Well, can I just start by thanking you Doctor Salio. To you and to your team, thank you so much for the honour that you have done us. Can I also all our other international visitors here who are doing training and most importantly to all of you, thank you for the work that you do. Not just the work that you do, but the commitment that you have to helping saving lives around the world.

On behalf of the Australian Government, can I congratulate the Australian Medical Assistance Teams on being verified as meeting the international standards for a Type 2 Emergency Medical Team. Doctor, I have taken on board your comments in relation to the next level.  I will take that as a comment!

I know that you have all worked very, very hard to meet these standards and to make AUSMAT a truly world-class health service.

You are a critical component of Australia’s emergency response capabilities, both in Australia and internationally.

Humanitarian disasters undermine growth, reverse hard-won development gains, they increase poverty and can result in disability.

Australia is in a region which is highly vulnerable to disasters and their impacts are increasing.

The humanitarian support that Australia provides, including through AUSMAT, helps to minimise the impact of these disasters and contribute to Australia’s goal of promoting prosperity, reducing poverty and enhancing the stability of countries in our region.

I would like to thank the people and all those who contribute from across Australia who have worked with AUSMAT to provide medical care in difficult circumstances. Thousands of people have been affected by disasters, from cyclones in Fiji to floods in Pakistan and you have been out there helping them.

Australia has a proud heritage of helping those in need and your efforts are helping to carry on this important tradition.

I was in Fiji earlier, just in the last - I've become a Frequent Flyer into Fiji - as you do when you travel around the Pacific, and I received the thanks from people on the ground. I was up in Rakiraki and everybody was very, very grateful for everything that we have done not just in Rakiraki but all over Fiji and the thanks come ….

I was in Vanuatu the same situation, thank you for the work that we did as part of the aftermath of Cyclone Pam.

Can I particularly thank the staff from the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre for the work that you do with AUSMAT.

As we are close to the anniversary of the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005, it is very important that we remember the work that NCCTRC was set up then by the Australian and Northern Territory Governments in response to the major work that Royal Darwin Hospital had to do and played as part of the aftermath of the 2002 Bali bombings.

In addition to your efforts in responding to crisis, there's the work that you do in training and it's really good to see the work that you're doing and I really very much enjoyed meeting our overseas visitors who are here benefitting from the training from the logistics staff, from the health staff and to help you not just here in Australia but around the world. It will ensure that Australia will become a world leader in responsiveness.

Can I also acknowledge the support that we get from the State and Territory Governments because of course the staff, whilst the major response team comes out of Darwin, the support teams, the other teams do come from other parts around Australia and I think that that's really very, very important.

Can I thank you Doctor for bringing your team out here and thank you very very much for the work that you have put in in reaching this level and helping us to raise the standards of our team and to improve our standard and hopefully go on to do other things.

Can I finish on this note. In very Italian, I was supposed to say in very Australian style, (laughing) both I should say in this instance because Doctor of course is of Italian background. But just to see the ingenuity, the innovation that you've shown. I think the sinks are marvellous! I really do think the sinks are marvellous. And not only the sink but also the mechanical sterilisation unit. You have to say Doctor that's showing a lot, a lot, it's very impressive, and really just shows what Australians are about. This is the job, this is what we have to do, let's look at the ways that we can do it and do it better.

So I'm really, really, really proud to be here today. And proud of the work that you've done and proud of the work that you have achieved to make us world standard so thank you very, very much and congratulations once again.

[Ends]

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