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Australian High Commission, Port Louis
Australia in Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros is on Facebook! Follow us: www.facebook.com/ahcportlouis
L’Australie a Maurice, Seychelles, Madagascar et Comores est sur Facebook! Suivez-nous sur: www.facebook.com/ahcportlouis
Macquarie Bank and Mauritius Government Letter of Intent on Offshore Oil Bunkering Project Announcement: 26 March 2015
The Australian High Commission in Mauritius is pleased to announce today that leading Australian quoted investment private bank Macquarie has today received a formal Letter of Intent from the Mauritian Government inviting them to establish offshore oil bunkering facilities here in Port Louis. The project is valued at $100 Million Australian Dollars.
At a ceremony attended by the Hon. Ashit Gungah Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Consumer Protection; Officials of the Ministry of Finance; the Mauritius Ports Authority and HE the Australian High Commissioner Susan Coles, a copy of the Letter of Intent signed by Minister Gungah has been handed over to Macquarie Project Leader, John Young.
The ceremony was also attended by Macquarie’s local partner Scott Shipping, and Atlantic Energy Consulting, who have been the promoter of this project.
HE Susan Coles said after the ceremony: “We welcome this project which will really put Mauritius on the Indian Ocean shipping and bunker trading map. This partnership between Mauritius and Australia’s Macquarie Bank, which has funded and managed multiple major infrastructure projects internationally and was selected by the World Bank in 2014 as a global infrastructure partner of choice, is one of the first concrete, commercial projects announced under the port development pillar of the “Ocean Economy.” This will bring our close bilateral ties as partners in Indian Ocean maritime trade and shipping, and as fellow members of Indian Ocean Rim Association, which Australia currently chairs, even closer.”
The development of this project, following a lengthy bilateral consultation process, has been a matter of keen interest to the Australian High Commission as part of its economic diplomacy strategy in Mauritius. During her visit to Mauritius last year, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop engaged with Mauritian authorities on the Ocean Economy, including at a major event also attended by the Ports Authority, private sector and IORA representatives.
HE Coles added: “I know Minister Bishop will welcome the progress in this project today. The signing of the Letter of Intent this week, is especially auspicious as it is “Australia Week in Mauritius,” with our major festival promoting our trade, cultural, education and commercial ties; and also Budget week, with Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo focussing on the Ocean Economy on Monday night.” She added “today’s development really shows that Mauritius, with its new pillar of the Ocean Economy is “open for business.” Development of the port and related services for maritime traffic in the Indian Ocean will create major opportunities for Mauritian SMEs, and many new jobs. And Australia and our Macquarie Bank are pleased to be a part of that. ”
Seychelles Women in Police Network Celebrates International Womens’ Day
To celebrate IWD in the Seychelles, the Women in Police network, launched with Australian support last year (by AFP Agent Tina Westra and Seychelles Superintendant of Police Christel Marie with the support of Australian Customs official Amanda Skinner) held a series of workshops and activities. About 20 female police officers held a working bee in the garden of the Seychelles Aged care village and then decorated the grounds. A lunch to celebrate was held with the police women, elderly women residents and their carers, around fifty attendees, including the Police Commissioner Ernest Quatre.
Australia celebrates International Women's Day in the Indian Ocean
When the High Commission in Port Louis was asked by Canberra to nominate women in the Indian Ocean who have achieved highly in their fields and epitomise Gender Empowerment in action, we nominated three from our patch. Professor Romeela Mohee, who has a string of firsts - First woman Lecturer and Dean in Engineering at UM, first woman Vice-Chancellor in Mauritius and a passionate believer in education for girls and women in the sciences and technical fields. In Madagascar, Daniella Randriafeno, Former Minister of Mining and now Executive Secretary of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Madsgascar. Then there is Madame Sitti Chihabiddine, an entrepreneur who runs the only female-led export business in the Comores Islands. After learning English on an Australia Award Scholarship she is now exporting Vanilla to Australia, Europe and Japan.
