports Diplomacy Program late last year was warmly received. The visit provided a pathway for emerging Cook Islands netballers to gain expert tuition from elite Australian sportspeople. The visit included clinics with primary school-aged students from three local primary schools, a leadership talk at Nukutere College, two clinics with the youth development squads and coaches, and speaking at a Cook Islands Netball Association fundraiser.

Group photo of Diamond players with local primary school students.
Diamond players with local primary school students. Image: Ashleigh Muir.

From Sydney: NSW Consular Corps tour of Western Sydney

DFAT’s New South Wales State Office partnered with NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, Stuart Ayres, the NSW Government’s Western City and Aerotropolis Authority, and NSW Treasury to host a visit program in October 2019 for 33 members of the consular corps to highlight the significant investment and trade opportunities in the region.

NSW officials and businesses briefed Consuls General and Trade Representatives on construction, freight and logistics, defence and aerospace, health and medtech, tourism, education and agribusiness opportunities.

A site visit to the Western Sydney Aerotropolis, which represents one of the largest greenfield airport investments globally, provided an opportunity to showcase advanced manufacturing and promote aerospace and defence industry opportunities. Delegates heard the curfew-free airport would provide unprecedented opportunities for businesses located in NSW to export to key international markets and support inbound trade.

From Buenos Aires: Reaching out to indigenous communities in Argentina

The Australian Embassy in Buenos Aires hosted a ‘Pachamama a la carta’ fundraising dinner in support of local NGO Red Comunidades Rurales in September 2019.  As a recipient of Australian development assistance, the NGO promotes and strengthens links between small rural producers, including indigenous communities, and urban restaurants and diners.

Through the Embassy, the Australian Government provides development assistance to the Pachamama program, focusing on education, rural community development and protection of the natural environment.

Assistance has been provided to indigenous Guaraní communities in the Province of Misiones for a number of capacity-building projects including the purchase of materials for irrigation, agricultural equipment, seeds, the construction of greenhouses, and educational programs for rural communities including in healthy food production and community farming.

Local companies and 80 donors attended the fundraising dinner and raised over $15,000 to be used across a number of projects, including training, development and education programs. The menu was designed by Argentine celebrity chef Juliana López May and focussed on highlighting the produce of small producers and expanding their access to urban markets.

Australia will continue to work with Red Comunidades Rurales and these communities to promote development, and ultimately to assist them to commercialise their produce.

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