Promotion Week to boost Seychelles-Australia link – HC McConville
The link between the people of Seychelles and that of Australia stretches back to many years, and the promotion of Australia here is designed to further build on that link between the two peoples
These were the words of Australian High Commissioner to Seychelles, H.E. Ian McConville while speaking at a reception on Thursday evening (February 22) to officially launch the first ever Australia Promotion Week to be held here.
The reception, held at the five-star Banyan Tree Resort at Intendance, was attended by numerous dignitaries, including several government ministers.
The highlight of the Australian Promotion Week is in fact a film festival which was launched last night and is expected to go on until Sunday February 25.
Commenting on the films being screened during the festival, Mr McConville said that they are recently released Australian films that are “very thoughtful and attention-grabbing”, and represents a new era in movie making in Australia.
He remarked that Australian moviemakers have moved away from the Crocodile Dundee genre of films it used to make a decade ago, and that the series of films to be screened during the first ever Australian Film Festival here, will give the audience an idea of what to expect from the industry in the future.
He explained that the films are definitely not suitable for children as they encompass romance, suspense and actions like Hollywood’s renowned thrillers.
Noting that the film festival is only a component of the Promotion Week, Mr McConville recalled that earlier in the week an Australian education seminar was also held here, aimed at giving local students an overview of how it is to study in the “land down under”, as Australia is sometimes referred to. The seminar was hosted by the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), which is based in Mauritius, alongside representatives of three Australian Universities, namely Monash University, the Australian School of Tourism and Hotel Management, and the University of Western Sydney.
Speaking to the press during the reception, Mr McConville said that the Promotion Week “highlights the people to people link between Seychelles and Australia”.
“There’s a terrific number of Seychellois living in Australia and likewise a fair number of Australians living in Seychelles and such a promotion can only further strengthen relations between the two countries,” he said.
He revealed that “besides educational exchanges, a number of commercial developments are happening between Seychelles and Australia”.
Responding to questions about the tight measures adopted by the country towards travellers seeking visas to visit Australia, Mr McConville pointed out that the Australian authority is happy with the behaviour of Seychellois travelling to Australia, whom he described as “one of the most problem-free groups of travellers to Australia”.
“It is in our interest to ensure that it is easy for Seychellois to go to Australia. We’re very keen to promote multiple entry visas to Seychellois. In the business sector that’s already been implemented, and in terms of education we’ve now abolished the requirement for language testing for students, which is a big development compared to other countries in the region,” Mr McConville said.
Asked about the possibility of setting up an Australian High Commission here, Mr McConville said one such facility already exists in the region (in Mauritius), and that Seychelles is visited by staff of the High Commission on a regular basis.
He explained that the High Commission has a similar website as the Virtual Embassy that’s been set up here by the United States recently and that at present the proximity of the Mauritius office and the virtual embassy is sufficient to cater for his country’s interest in Seychelles.
Those seeking to access Australia’s virtual embassy can do so at www.mauritius.embassy.gov.au