All three were chosen, from dozens of nominations made by our High Commissions and Embassies around the world, to be among the 20 stories of empowered women featured in booklets, schools kits, and social media of the Australian Foreign Ministry, in celebration of International Women's Day.
Celebrating International Women’s Day with Women in Uniform Network
The Australian High Commission sponsored Women in Uniform network, founded one year ago on International Women’s Day 2014, visited the USS Oscar Austin DDG 79 Naval Vessel, of which the Second in Command is a Woman in Uniform, Commander Janice Smith, Executive Officer. She has around 55 women on board the vessel, and members of the Mauritius Women in Uniform network were impressed and inspired by the variety of their roles, from intelligence offices to engineers and weapons “Firing” officers.
The visit was arranged in conjunction with the US Embassy in Mauritius, who have also been lending their strong support to the WIU network, with special thanks to Jennifer Cartaino NCIS and Andy Frost, Security officer
Anzac 100 Year Commemoration: Mauritian & Indian Ocean Connections - planned publication
The Australian High Commission Pt Louis is seeking stories about Australian-Mauritian connections in World War One, in preparation for commemorating Anzac Day in Port Louis this year.
Does anyone out there have family stories relating to Mauritians who perhaps fought in WW I and then established an Australian connection (maybe emigrated or had children who did so later on?). The Australian High Commission would be grateful to receive short descriptions/anecdotes (maximum a page or so) by no later than 5 April, with permission to include in a short Anzac Commemorative Publication of the Australian High Commission, Mauritius.
Send to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Anzac 100 Years: Mauritian Connections".
We cannot guarantee that all stories will be included but we will try to use as many as possible, in what will be a modest booklet, given time and resource constraints. Of course it could become the basis for a larger project in the future.
Australia Day Celebrated in Mauritius
Official Australia Day toast - From left to right: Foreign Minister, the Hon. Etienne Sinatambou; Prime Minister, the Rt Hon. Sir Anerood Jugnauth; President, H.E. Mr Rajkeswur Purryag and H.E. Ms Susan Coles
H.E. Ms Susan Coles and her spouse, Prof. Daniel Fitzpatrick welcome Foreign Minister, the Hon. Etienne Sinatambou
Australia Day Speech - From left to right: Foreign Minister, the Hon. Etienne Sinatambou; Prime Minister, the Rt Hon. Sir Anerood Jugnauth; President, H.E. Mr Rajkeswur Purryag and H.E. Ms Susan Coles
The Speaker of the National Assembly, the Hon. Mrs Maya Hanoomanjee accompanied by her spouse and guests
High Commissioner Coles met New Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands
On 20 January 2015, HE Coles presented booklets of the University of Western Australia's Centre for Indian Ocean to the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, the Hon. Premdut Koonjoo. An MOU, focussing on the new Faculty of Ocean Studies of the University of Mauritius, was signed by Professor Collin, Deputy Director of the Oceans Institute of the University of Western Australia and Vice Chancellor Mohee of University of Mauritius during the Australian Mnister of Foreign Affairs visit to Mauritius in September 2014.
Australia Day, 26 January 2015
Future Chasers: Australian Experiences, Global Impact
As Australia Day approaches, Australia Unlimited has developed a dynamic social media campaign to let people of all nations learn more about the positive contribution Australians, and an Australian education, makes to the global community.
To mark this year’s Australia Day, Australia Unlimited is asking everyone to cast their minds forward to a future shaped and led by the next generation, exemplified by 19 ‘Future Chasers’.
A number of these ‘Future Chasers’ all of whom have studied in Australia,have supported or worked with local communities across Southern and East Africa.
Who are the 19 Future Chasers? Why have they been selected?
Australia Unlimited has partnered with Jan Owen and the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) to utilise their research into 15 young Australians of courage, imagination and will. These young Australians are extraordinarily talented, inspiring and hard-working young people achieving amazing things in fields such as philanthropy, industry, the arts, and technology.
They have also partnered with Future Unlimited, Australia's international education brand to profile four alumni who, having studied in Australia, are considered future chasers in their countries of Sri Lanka, Indonesia (and the USA), Malaysia and India.
