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Monday, June 25 2018

Government House hosts 2018 NT Training Awards finalists

In a most refined change from the usual pre-training awards harbour cruise, finalists this year were invited to a reception at Government House on Friday evening hosted by Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O’Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory.

Finalists appreciated the opportunity to be in such august and historical surrounds and it was heartening to see such recognition from Her Honour for our vocational graduates, their trainers and industry partners. 

International student agent’s famil in Darwin

Agents with an interest in attracting students from Asia, Europe, the Americas and the sub-continent were hosted by Study NT over the weekend in a whirlwind visit that saw them visiting a number of institutions, including ICAE, International House and CDU.

While here the troupe also managed to enjoy a few networking opportunities, a visit to the Litchfield National Park and the Mindil markets with a breakfast on Sunday courtesy of ACPET, ASI and GTNT.

The NT is well placed to grow as a destination for international students and thanks to Study NT, providers and others who made this possible.  To cap of the true Darwin experience, the agents were on the midnight flight to Sydney on Jetstar – say no more. 

Australia China Business Council Conference – One Belt, One Road 10 12 July 2018 Darwin Conference Centre

For the first time in Australia, this two-day conference will hear from Chinese and Australian experts as they explain China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ policy, its implications and how to develop valuable business opportunities and networks.

Darwin is located at the southern end of the Maritime Silk Road and is the ideal location for this ground-breaking discussion. Delegates will explore the opportunities for coordination between the One Belt One Road policy framework, the Developing the North agenda and other projects in the region.

The conference will link Chinese and Australian investors with projects and ideas.
Delegates will be able to learn how to successfully attract investment capital and how to participate in the wide range of business opportunities that fall under the One Belt One Road umbrella.\
This unique conference brings together Chinese think tank leaders, policy planners and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Investment managers to explain the policy. The conference also features Australian leaders and policy makers from national, Territory and States and provides an opportunity for delegates to help set the development and investment agenda.


A tale of two countries? Some reflections on the Developing the North Conference 

With the theme of Growth, Progress and Investment the Developing Northern Australia Conference wound up on Tuesday evening in Alice Springs.
This two day conference celebrated so much of what the North has achieved and the extraordinary economic contribution that some 5% of the population contributes, with 80% of our exports, inspirational stories of burgeoning agriculture, natural resources, and agri/aquaculture investments on a global scale.

And confirmation however that the North and those south of the Tropic of Capricorn reflect very much a Tale of Two Countries with a play on our FIFO experience as hundreds of predominately men in black (the sight of suits and ties meandering around the red centre is a tad incongruous) fly in from the south to talk up the potential for the north. 

Fundamentally missing from the agenda was a discussion on how the north could attract and skill a growing populace to an area rich in opportunities, although some over coffee conversations focussed on how to encourage and somehow offer incentives for people to look outside of  the southern capitals for work and life opportunities, 

In brief, a productive few days and the realisation that yes, the north will continue to kick goals and a recognition of the benefits of our proximity to Asia but the sobering reality that we are most different from the south, seen as a slightly backward frontier yet one that carries with it enormous social and economic responsibility for diverse and geographically disparate communities. 

Chief Minister Michael Gunner addressed delegates and was justifiably upbeat about directions for the NT and the potential for investment, with tourism high on the agenda as reflected in the commencement on Tuesday of direct Alice to Brisbane flights by Virgin.

There was some excitement over some federal funding for more sealed roads and a growing military presence with commensurate investment. Sort of makes sense having this in the north given there is probably more chance of tensions in the Asia Pacific region escalating before we can expect threats from rampaging Antartic emperor penguins.  

In a comparison of the state of play offshore, following is an extract of the Canadian government’s Northern Strategy. Just replace the words Canada with Australia and Arctic for Asia.

Canada's far north is a fundamental part of Canada – it is part of our heritage, our future and our identity as a country. The North is undergoing rapid changes, from the impacts of climate change to the growth of Northern and Aboriginal governments and institutions. At the same time, domestic and international interest in the Arctic region is rising. This growing interest underscores the importance of Canada to exert effective leadership both at home and abroad in order to promote a prosperous and stable region responsive to Canadian interests and values.

The Government of Canada has a clear vision for the North, in which:

 self-reliant individuals live in healthy, vital communities, manage their own affairs and shape their own destinies;

 the Northern tradition of respect for the land and the environment is paramount and the principles of responsible and sustainable development anchor all decision-making and action;

 strong, responsible, accountable governments work together for a vibrant, prosperous future for all – a place whose people and governments are significant contributing partners to a dynamic, secure Canadian federation; and

 we patrol and protect our territory

Sound familiar?

Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme Information Sessions

NT Chamber Boardroom (Darwin) and NT Farmers Association (Coolalinga) 5 July in Darwin City and 9 July in Coolalinga

Interested in how this might be of value to your RTO?  Register through:

Some background: The Federal Government has implemented the Pacific Labour Scheme to enable citizens of Pacific island countries to take up low and semi skilled work opportunities in rural and regional Australia for up to three years.  The Scheme will:

• commence in July 2018 with an initial intake of up to 2,000 workers;
• focus on sectors in Australia with projected job growth and which match Pacific island skill sets;
• allow for upskilling whilst in Australia of these workers
• be employer-sponsored and require labour market testing to ensure Australians have priority for local jobs; and
• Contain protections to safeguard against worker exploitation.

A Memoranda of Understanding has been agreed to with Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu to facilitate their entry into the PLS. The intent is to:

increase Australian industry engagement and input;
• piloting additional support for employer provided pastoral care and reduce up-front costs;
• strengthening approaches to skills training;
• improving visa arrangements; and
• Providing additional assistance for seasonal workers to access their superannuation.

The Government will establish a Pacific Labour Facility to connect Australian employers with Pacific workers and support the administration of the Pacific Labour Scheme.  The facility will:

• increase the quality of training and supply of workers;
• promote the Scheme with Australian employers;
• provide pastoral care services for workers in Australia;
• support the return of Pacific workers to their local communities and economies; and
• Monitor the social and economic impacts of the labour mobility arrangements.

An Australia Pacific Security College (College) is to be established to enhance regional security cooperation. The College will contributie to regional security by bringing together officials from across countries and agencies for training and professional development opportunities.

ICAE Graduation Ceremony – a job well done

Indeed the culmination of our member’s endeavours to provide positive learning outcomes is best demonstrated through the celebrations that are graduation ceremonies, showcasing the achievements and sacrifices of students and their families.

One of the perks of being invited to same is you get to share these experiences and in the case of hospitality and commercial cookery graduations you are assured of a good feed prepared by industry experts and in this instance washed down with some reasonable wines.

This was certainly the case last week at the graduation of some 32 mainly international students at ICAE. CEO Sean Mahoney officiated and distributed certificates and diplomas, ably assisted by Philippine Consul General Mr John Rivas

The students had an opportunity to address the gathering and were unanimous in their praise of the college and grateful for the direction and support received and while it is invidious to single out one person, praise was lavished on ICAE manager Benita Malan. Go girl.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner addressing delegates at the Developing Northern Australia Conference

L to R: ISAC NT Chair Dr Don Zoellner with ACPET's Michael Hall and NT Chair and CEO of GTNT Kathryn Stenson with industry representatives

International Student of the Year Finalists Manfred Mietsin (BCA) with Ms  Linh Do (The Essington International School)

Her Honour Vicki O'Halloran AM, Administrator of the Northern Territory

Bryan Dinning, Howard Lai and Sara Royale of the Dept Trade, Business and Innovation soaking up the atmosphere on the Government House forecourt


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