The forthcoming Ideas Summit announced by Kevin Rudd yesterday stimulated me to fire off a missive to Duncan Kerr [pictured], the new Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs. And the letter contained a very big idea indeed - a rough operating concept for a notional ‘School of the Pacific’ to be located on the old ASOPA site at Middle Head.
The objects of the School will be to run short programs to address critical issues in the region and to strengthen Australia’s relationships with the region and especially with South Pacific and South-East Asian nations. Attendance at the School will be through Australian Government fellowships to political, government, business and NGO leaders.
The programs on offer might cover subjects like: environmental integrity in the Asia Pacific region; the impact of global warming in the South Pacific; using the mass media as a means of development; economic development and migration in the South Pacific; and promoting educational opportunity through regional cooperation.
I urge you to add your voice to this concept for an exciting new use for the ASOPA site by writing to Mr Kerr at this address:
The Hon Duncan Kerr SC, MP
Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs
PO Box 6022
House of Representatives
CANBERRA ACT 2600