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Remarks by Ambassador Bill Tweddell
Future Unlimited Launch – Alumni Engagement Reception
21 June 2012
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Australian Embassy in Manila (some of whom are here this evening), it is my pleasure to welcome you to the launch of “Future Unlimited”.
The Australian alumni plays an integral role in supporting a dynamic and multi-dimensional Philippines-Australia relationship.
It is an exciting time in the Philippines Australia education relationship. After the US, Australia is now the destination of choice for Filipinos keen to study abroad. In 2011 almost 5000 Filipinos were enrolled to study in Australia. And this number has grown by 20 per cent a year over the past three years.
Many of you have gone onto significant roles in academe, politics, business and the arts. Your life has been shaped by your scholarly endeavours and life experiences in Australia. Ambassadors come and go, but you – the alumni are Ambassadors for life.
So what is “Future Unlimited”? It is Australia’s new brand to promote its high quality education. The brand encapsulates the message that an Australian education offers limitless opportunities to students in their chosen field. More will be revealed in the video we will show after my brief remarks.
As high-achieving alumni, you are a testament of “Future Unlimited.”
As many of you would know first-hand, Australia has a world-class education system that is research-oriented and highly innovative. It would be no surprise to many here that Australia has produced a disproportionately high number of Nobel Laureates, given our relatively small population.
Australian breakthroughs in medical science are well known; these include the development of a cervical cancer vaccine, the bionic ear and the discovery that stomach ulcers are caused by a bacterium.
But Australian expertise extends well beyond medicine to design and innovation. In this year, as we look forward to the London Olympics, it is less well known that world-wide only one architect has designed stadiums for two different Olympics. Australian Rod Sheard designed the ANZ stadium in Sydney and his latest project is the London Olympic Stadium.
Australian architects also designed the Water Cube in Beijing and the Sha Tin Olympic Equestrian Venue in Hong Kong for the Beijing Olympics.
As you are aware Australian education has much to offer. As alumni, we have invited you here tonight to get to know you better, hear about your experiences and explore opportunities for building mutually beneficial networks. In today’s highly networked world the Australian Alumni has an opportunity to carve out a niche in the Australia-Philippines bilateral relationship. I encourage you to explore ways to build bridges and to facilitate education and business exchanges between Australians and Filipinos. The Australian Embassy is here to assist and this event this evening is just the start and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we can progress this endeavour.
Thank you and good evening.