Australian Embassy

Ambassador Hayhurst's remarks at the Australian Higher Education and Research Update

Thank you, Janine, and a warm welcome to everybody.

To Assistant Minister Watanabe from the Ministry of Education, welcome. To all of our colleagues and friends from the Japanese Government and Japanese institutions, it's very good to have you here. And to the very many people who have come from Australia, thanks again for your contributions to this very important partnership Australia has with Japan.

When we think of our national priorities in Australia, things like clean energy, secure digitalisation, biomedical sciences, even national security in some respects, productive agriculture, quantum, artificial intelligence, it's really our higher education and research institutions that are going to enable us to achieve what we need for our nation. Whether it's in terms of productivity, economic dynamism, and competitiveness. So, this is fundamental, of course, to our success.

Equally fundamental for Australia is the idea that we can only achieve our national objectives in partnership with other nations. And in a world in which economic and security interests increasingly converge, partners that you can trust, partners with whom you can collaborate in a deep and intense way, partners with shared governmental as well as institutional interests are the most important partners.

I would like to say to all of you that from the perspective of the Australian Government, there is no more important partner than Japan, across these vital national agendas for Australia. So, we're friends, which is important and good, but there's more to it than that.

We're actually working together to achieve shared national objectives. And for me, that means the work you're doing and the discussions you're having are fundamentally important, not just for the governments, not just for your institutions, but for the two nations. That is why these events are such a priority for the Embassy and for the Australian Government.

I know in Japan there is a similar commitment to strong partnership with Australia. We've got a bit of momentum behind that partnership building, which is encouraging, but I think it's also fair to say there's still more we can do. And so today you'll be working out how we can actually fully deliver on the potential and the opportunity: To go from admiring the same sorts of problems to actually solving them together, and with other partners as well.

So, it is my great pleasure to formally open this briefing, and to thank all of you for your attendance. But more importantly, to wish you not just success in your discussions, but a strong focus on implementation and follow up afterwards, because there's a lot at stake, frankly.

Thank you very much. I look forward to seeing this in a few months’ time as yet another impetus for closer collaboration between us.

Thank you.