Australian alumni, ladies and gentlemen.
I am honoured to be leading Australia’s Parliamentary Delegation to India.
My Parliamentary colleagues and I are delighted to be here this evening for the launch of the Australian Alumni Association of India’s new website.
This event tonight is a recognition of the growing strength and unity of the Australian alumni community in India.
I congratulate the pioneers of Australian Alumni Association chapters in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.
Your efforts, commitment, creativity and enthusiasm for this endeavour are greatly appreciated.
More than 2.5 million international students have studied in Australia in the last fifty years.
At the end of June 2017 there were more than 59,000 Indian students studying in Australia, an increase of 10 per cent since the previous year.
This has made education our second largest export to India by value.
There are good reasons for this.
Australia provides quality education and an enriching cultural experience.
Our institutions are world-class.
Six Australian universities are ranked in the world’s top 100 universities according to the QS World University Rankings.
But it is the quality of life while you are studying in Australia which is the secret formula that sets us apart from other study destinations.
I am so pleased that so many of you are keen to share your experiences of studying, living and working in Australia.
You have become Australia’s most effective Ambassadors.
As the Shadow Minister for Tourism I know that no advertising campaign for Australia can compete with a personal endorsement from a graduate who has spent time in our wonderful country.
You are now part of our extended Australian family. So on behalf of my colleagues and the Australian Government I say a big thank you.
Thank you for choosing Australia originally, but particularly for ensuring that the personal connection is a lifetime one.
The launch tonight of the AAA’s website will help to connect you with each other and to Australia.
I strongly encourage you to register and to spread the word to other members of our extended Australian alumni family.