Message from the Australian Foreign Minister

2014AwareCam_Grad_House-313Message from the Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop, on the occasion of the opening of Graduation House, Phnom Penh – 7 September 2014

I am very proud of the efforts of two organisations from my home town of Perth – Awareness Cambodia and the Australian Rules football club, the West Coast Eagles (of which I am a former director) – that have led to this opening ceremony today, and grateful for the support the project has received from Cambodian Government Ministries and many others. 

 Education plays an important role in both personal growth and in enabling individuals to rise above poverty.  Young people who are fortunate enough to benefit from Graduation House and Awareness Cambodia’s ongoing support at the tertiary level will have exciting opportunities open up to them and I am confident they will go on to make a positive contribution to the future of Cambodia.

 Education is also an important tool for establishing people-to-people links and research collaboration between countries.  From the 1950s students from Cambodia studied in Australia under the previous Colombo Plan.  I recently announced Cambodia’s participation in the New Colombo Plan which will provide opportunities for Australian students to live, work and study in your country and build networks and friendships that will last a lifetime.

I offer my warmest congratulations on the opening of this new facility which will provide a secure environment for students to flourish and achieve their goals.