Reception for Delegates to the 2015 Australia-China Youth Dialogue
Kaye and I are delighted to welcome to Government House this evening, participants in the 6th Australia-China Youth Dialogue.
We are equally delighted that this is the first Dialogue to be held in Queensland, providing an opportunity for all involved to understand better Queensland’s broad-ranging strengths and other attractions including, I believe, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary!
The Queensland-China relationship is one of our State’s most important international ties. This was brought home emphatically to us when Kaye and I made an official visit to Hong Kong earlier this year.
We were able to witness at first hand the strong complementarities in more traditional areas such as education, and less traditional areas such as medical research. Clearly, there remains enormous scope to create even greater breadth and depth in the Queensland-China relationship in the years ahead.
High-level political relationships set the tone and strategic direction of our bilateral links. In Queensland’s case, these are supported by the State’s long-standing official representation in China, and the presence in Brisbane of a career Consul-General for China.
But it is also important for these high-level relationships to be underpinned by people-to-people links created through business, tourism, education, cultural exchanges, Sister-State and Sister-City links, bilateral organisations – and regular bilateral events such as the Australia-China Youth Dialogue.
This annual Dialogue is a wonderful opportunity for high-calibre delegates – selected from an extremely competitive field – to get to know one another, to develop networks and friendships. It is also an opportunity to learn from equally high calibre speakers closely involved in the Australia-China relationship.
The connections which young people from Australia and China make at this year’s Dialogue will add an important element in the strength and robustness of the bilateral relationship.
Less formal relationships like these create additional channels through which we can seize mutually beneficial opportunities, and work together on any other challenges which may arise.
And we must keep in mind the high likelihood that delegates to this year’s Dialogue will rise to influential leadership positions in fields of endeavour across the breadth of the Australia-China relationship.
All of these are very good reasons to wish you a highly successful, enjoyable, and productive few days in Queensland, and to wish the Australia-China Youth Dialogue every success this year and in the future.