Take advantage of best knowledge of Australia: PM


PV Desk : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged Bangladeshi students studying in Australia to take advantage of best knowledge that the country offers.

The prime minister said this while addressing the students of Western Sydney University (WSU) at its Parramatta South Campus today.

Sheikh Hasina said Australia has been a favourite destination for higher studies for Bangladeshi students. About 200 students are studying in Western Sydney University.

“As Bangladesh is going to the next stage of development through graduation from LDC; we need greater human capacity, where Australia can contribute by providing training of trainers type programme and vocational education,” she said.

Vice-Chancellor and President of the university Professor Barney Glover, faculty members and a large number of students were present.

Sheikh Hasina said the WSU’s present collaboration is helping strengthening capacity of Bangladesh’s judiciary management and providing training program for Department of Oceanography of Dhaka University and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University.

Bangladesh, the prime minister said, is planning to develop inclusive and people centric blue economy enhancing capacity building with innovative financing, ensuring transfer of critical technology, and strengthening cross-sectoral partnerships and collaboration from Australia.

She sought technical assistance for development of marine aquaculture and exchange of teachers on Oceanography.

Sheikh Hasina said it was a great pleasure for her to visit the WSU and she is deeply touched at the establishment of a Bust of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on its campus.

The bust is rightly located in front of the Institute of Ocean Governance (ICOG) to recognise Bangabandhu’s vision and pioneering role on maritime boundary demarcation through an act in the parliament in 1974, she said.

Recalling Australia’s support to Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971, the prime minister said Bangladesh has been enjoying warm relations with Australia since Australia’s recognition to independent Bangladesh on January 31, 1972.

“Very fundamental bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Australia originates from the fact that Australia was the first country from developed world to recognise our independence,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina offered homage to the former Australian Prime Minister Edward Gough Whitlam and other world leaders who stood by Bangladesh during its liberation war and the early years of nationhood.

Whitlam played a leading role in building a bi-partisan consensus about Bangladesh as the leader of the opposition in the Australian Federal Parliament in 1971, the prime minister recalled saying, “Whitlam also focused on the plight of our sufferings under the Pakistani regime and their collaborators during war time.”

Edward Whitlam had played an important role in lobbying with the international community for Bangladesh to be recognised by the Commonwealth and other countries, she said.

Edward Whitlam visited Bangladesh on the January 19, 1975, which was the first and last visit by a prime minister of Australia to Bangladesh, she said.

She also recalled with gratitude the Australian national William A S Ouderland’s contribution to the War of Liberation of Bangladesh for which he was conferred gallantry award ‘Bir Protik’ and awarded with ‘Friends of Bangladesh War of Liberation War 1971’.

She thanked the Vice Chancellor and faculty members for organizing this program.

Later, the prime minister paid homage to Bangabandhu by placing floral wreaths at the statue of Bangabandhu on the campus.

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali was present on the occasion.