Canberra: the Smart Capital

By Kristin Blume and Kym Johnson

Canberra is Australia’s capital city. We are a city state, located a few hundred kilometres inland from Sydney, and known as Australia’s bush capital, and most liveable city. We have a population of nearly 400,000, projected to grow to half a million by 2033.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government is committed to evolving Canberra into a smart and connected digital city, through a range of leading edge initiatives.  Smart cities use real time information and technology to engage and collaborate with residents to better plan and access services, deliver integrated, smart transport, attract and create jobs, and place the citizen in the centre of all service delivery.

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Diplomacy on the Netball Court

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The New Zealand Parliamentary Netball Team, The Australia Federal Parliamentary Netball Team and the New South Wales Parliamentary Netball Team pose for a photo with former Silver Fern Irene van Dyk at the 2017 Diggeress Cup Tournament.

Remembering back to the origins of Anzac Day New Zealanders and Australians have long enjoyed a special camaraderie or ‘mateship’ and a friendly rivalry in the true spirit of the Anzac soldiers from long ago. Whether it be heated debate over which country invented Pavlova or who has the best sports team, we’ve always enjoyed our iconic rivalry and our friendship. Our special relationship is no more so when it comes to sport, in particular our national games – rugby and netball.

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Anzacs in the Middle East

By Associate Professor Kate Hunter

Our focus on Anzac Day tends to be on people, especially combatants and their families, and their experiences of fighting, wounding, dying and grieving. Those experiences were powerful – catastrophic in many cases – and their aftermath long-lasting. The re-telling of their stories connects us to the generation who endured the Great War and, because those emotions and rituals are powerful forces they resonate in our own lives.

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Tech Girls Are Superheroes launches in New Zealand

By Dr Janine Beekhuyzen

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The Tech Girls Movement was created to inspire and empower girls from as young as 5 to engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Match). Through the Tech Girls Are Superheroes campaign, contemporary role models are presented to counteract the outdated negative stereotypes that regularly appear in mainstream media. Girls from 7-17 years old are invited to build confidence and skills with Science and Technology through our Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero / Technovation Challenge competition. 

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Zoo’s Strangely Beautiful Australia celebrates our wildlife

By Jonathan Wilcken

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Auckland Zoo opened its new $3.2m ‘Strangely Beautiful Australia’ development in late December and we proudly describe it as home to more than 20 of our Trans-Tasman neighbours’ weirdest and most wonderful wildlife

Weird is good, and we do think wonderful – and I think my Australian roots and first-hand experience of Aussie wildlife, entitle me to describe it so.

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Gymnastics Australia in the Cook Islands

by Brooke Kneebush, Oceania Development Manager Gymnastics Australia

The Cook Islands is one of three countries to recently establish a new Gymnastics Federation with support from the International governance body. To support this, Gymnastics Australia has assisted the new Cook Islands Gymnastics Federation to apply for Australian Government grants, including a Direct Aid Program (DAP) Grant through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, for equipment to conduct activities in local schools, villages and clubs.

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Why Prime Ministerial Visits Matter

Peter Woolcott

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New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Queenstown for the annual Leaders Meeting.

As the Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand the event you look forward to most each year is the annual Leaders Meeting.

While invariably short, these visits can accomplish a huge amount for a bilateral relationship.  They set the direction for work that will continue long after the PM’s plane leaves, and they build the foundations of mutual respect and trust between leaders which is so important in maintaining strong relationships between countries. It is also a chance to cut through bureaucratic thickets and get decisions made.

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Capital cities pioneering wildlife conservation together

Alison Russell-French

ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary and the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust join forces.

There are two sanctuaries that lie across the Tasman, nestled in the capital of Australia. In one, birds dive, swoop and flutter in water against the backdrop of the city; in the other miniature kangaroos and spotted carnivorous marsupials rummage through tufts of grass and gumtrees inside the protective guard of a predator-proof fence. Jerrabomberra Wetlands and Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary.

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‘ZEALANDIA by Night’ inspired the formation of Twilight Tours at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. Here a group meet before embarking through the sanctuary at night in search of unique native wildlife. Photograph by Stephen Corey Continue reading

Beyond Belief – how we find meaning, with or without religion

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Hugh Mackay
Hugh Mackay recently spoke at Victoria University of Wellington as part of a tour to promote his new book Beyond Belief.

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Globally, religion is on the rise. Almost three-quarters of the world’s population identify with Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism, and the graph is pointing upwards: by the middle of this century, 80 percent of the world’s population will identify with one of the four major religions.

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Joining forces to attract infrastructure investment

Brendan Headshot 11102016.jpgBrendan Lyon is the Chief Executive of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia

Australia and New Zealand have a great relationship, because we’ve got a lot of shared experience and a huge amount of mutual regard and trust.

That’s why the Closer Economic Relations treaty was possible – an agreement to integrate two national economies which remains a world-class example more than 30 years on.

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