These four young leaders are contributing locally and internationally, using Australian experiences and education to inform their own social impact and discovering a future of unlimited potential.
This brings us to 19 individuals. Together they are a diverse group who share much in commun: they'redigitally-savvy,tertiary educated and have astrong sense of community. But most of all they have an uncompromising resolve to contribute in a meaningful way to the world, as well as the place they love to call home.
These are our future chasers. Find their stories today at Australia Unlimited
Ambassador Susan Coles visited Madagascar from 3 to 5 December 2014.
Australia Awards Networking Workshop, 3 December 2014, Carlton Hotel, Antananarivo
At a workshop on the Australia Awards Africa held at Carlton Hotel, Antananarivo on 3 December 2014, participants comprising officials from the public and private sectors were briefed on the requirements for the Australian programmes. The workshop highlighted, inter alia, the masters’ level scholarships which have been opened for the first time to Malagasy candidates.
Following the workshop, the call for applications at masters’ level for Madagascar for academic year 2016, has been exceptionally extended to 16 January 2015.
In Antananarivo, the Ambassador also held follow- up meetings on a number of initiatives discussed during the visit of Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop MP to Madagascar in September 2014.
Ambassador Coles with participants of the University of Queensland MSEIM Group in Fort Dauphin
During her stay at Fort Dauphin (SE), Ambassador Coles accompanied a group tour of the University of Queensland/Australia Awards Africa Fellowship course on managing the Social and Environmental Impacts of Mining in Africa (MSEIM) to the Commune of Ampasy Nahampoana. This Commune has successfully implemented a participatory budgetary approach through the use of royalties and taxes derived from the mining sector.
Ambassador Coles at the QMM Mineral Sand Mining Site in Fort Dauphin
In Fort Dauphin, the Ambassador also visited the mineral sand mining site of QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM), a Rio Tinto/ Government of Madagascar joint venture and the NGO Azafady which is involved in poverty alleviation and conservation programmes in the region.
Work sample of St Luce Stitch-NGO Azafady DAP funded project
AUSTRALIAN HIGH COMMISSION PARTNERS WITH UK & SEYCHELLES IN COMBATTING GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
The Australian and UK High Commissioners to the Seychelles partnered with Genderlinks Mauritius, the Seychelles Ministry of Social Affairs & Gender, and the University of Seychelles, in delivering a workshop on 2-3 December on measuring gender based violence in the Seychelles, as part of the 16 days of International Action Against Violence Against Women. An attitudinal survey of 300 Seychellois, designed to give an indication about personal and community attitudes toward domestic violence, was examined and discussions held with the participation of social, education and gender sectors, faith leaders, independent researchers, the Seychelles Ambassador for Women and Children H.E.Erna Athanasius, police, officers from the National Statistics Office and NGOs. The law and social science faculties of University of Seychelles generously assisted with the survey and workshop and will be part of on-going efforts to address the challenges of identifying and addressing what is, unfortunately, a global issue. REFLECs3 kindly hosted the workshop at their facility in Victoria.
AHC Coles, Loga, UK HC Skoll and Seychelles Ambassador for Women and Children H.E. Erna Athanasius at reception for Empowering Women in Business events at UK HC Residence
AHC Coles speaks at opening of Genderlinks workshop, held at REFLECS-3
Loga Viraswahmy and Marie-Josee Bonne, Special Adviser in the Department of Social Affairs addres the Genderlinks workshop
Australia Awardee – changing the mindset towards people with disability in the Seychelles
A 2015 recipient of an Australia Awards Scholarship to study a Master of Disability Policy and Practice at Flinders University in Australia Mrs Melina Amédée, a speech pathologist from the Seychelles, hopes to be a positive agent of change on her return.
Speaking on International Day of People with Disability, Mrs. Amédée outlined her passion to see her country address the issues and constraints faced by people with disability.
“As a speech pathologist at the main hospital in the Seychelles, I work with people with disability on a daily basis so I am constantly exposed to what they face, which is how I developed an interest in this area,” Mrs Amédée said.
