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David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Heidi Venamore, Australian Ambassador to the UAE, during their recent visit to the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain.

Al Ain: David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Heidi Venamore, Australian Ambassador to the UAE,  visited the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) campus in Al Ain as part of a program of events celebrating Australia National Day.

The delegation also learnt about the history and mission of the UAEU as well as its teaching and research infrastructure, research institutes, and portfolio of research and development activities.

“The visit, likewise, gave rise to the opportunity to explore the many connections between the UAEU and prestigious Australian universities and research institutions,” UAEU said in a statement sent to Gulf News on Thursday.

Hurley and Venamore were received by Zaki Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to The President of the UAE and Chancellor of the UAEU, together with Acting Vice Chancellor Prof. Ghaleb Al Hadrami Al Breiki; Acting Provost Prof. Mohammed Hassan Al Qasimi, and Associate Provost for Research Prof. Ahmad Murad.

The visitors were also welcomed by entire team working at the National Space Science and Technology Center — a joint venture between the UAE Space Agency and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Collaboration on water resources

Prof. Murad said in March 2022, the UAEU’s National Water and Energy centre will collaborate with the Australian Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai to host an international conference titled ‘Water Resources Management and Sustainability: Solutions for Arid Regions’.

The conference is under the patronage of Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure and the Rt. Hon David Speirs MP, Minister for Environment and Water in the Government of South Australia.

“The event recognises both the fruitful academic collaboration between the UAEU and our Australian colleagues, and the current and common challenges experienced by the UAE and Australia with respect to developing, managing, and conserving the scarce water resources. The conference will advance techniques and practices to achieve water sustainability,” Prof. Murad added.

He noted UAEU’s collaborative research programs with over 100 different research Australian institutes have led to 511 co-authored publications in the last 6 years.

International bond of friendship

The UAEU Chancellor, meanwhile, thanked the delegation for their visit to the campus, saying: “We are especially grateful that your visit enables us to affirm the international bonds of friendship, intellectual inquiry, and innovative endeavour that are shared between UAEU and Australia’s higher education sector. Our collaboration demonstrates and promotes the importance of openness and tolerance and serves to generate new ideas and practices essential to the future sustainability of our communities and the planet that we share. The future Conference on Water Resources Management is a wonderful example of the outcomes of our collaboration, and rightly takes advantage of the stage provided by Dubai Expo 2020”.

The Governor-General of Australia is the representative of Her Majesty the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Governor serves as Australia’s Head of State and holds a range of constitutional and ceremonial duties. The Governor is also the Commander-in-Chief of the Australian Defence Force.

The Governor encourages, articulates, and represents the things that unite Australia as a nation, and in this respect works within the Australian community in Australia and internationally, travelling widely to encourage and acknowledge individuals and groups making a substantial contribution to the community. It was therefore essential to the Governor’s visit to UAEU that the University demonstrated the current links that the UAEU has with Australia. These links include the UAEU’s Australian faculty members, its students on exchange programmes, various Memoranda of Understanding, several ongoing research programs, and the joint publications of UAEU and Australian universities.