New Colombo Plan students broadening their horizons in the Cook Islands!

Kia Orana! For a three week period, eleven law students from the University of Newcastle undertook internships within the Cook Islands public service. Through the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP) they were able to gain pre-graduate experience in drafting legislation and reviewing parliamentary material. They also broadened their expertise in court procedures and issue-spotting skills in relation to different departments and management strategies. None of these achievements would have been possible without the support of their different Cook Islands supervisors and encouragement from the dedicated staff in each agency. Below is a snapshot of each student’s experience in the Cook Islands.

HOM with NCP students - Cook Islands

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Learnings from the Māori economy and benefits for Australia and New Zealand

Nick Williams, Former Second Secretary at the Australian High Commission in New Zealand

Learning about the growth of the Māori economy was a fascinating experience during my posting to New Zealand over the past three years. As an Australian of both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, I thoroughly enjoyed engaging with Māori to gain a deeper understanding of culture and to explore the drivers of Māori economic development.

Nick

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The Battle of the Somme – 100 years on

Alison Duncan

Aust memorial

Two years ago, I undertook a pilgrimage to the Somme with my Kiwi fiancé and our baby son. I’m not a religious person and I don’t bandy about the term ‘pilgrimage’.  But as the great granddaughter of a Somme veteran and the fiancée of a former New Zealand army officer, there was indeed something of the spiritual in our passage around those beautiful green fields of France.

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A very Pacific solution for a Pacific challenge: the success of RAMSI

This week’s guest blogger is Quinton Devlin, Special Coordinator of the  Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI)

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Photo by http://www.ramsi.org/

Shortly after the first rays of dawn hit the tarmac of the Honiara international airport on 24 July 2003, Australian and New Zealand police, soldiers and civilians – along with forces from eventually 13 other Pacific Islands nations – began landing in Solomon Islands to help a neighbour ravaged by five years of ethnically-charged conflict. These men and women formed the first elements of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands, widely known as RAMSI.

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Protecting our ocean home

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Peter Woolcott

I have always had a strong professional interest in our maritime environment and the world’s oceans. So I have been delighted to follow the progress New Zealand is making over the establishment of the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary.  The area is huge.  It will cover 15 per cent of New Zealand’s extensive ocean environment (some 620,000 square kilometres), and even more significantly shows an extraordinary commitment to preserving a pristine marine environment. The sanctuary initiative envisages the prohibition of all fishing, prospecting, exploration and mining activities.

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Public policy lessons from across the ditch

Alison LinkedinThis week’s blog is by Alison Duncan. Alison heads up the economic and trade team at the Australian High Commission in New Zealand. She has previously served in Indonesia and Solomon Islands. 

She undertook ANZSOG’s Executive Master in Public Administration  from 2013-14.  In 2015, she was awarded a Young Public Sector Leader Award by the Institute of Public Administration of Australia in recognition of her academic and professional achievements. Continue reading

Cyber security: Australia, New Zealand and Napoleon

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Andrew Cumpston

“Geography is destiny” is a much debated diplomatic polemic, reportedly first uttered by Napoleon.* The saying may be an oversimplification, but it has always had an element of truth to it. There is no doubt that people’s opportunity and threat analysis has always been heavily influenced by who is nearby. States such as Singapore, Italy or Kazakhstan have traditionally had a fundamentally different set of strategic calculations than Australia and New Zealand because of geography.

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Antarctica

Antarctica

Peter Woolcott 

Antarctica matters to Australia and New Zealand. It matters scientifically, environmentally and strategically. It rarely makes headlines and the work there is methodical and considered. This is a good thing – the Antarctica Treaty system has been extraordinarily successful.

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