BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, FEBRUARY 13TH 2014 (CUOPM) – Renewable energy, agriculture, light manufacturing, tourism and matters related to aid were among issues discussed by St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister the Right Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and Australia’s High Commissioner, His Excellency Ross William Tysoe.
High Commissioner Tysoe presented his credentials to Prime Minister Douglas and made courtesy calls on His Excellency Sir Edmund Lawrence, Governor General and the Honourable Patrice Nisbett, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Australian diplomat also visited various sites and institutions as part of his official visit.
It was noted that there has been a policy shift on the part of Australia and this shift is towards increased engagement with Pacific States. Notwithstanding this shift the incoming High Commissioner indicated that Australia continues to share the concerns of Small Island Developing States (SIDS); the Federation is counted among these states.
The Prime Minister indicated that he would like Australia to advocate on behalf of SIDS who are commonly faced with the juxtaposition of high debt and high vulnerability.
One recent highlight of the relations between both countries has been in the area of education. The Caribbean has benefitted from the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Australia Awards scholarship initiative which welcomed participants from CAIRCOM member states, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
Of the nationals who took advantage of this opportunity, three have now returned to the Federation to share their expertise in their respective areas. They are part of the second cohort which numbers twenty one successful Caribbean scholars.
They are Ms. Cleon Ottley, Masters of Learning Science and Technology (also awarded the prestigious Australian Leadership Award Scholarship); Mr. Eavin Parry, Master of Environmental Management and Sustainability; and Ms. Thensia Grey, Master of Climate Change Adaptation (L to R). New awardee, Mr. Jonathan Kelly has just begun pursuing a Master of Science in Renewable Energy in Australia in January, 2014.
High Commissioner Tysoe welcomed the second cohort of Australia Awards Alumni in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on 24th and 25th January, 2014.
A two day activity for the Alumni featured a one day workshop and an Australia Day reception hosted at the residence of the High Commissioner.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Australia Awards Scholars participated along with scholars from Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.