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Virtual Meeting with Senator the Hon Kristina Keneally, Shadow Minister of Home Affairs "Migration settings post-pandemic"

21 Oct 2020 9:05 AM | Sarah Carroll (Administrator)


ALABC’s purpose is to help our members succeed in doing business in Latin America, therefore an important component of our work is to promote the best policies to advance trade, investment and business engagement with the region.

In keeping with that promise, we recently organised a virtual meeting with Senator Keneally, Shadow Minister for Home AffairsMadeleine King MPShadow Minister for TradeAnne Stanley MP, Caucus Multicultural Engagement Taskforce Secretary and Peter Khalil MP, Caucus Multicultural Engagement Taskforce Chair, to put forward the views of our members on how our migration settings should be set when the boarders do reopen.

This interactive session included six ALABC members including: Valeria Alvano, Latam Airlines GroupPaola Lasso, Newcrest MiningRongyu Li, University of QueenslandProfessor Adrian Little, Pro-Vice Chancellor International, The University of MelbourneLorraine Meldrum, Swann Global and Melanie McFarlane, Veta Education.

The opening of the boarders is a key element for the long term expansion of the mining, oil and gas industries in Australia, as it relies on advances and investments in science and research and attracting specialised skills that are not currently available on-shore.

It is essential for our economic growth, to keep attracting international skilled migration and talent. International students represent a great opportunity to grow our wealth of knowledge and diversify our trade partnerships around the world. Currently 81,000 students from Latin America are enrolled in Australia’s education system.

In Australia, 65% of engineers are from overseas. These individuals are comprised of highly skilled Latin American engineers who cannot always achieve the advanced English levels required to obtain an invitation for permanent or even temporary residence. It does not make sense to not offer those international students who remain onshore in Australia, a clear pathway for permanent residence.

There are significant benefits for this two way traffic, for example, The University of Queensland Sustainable Minerals Institute is working in Chile with academic institutions and the mining sector, in collaboration with knowledge transfer and sharing best practices to make sure that mining is developing in a sustainable, environmentally, socially and morally friendly manner.

Global mobility is the way of the future despite, or perhaps because of, the pandemic, and those coming to Australia may not always seek to remain here, rather utilise it as a means to further their opportunities elsewhere, creating global economic diversity.

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