“In the Seychelles there is definitely a lack of trained expertise in the area of disability-inclusion, specifically to ensure that people with disability have the same right, opportunities and quality of service as their able peers. On completion of my Award, I want to be the person who comes back to my country, to bring forth additional knowledge and skills and promote inclusivity; be an agent of positive change.”
Mrs Amédée said she felt blessed to be awarded an opportunity to study in Australia; one of the few countries in the world she believes is working hard towards disability-inclusivity.
She said disability inclusion and, more broadly, social inclusion, was still a new concept in the Seychelles but that the Government had recently approved an inclusive education policy, which she had input into. The policy is yet to be legislated.
“As the world’s population grows, the number of people with disabilities increases, hence it is pivotal that we strongly consider social inclusion policies and practices, and as Awardees we should take what we learn in Australia and implement these in our communities and countries on our return” commented Mrs Amédée.
She further added that “when given the appropriate support, and when necessary modifications are made to their environments, people with disabilities are able to show their potentials and contribute immensely, and sometimes they perform better than their able counterparts. It is time to change our mindset about people with disabilities.”
High Commissioner Coles and Australia Awardee, Melina Amedee visit the School for the Exceptional Child
Further information on the Australia Awards Program is available on www.australiaawardsafrica.org
Australia Awards – fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa
With approximately 24.7 million people in sub-Saharan Africa living with HIV, the Australian Government’s commitment to fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS on the continent, and reducing the stigma associated with it, is underlined by its investment in Australia Awards Scholarships and Fellowships.
The Australia Awards are training more African health professionals to assist in the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS in their countries through the provision of Masters-level scholarships with a focus on public health. More information
Australia Awards Masters in Madagascar
Australia Awards will be available for Malagasy to undertake Masters level studies in Australia from the first time for the academic year 2016-17. A workshop to promote the awards will be held in Antananarivo on 3 December. For further information go to www.australiaawardsafrica.org or Email:email@example.com
Australian Awards Alumni Ambassador in Madagascar Désiré Rakotondravaly is seen here promoting the awards at a Ministry information session held recently in Tana. The Alumni Awards position is a voluntary role held by a past Awardee to share experiences of applying for the Awards and studying in Australia.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women / White Ribbon Day
Australia has zero tolerance for violence against women, both in Australia and internationally. To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and White Ribbon Day, hear from Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls about what Australia is doing to end violence against women around the world: www.youtube.com/watch
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women/White Ribbon Day in Mauritius, High Commissioner Coles hosted an Afternoon Tea at her residence for representatives of Women's NGOs, Women in Uniform, the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development & Family Welfare, Women Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps.
In the Seychelles this week, the Australian and UK High Commissions are collaborating with the Gender Ministry, Genderlinks and the University of the Seychelles to present a workshop on measuring Gender Based Violence in the community from 2 - 3 December 2014.
These activities form part of the 16 Days of International Action Against Violence Against Women commencing on White Ribbon Day and concluding on International Human Rights Day (10 December).
On 100th Anniversary of World War I, Australia joins in Honouring Mauritian and Allied Soldiers on Remembrance Day
Australian High Commissioner Susan Coles laid flowers on the grave of Australia's sole serviceman buried on Mauritian soil at the Phoenix cemetery on November 11 at a Remembrance Day service organised by the UK High Commission and attended by Mauritian servicemen, Foreign Minister Dr Boolell, Archbishop Ian Ernest and other members of the diplomatic corps. 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I, but is an opportunity to commemorate service men and women in all conflicts. Bandsman A. P. Partington from Tasmania buried at Phoenix cemetery died while serving on HMAS Canberra in 1941 in the Indian Ocean. The Australian High Commissioner also participated in the Remembrance Day Sunday service at the St James Cathedral and the War Memorial commemoration at Curepipe.
Preparations are already underway for the 100 year commemoration of the landings at Gallipoli in 1915, to be held in April 2015. The High Commission would like to hear from you if you have an Australian - Mauritian Australian - Seychellois or other regional family link or story to contribute to a short publication marking the World Wars in the Indian Ocean. Please send details and your contact to
Australian High Commission Notices:
Australia Awards Call for Applications - APPLY NOW!!!
