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Speech
Minister with Responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer.

I am finding that there are not sufficient or adequate words (in your language or mine) to express the appreciation that my colleagues and I feel for the tireless work and effort of our host, the People’s Republic of China, in staging such a successful Seminar.

The programme’s careful design has yielded a comprehensive understanding of the important role and function media has played throughout the rich history of China, and the part it continues to play in China’s development in an environment that is as complex and diverse, as it is dynamic.

Expertly, each presenter and study tour added vivid (first hand) insights into the media’s evolution (from both the technological and philosophical perspectives).

It is fascinating and awe inspiring to see the advances made here in China and to note the impact the media has had on having Provincial and national goals understood, implemented and monitored, while simultaneously satisfying diverse and changing demands of its ‘consumers’ for entertainment and interactivity.

We, the beneficiaries of this programme, leave with an even deeper appreciation of the elements that have made the fundamentals of your economy manifestly strong.

I believe I speak for all of us in saying that China now stands as a shining example of how adversity can be overcome, and how with challenges  there are opportunities which can be successfully leveraged  with visionary leadership, studied approaches, strong social partnership and strategic alliances with neighbors and friends within the international community.

Our gracious hosts ably demonstrated that this is a winning formula regardless of size by thoughtfully taking us to Nanjing and Suzhou, where their small comparative size belies the huge impact they make on China’s economy and society.

Again, I must, on my own behalf, and that of my colleagues, express sincere appreciation to the leadership of Jiangsu,Nanjing and Suzhou for their warm hospitality and generosity.

We so admire, that economic advancement and increased exposure to other societies, have influenced (as it must) some changes and adaptations, but that notwithstanding, the changes have not weakened the rich and beautiful tapestry that is your culture, people and country.

Thank you for leaving with us images and memories indelibly imprinted in our hearts and minds,of traditional dance and songs, fine cuisine, breath taking scenery and sacred sites, unforgettable exchanges with the people of China and exclusive access to scenes which represent the great future of China.

I take the opportunity to specially register our thanks to the management and staff of CCTV, China Daily, Jiangsu TV and Broadcasting Corporation.

The entire experience has been nothing short of extraordinary and I can assure you, one that we will never forget.

Over the last couple of days we (participants from six different countries, Laos, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Sudan, Nepal and Jamaica) have also truly become a family. This augurs well for making this large world that much smaller and that much better.

We are committed to working together and having other forms of meaningful exchanges with China and each other going forward, wherever and whenever necessary to accelerate development and bring about prosperity in our respective countries as well as to tell our own stories with our voices across all available media in this the Information Society.

It is impossible to thank everyone individually, we know that there are minds, hands and hearts that worked to make an undertaking of this scale that we may not have met, but without whom this would have not been possible, to them we say thank you.

To drivers on each leg we express appreciation for transporting us safely throughout.

Our deep appreciation to the coordinating team. Ms Ji Fang you are a miracle worker and you were so ably assisted by Mr. Ying Peili.

We look forward to the photo album that will record for posterity each chapter of this journey, thank you Mr Li Gen.

We cannot thank you enough.

You all have worked hard, well and effectively to see to our needs and even our wants.

To all our translators especially Mr. Lui and Mr.  Chow…. Thank you for helping us to bridge the language divide.  Elen I know that you will have dreams about fried rice, fried fish or eggplant. You have a special place in our hearts and we will never forget your generosity of spirit and sense of humor.

Mr Hu, it has been a privilege to have been in the company of a man with your knowledge, vision, capability, commitment and experience. I wonder if there is anything that you do not know. Thank you for the many lessons about the history, politics and culture of your amazing country. You are indeed an asset to your country and people.

Again be assured that what we have learnt is immeasurable and sets the foundation for more direct and ongoing consultation and collaboration between our countries.

Please convey to the Minister —- and all the officials of the State Council Information Office who made us feel so welcome, our gratitude for their support, kindness and warmth.

Any omission of any contributor, big or small, is the human failing and not in any way a reflection of the value placed on the kindness, effort and contribution made…

Again our thanks to the Government and people of China for allowing us this unforgettable experience.

The preserved character, charm, vibrance and beauty of your country and people secure for you a great future, we cherish your friendship and wish for you continued success as we go forward with the common objective of developing our great nations.