australia

Pence, his wife Karen, and their two adult daughters, Charlotte and Audrey, saw some of the sights of Sydney, investing time in soft diplomacy on the last leg of a 10-day Asia tour that has been rich with symbolism about shoring up American economic ties and security cooperation. Karen Pence - who earlier charmed a meet-and-greet with embassy families with her pronunciation of "G'day" - held out a handful of chicory to Widji, an emu who boldly pecked at the bunch.

Australia’s Ambassador to China HE Ms Jan Adams AO PSM said, “The Australian Embassy proudly supports Screen Australia, Ausfilm and the Australian screen industry. Our work together delivers public diplomacy and economic diplomacy benefits by highlighting Australian creative excellence, deepening cultural understanding and delivering business opportunities in a fast growing market. 2017 is the Australia China Year of Tourism and marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations. It is a great time to be making co-productions.”

Australia has been warned it's losing its global influence on the world stage due to lacklustre contributions to foreign aid and humanitarian efforts. "We kind of miss you. We miss Australia. Australia should be big influential, taking your space, helping with humanitarian (disasters)," former prime minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt told ABC's Q&A. Ms Thorning-Schmidt compared Australia's foreign aid contributions to those of the UK.

A trend shared by the world’s top study destinations is the development of national international education initiatives. But what makes for a good strategy? Assimilation with the government and industry, argues a report from the British Council. It adds that strategies which are accompanied with a variety of complimentary policies like residence rights and post-study work, “are essential to the long-term growth and investment in the sector”.

From March 28 to 30, Australia’s global ambassadors will be gathering in Canberra to discuss a range of topics on foreign affairs and trade. At the top of the agenda is the forthcoming Foreign Policy White Paper — the first in 14 years. The white paper will set Australia’s priorities for global engagement moving forward, including the aid program. Australia’s NGOs have had their say through an initial call for public submission.

The lights are being switched off around the world at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, to mark the 10th annual Earth Hour, and to draw attention to climate change. The initiative began in Australia in 2007 as a grass roots gesture by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Australia against man-made carbon dioxide emissions linked to a warming planet. In 2017, it will involve the switching off of electric lights for an hour in 7,000 cities across 172 countries, at 8:30 p.m.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade (MODSIT) and the World Bank launched a joint programme of technical assistance and advisory services to the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) to enhance the competitiveness of the private sector and unleash the potential of Sri Lankan exports.

The Australian government will launch Friday, March 17, the AUD90-million Education Pathways for Peace in Mindanao (PATHWAYS) program. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will lead the official launching of the project, which will primarily benefit communities in Bangsamoro areas. The project is part of Australia’s long-standing commitment to support peace and stability in Mindanao.

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