The call for applications for the 2015-16 Australia Awards academic intake, for Masters and short course awards, opened on 1 September 2014. On-line applications can be made by choosing your country via the Australia Awards in Africa website: www.australiaawardsafrica.org.
New Alumni Associations in the Indian Ocean
During the visit of the Australian Foreign Minister the Hon. Julie Bishop MP, two new Australian Alumni Associations were launched in Madagascar and Mauritius. This followed the recent launch (in August, during the Australian Parliamentary visit) of a new Australian Alumni Association in the Seychelles. For information on joining the new associations, please send an email to the following addresses:
Members of the Alumni Association in Madagascar with Foreigh Minister Julie Bishop.
Members of the Seychelles Alumni Association with the Australian Parliamentary Delegation, & Seychelles Mininsters Adam (Foreign Affairs) and St Ange (Tourism).
The President of the Australian Alumni Association in Mauritius,Dr.Mrs Nalini Luckheenarain
with the Australian Foreign Minister the Hon Julie Bishop MP
Major Policy Event on the Ocean Economy held during Minister Bishop's visit to Mauritius
During her visit to the Indian Ocean, Minister Bishop was joined by Foreign Minister Boolell and Foreign Minister Adam of the Seychelles together with over one hundred research experts, academics, private sector representatives from the fisheries, port services, marine energy sectors and government to discuss shared interests in the Ocean, Blue or Marine economies of the Indian Ocean. A number of new colloaborations were announced, and the event concluded with Professor Collin, Deputy Director of the Oceans Institute of the University of Western Australia and Vice Chancellor Mohee of University of Mauritius signing a Memorandum of Understanding focussing on the new Faculty of Ocean Studies at the University of Mauritius, which was witnessed by Minister Bishop and Foreign Minister Dr Arvin Boolell.
The success of the event led to the Ocean Economy being chosen as the topic for the IORA Ministerial Retreat held in Perth on October 8. See link to Minister Bishop's welcome speech .......
Australian Foreign Minister visits Mauritius as part of her first Indian Ocean Tour
The Australian Foreign Minister, the Hon. Julie Bishop MP undertook her first visit to Mauritius from 13 – 15 September 2014 in her capacity as Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association ahead of the Council of Ministers Meeting in Perth (October 2014). Australia’s engagement with the Indian Ocean region including economic, trade and maritime issues was the focus of discussions during the Minister’s visit.
Minister Bishop was accompanied by Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott-Despoja, highlighting the important place that gender has in the Australian Government’s foreign, trade and development policy.
During her visit, Minister Bishop met with President Kailash Purryag, Prime Minister Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, Foreign Minister Dr Arvin Boolell and the Seychelles Foreign Minister Jean Paul Adam.
A number of high level activities were also organised during the Minister’s visit that included a visit to the IORA Secretariat, a high level panel on the Ocean Economy to discuss the importance of ocean economies, a high level discussion on Maritime Security - Australia has been able to contribute to reduced piracy attacks and maritime crime in the Indian Ocean through naval patrols, capacity building and deploying Australian experts to support regional efforts. The event was marked by a ceremony where the 27 Mauritian police officers, coast guards, and officers from the prison service, who completed their training on Maritime Security and Law Enforcement under an Australian-funded programme, received their certificates of achievement.
The Minister opened an “Inclusive Growth” training program at the IMF’s African Training Institute which received AUD500 000 in seed capital for its establishment to support training that aligns with African partners economic priorities.
Other events included the launch of training on good agricultural practices, organic farming and sustainable livestock husbandry for women and a dinner with the Gender Minister and a group of leading women in the public and private sector.
During an event to mark the launch of the Australian Alumni Association in Mauritius, the Minister announced the appointment of the new Australia Awards Ambassador, Deeptee Korlapu Bungaree, and the awardee of the Sandra Vegting Leadership Award, Bheema Ausgur.
