Ladies and gentlemen, good evening.
I’m delighted to attend the award ceremony and celebration dinner for the Belt and Road Chengdu-Australian Open University Tennis Championship. This is my second time to join this wonderful event.
I thank Tennis Australia and Chengdu Municipal Sports Bureau, as well as other relevant partners, for organising a highly successful event for the second year.
People-to-people links are a critical part of Australia-China relations, and sport is a universal language that fosters mutual understanding and respect between people of different cultures.
Last week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison met Chinese President Xi Jinping during the G20 Summit. Both leaders agreed to further enhance Australia-China cooperation in all areas, including people to people exchange.
The Australian Government, through the Australia-China Council, was proud to support Tennis Australia’s Tennis for Schools Program in Chengdu. ACC will soon be replaced by a new and innovative National Foundation for Australia-China Relations. The Foundation’s increased funding will allow it to harness the efforts of Australian society across the board and engage on a much broader scale than the previous Council, including in areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, health and ageing and the environment and energy.
As Australia’s Consul-General in Chengdu, I’m excited to see the growing cooperation between Tennis Australia and this city. They have achieved much - not just in tennis promotion, but also business partnerships and personnel exchange.
I know that last year’s winning team had a fantastic time at the Australian Open; and thanks to Tennis Australia’s sponsorship of the Consulate-General’s Australia Day Reception this year, two lucky guests will also be able to attend the Australian Open in January 2020.
I wish the Belt and Road Chengdu-Australian Open University Tennis Championship even more success in the years to come, and everyone present this evening all the best for your future undertakings.