Reception Hosted by the Australian High Commissioner for Alumni of Queensland Universities in Singapore
Ladies and gentlemen, Kaye and I thank you all for your kind attendance this evening. And thank you, High Commissioner Phillip Green, for graciously hosting this reception. May I take the opportunity to thank you and your staff for such substantial assistance in the devising and implementation of our programme.
One message which has strongly resonated with me as Governor of Queensland has been Queensland’s valuable contribution to the tertiary education of Singaporeans, both in Queensland, and here.
I was very pleased this afternoon to visit James Cook University’s exiting new campus, and to meet staff and students enthused with its offerings. I am very proud of JCU for the role it is fulfilling here, not only for Singaporean scholars, but students from multivarious nations.
More broadly tonight, we also acknowledge Queensland’s role in the tertiary education of so many Singaporeans. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the AAS, the Australian Alumni of Singapore.
Its aims – facilitating growth and promoting collegial goodwill – are laudable. They reflect the crucial role of tertiary education vis a vis Queensland’s, Australia’s, bilateral relations with this 50-year-strong, independent nation.
Some 100,000 Singaporeans have a degree from an Australian university. It delights me that so many of them want to celebrate that fact through the AAS. It reflects a view that my nation has done something of real value to them. I am pleased to note that Australian-based education is seen as quality education.
On the other side, I can assure you that we regard your presence in our country, and your contribution to our communities, as immensely enriching for us. Thank you!
Tonight’s reception is therefore particularly memorable for its theme. It is the culmination of an intensive programme, in which I have met business leaders important to Queensland; visited arts establishments with which we have important developing relationships – the National Gallery and the Singapore Arts Museum; been briefed on innovative technology by Singtel and Optus; visited the JCU campus; attended at the Kranji War Memorial, including respecting fallen Queenslanders; and met with both the Honourable the Chief Justice of Singapore, Mr Sundaresh Menon, and today, at the Istana, with the President Dr Tony Ton Keng Yam.
I certainly hope this official visit will be the first of a number to Singapore in my time as Governor. I believe our bilateral relationship is important both to this nation, and to my State, and I will do my best to render what is an excellent established relationship, even more enduring and mutually beneficial.
In the end, that turns on mutual assistance among our peoples. I am so glad tonight that we acknowledge worthwhile achievement, in that regard, in relation to education.
I again thank you, High Commissioners; and you, ladies and gentlemen, for you kind attendance.