In recognition of their promotion of bilateral relations between Australia and Argentina, Swinburne academics Dr Alexis Esposto and Dr Aron Perenyi have received the Escarapela award from the Argentine Congress.
The prestigious award is bestowed upon individuals who create and encourage bilateral engagement and understanding between nations, regardless of their country of origin.
Together with their Faculty of Business and Law colleagues, Malcolm Abbott and Jill Bamforth, Dr Esposto and Dr Perenyi showcased the quality of Australian economic and political institutions to Argentine politicians, who visited Swinburne in February as part of the Australia Awards Fellowship (AAF) program.
The purpose was to create partnerships that increase institutional compatibility and reduce perceived cultural differences between Australia and Argentina by promoting bilateral engagement, trade and investment between the two nations.
The Swinburne academics provided public officials from Argentina with training on institutional best practices in Australia that promote efficiency, competitiveness, productivity, transparency and sustainable economic development.
During an intensive training program, the Australian Productivity Commission, the Parliament of Victoria, and the Australian Trade Commission were presented as demonstrating institutional best practices. Visits to these institutions followed, along with networking with industry organisations.
At the conclusion of the program, Argentine senators announced the creation of a bill to establish an Argentine Productivity Commission based on the Australian model.
At the request of the Argentine Congress Dr Esposto and Dr Perenyi are now negotiating the establishment of inter-government relations between the Argentine Congress and the Australian and Victorian Parliaments.
Australia Awards Fellowship Program
Funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the AAF program offers Australian organisations from all sectors the opportunity to extend their links with leaders and professionals in developing countries.
By providing opportunities for Fellows to undertake short-term study and professional development, the program aims to:
- strengthen partnerships and links between Australian organisations and partner organisations in developing countries, in support of Australia's economic diplomacy and public diplomacy objectives; and
- increase the capacity of developing countries to advance priority foreign affairs and development issues of shared interest at the country, sub-regional and regional levels.