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The Hindu
The Hindu
The Hindu Bureau

Australian delegation signs MoU with State

A delegation from Australia’s Northern Territory led by Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison visited Kerala and  signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Northern Territory and Kerala governments for increased cooperation between the two regions. A statement issued by the Australian Consulate-General, Chennai, on Monday said the visit reinforced the importance of Kerala to the Australia-India bilateral relationship.

Ms Manison said, “We have a vibrant Indian community in the Northern Territory that contributes to the social, cultural and economic fabric of the Territory. The agreement with Kerala government will help strengthen the partnerships between the Territory and Kerala, and their world class nurses will be a welcome addition to our health workforce.”

The key areas of cooperation include workforce training and development including health care, higher education, vocational education and training, and economic development including two-way trade. This is the first MoU the Northern Territory government has entered with an Indian State, formalising and reinforcing the relationships between the two regions. Sarah Kirlew, Australian Consul-General said “I am delighted this MoU has been signed. It will help shape stronger collaboration between Kerala and the Northern Territory in various areas of cooperation including healthcare, vocational training, education and trade development.”

The Deputy Chief Minister recognised the significant contribution of the Malayali diaspora to Australia’s multicultural society. The Indian diaspora is the fastest growing diaspora in Australia, with almost one million people of Australia’s 26 million people claiming Indian origin. Malayali’s are the third largest Indian community in Australia with around 80,000 population.

In Thiruvananthapuram, the delegation met with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, the Minister for Health Veena George and Minister for Law P. Rajeeve. The delegation visited Government College of Nursing and launched a pilot nursing program upskilling Kerala nurses in the Northern Territory. During the recent Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala, Australia supported Kerala with antibodies from Queensland. The delegation also visited Mumbai and Chennai as part of their visit.

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