After a busy 2016, this year is shaping up to be even bigger and better for the Australian High Commission as Malaysia celebrates the sixtieth anniversary of its independence.
We have a number of exciting activities planned, including events to celebrate International Women’s Day, Australia’s creative economy and the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Participation in the New Colombo Plan in Malaysia continues to grow, with 394 Australian students to study in Malaysia in 2017—up by over 40 percent on 2016. Five Malaysian researchers will also travel to Australia this year on prestigious Australia Awards Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships, joining over 25,000 other Malaysians enrolled to study in Australia.
Our successful series of Alumni Conversations is set to continue, following highly informative and entertaining discussions last year with former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce, CSIRO Chief Futurist Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, and alumni professionals in law, accounting, tourism and hospitality. We will also continue to promote deeper people-to-people links through initiatives such as the Young Muslim Leaders Program. The Australian High Commission will again be a proud supporter of White Ribbon Day, which advocates for an end to domestic violence against women, and continue to promote Australia’s commitment to protecting and promoting human rights ahead of our candidacy for election to the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2018.
Having just celebrated Australia Day, it is timely to reflect upon Australia’s values as a nation, its role in the region and our long and rich partnership with Malaysia which predates Merdeka. As I enter the final year of my posting as High Commissioner, I am proud of the contributions that so many Australians make to this vibrant relationship—in business, education, the arts, sport, media, defence, government, civil society and many more.
Leanne and I would like to wish everyone in the MANZA community an enjoyable and prosperous 2017.
Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia