Visit to French Polynesia

Media release

9 March 2011

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles made his first visit to French Polynesia on 8 and 9 March.

Mr Marles met senior political figures including President Gaston Tong Sang and French High Commissioner, Mr Richard Didier.

Discussions focused on interests Australia and French Polynesia share through their common participation in regional organisations, in particular the Pacific Islands Forum.

Mr Marles also affirmed the high value Australia places on cooperation with France in the Pacific, including on disaster response through the French Australia New Zealand Agreement (FRANZ) and a shared interest on environmental issues and security.

‘A highlight of my program was to meet French Polynesians who have won Australia Award scholarships to study in Australia’, Mr Marles said.

This year, four French Polynesians will take up Australia Awards to study environmental engineering, aquaculture, marine biology and hospitality at various Australian tertiary institutions.

The four students join five other scholarship recipients already in Australia studying aquaculture, hospitality, sound engineering and commerce.

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