(L to R) UN CEDAW Committee member Mrs Premilla Patten, discusses gender empowerment in the Indian Ocean region with Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls Natasha Stott-Despoja, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Mauritian Minister Mireille Martin
Joining from the Seychelles for a number of key events during the visit, Foreign Minister JP Adam with Minister Bishop (Left); and at the presentation of Maritime Security Course Certificates for Australian funded UNODC training delivered to Mauritian and Seychelles Prison and Police Officers, at a Maritime Security Event held at IORA Headquarters, Ebene.
Minister Bishop at Panchavati Village, following the launch of Australian funded animal husbandry & agricultural practices training for women, in partnership with Local NGO Social Impact Investors; joined (at left) by Mauritian Minister for the Environment and Parliamentary Secretary Mrs Pratibah Bolah.
Mauritius Women in Uniform Founder Australian Federal Police Officer Tina Westra, President Michelle Thomas (Mauritius Police) with Committee Members (L to R) from Customs Service, the Nurses Federation, and Prisons Service, at the Beau Bassin Womens' Prison with (seated) Mme Fong Wen-Poorun (PMO) & Ambassador for Women and girls Natasha Stott-Despoja, following the launch of the Australian funded Beau Bassin Womens' Prison Gardenia Self-Care Unit
(Below Left) Unveiling a commemorative plaque for former Australian High Commissioner Sandra Vegting at the Women's Prison Pastry Unit, funded and established during Ms Vegting's time in Mauritius. (Right) Ambassador Stott-Despoja with the prison band.
(Above) Minister Bishop with participants from twenty African nations at the "Inclusive Growth" training program she launched at the IMF African Training Institute(ATI), Ebene; (Right) With ATI Director Mr Vitaliy Kramerenko and Australian High Commissioner
(Below) Meeting President Purryag at State House
Australian Foreign Minister visits Madagascar as part of her first Indian Ocean Tour
The Australian Foreign Minister, the Hon. Julie Bishop MP undertook her first visit to Madagascar from 12 – 13 September 2014 in her capacity as Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association ahead of the Council of Ministers Meeting in Perth (October 2014). Australia’s engagement with the Indian Ocean region including economic, trade and maritime issues was the focus of discussions during the Minister’s visit.
Minister Bishop was accompanied by Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott-Despoja, highlighting the important place that gender has in the Australian Government’s foreign, trade and development policy.
During her visit, Minister Bishop met with President Rajaonarimampianina, Prime Minister Kolo, Foreign Minister Razafitrimo and the Minister for Strategic Resources Lalaharisaina.
Minister Bishop welcomed the President’s intention to visit Sydney for the World Parks Congress in November 2014 that reflects Madagascar’s rich biodiversity and renewed commitment to maintaining the natural environment.
During her meeting with Prime Minister Kolo, the Minister announced funding to Australian NGO, Australian Doctors for Africa, to support the delivery of medical services, building renovations and provide medical equipment and training and development in the Military Hospital, the University Hospital and the Clinique St Luc in Madagascar
During an event to mark the launch of the Australian Alumni Association in Madagascar, the Minister announced the appointment of Madagascar’s first Australia Awards Ambassador, Desire Rakotondravaly and the opening of Australia Awards Masters scholarships for Malagasy nationals.
The visit concluded with a meeting with Australian mining companies and the Malagasy Chamber of Mines and the launch of an extractives training program with the Malagasy Chamber of Mines in partnership with Germany’s aid agency, GIZ, and Australian/UK company Rio Tinto on local content, skills for jobs and SME development and social impact assessments.
Below Left: With Foreign Mininster Razafitrimo Below Right: Meeting President President Rajaonarimampianina
Above: Meeting Mining Company Executive Jules Leclezio (left) and the President of Rio Tinto and the Chamber of Mines Ny Fanja Rakotomalala, at the Round Table for Australian Mining Companies held in Antananarivo on September 13.
Above: Ambassador for Women and Girls Stott-Despoja visits ECPAT and Manda support centre for children who have experienced or are vulnerab