The Australian Parliament has welcomed representatives from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations – better known as ASEAN – as part of a program to develop links between member states in our region.
This year’s delegates were His Excellency Senator Yang Sem of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Mr Alounxai Sounnalath of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Honourable Senator Datuk Zali bin Mat Yasin of Malaysia, Mr K Muralidharan Pillai of the Republic of Singapore, Admiral Choomnoom Ardwong of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Honourable Mr Le Anh Tuan of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
The nine-day visit took place from 15 November to 23 November. Delegates arrived in Perth before travelling to the Bunbury/Margaret River region, where they were hosted by Ms Nola Marino MP, Member for Forrest, followed by a visit to Canberra, where they were hosted by the Presiding Officers of the Parliament of Australia.
The program has been running since 2012 and aims to strengthen Australia’s relationship with our ASEAN partners by inviting newly elected or appointed members of parliament who have had limited contact with Australia to experience our political system at ground level by travelling with members of Australia’s parliament to their electorates. Previous delegations have visited Wagga Wagga, Launceston, East Gippsland and Newcastle.
The delegates met with representatives from all three tiers of government in Australia to discuss issues of direct interest to them. They also participated in meetings and site visits, allowing for a better understanding of life in Australia from a trade, education and cultural perspective.