Representative Jenny Bloomfield – Weiya Remarks – 21 January
21 January 2022
I started one year ago this week, and it has been a year like no other.
COVID had already affected the whole world, but this year we experienced it directly.
It was difficult, but we, and Taiwan, rose to the challenge – staying safe, supporting our community and supporting each other.
Looking back, we continued to strengthen partnerships, deepen links, and find new ways to cooperate to support our shared interests – stronger trade and investment, and closer people to people links. We not only maintained momentum, we actually deepened our relationship.
We opened the year on a high note with our highly successful International Women’s Day lunch, bringing together female leaders from government, industry and civil society.
We held the first Ministerial-level Hydrogen Trade and Investment Dialogue and our regular bilateral dialogues – Joint Energy and Minerals Trade and Investment Cooperation (JEMTIC) Consultations, Bilateral Economic Consultations (BEC), the Agricultural Working Group – and the Australia-Taiwan Business Council Joint Conference, as well as the Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (ANZCham) Taipei Business Awards.
We held a blood collection drive. We thanked personnel on the front line for keeping us safe. We shared information on COVID management and vaccines.
We co-hosted five Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) workshops and we became a full partner of the GCTF.
We launched our Office’s 40th anniversary celebrations, and the Australia-Taiwan Friendship Year – with highly successful events at the Museum of the National Taipei University of Education and the Museum of Fine Arts in Kaohsiung, showcasing Australian Indigenous artists. And we announced a new Australia-Taiwan Friendship Year – Arts Exchange Partnership.
We also highlighted our shared Indigenous heritage and deepened Indigenous arts, cultural and economic links, including through NAIDOC week and Taiwan’s Indigenous Peoples Day, the Austronesian Forum, sharing experiences on promoting Indigenous economic opportunity, and welcoming eight Indigenous Taiwanese artists and two curators at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art’s (QAGOMA) 10th Asia Pacific Triennial – the largest ever participation by Indigenous Taiwanese artists abroad.
We launched ‘40 Years, 40 Stories’, which continues to show off the depth and breadth of our friendship.
We deepened partnerships with local governments and businesses in Kaohsiung, Taoyuan, Hsinchu and other cities, and with industry groups, and civil society. And we shared perspectives with Taoyuan on smart cities, and with the National Academy of Civil Service on civil service values and recruitment practices.
We hosted a highly successful Study Australia Exhibition, and we shared perspectives on workforce development, immigration, environmental protection, and other issues, while also welcoming the Global Talent Taskforce, promoting talent circulation and skills.
We continued to showcase our premium food and agricultural products, including with a high-profile premium food promotion at Breeze Super.
And we supported thinktank and media links, and academic and other exchanges.
All this while maintaining our excellent consular and passport services and a safe, professional, and efficient office environment.
Our media, social media and public profile has never been greater. Australia’s positive profile here has never been higher. And our partnership and friendship has never been closer.
Looking ahead, we will continue to manage COVID carefully – booster shots, masks, hygiene and distancing – and strengthen our business continuity and contingency planning.
We will continue to strengthen communication – physical, online, and with our colleagues across teams, including Austrade, Trade and Investment Queensland, ANZCham, and in Canberra and elsewhere.
We will continue our high level of service – whether consular, passport, or in support of Australian business or other partners.
And we will continue to deepen our partnership to support our many important interests, including hydrogen and green energy, medical and biotechnology, education including vocational education and training (VET), English language education and international students, and engagement on Indigenous issues, GCTF seminars, and of course our ‘40 Stories’ and ongoing Friendship Year celebrations, culminating in a closing event later this year.
I look forward to a safe, productive year ahead, and to working closely with everyone as we further deepen our partnership with Taiwan. I thank you for your strong contribution, and wish you all a safe, healthy and restful new year break with family and friends.