Development planning students gain world view of development and foreign affairs

16 Apr 2018

With  40 years of international experience in foreign affairs, trade and intelligence, University of Queensland Chancellor  Peter Varghese AO has shared with development planning students in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences  his view on international development and the role of Australian universities in promoting development.

Course coordinator for Development Planning in Development Countries: Theory and Practice (PLAN7612) Dr Sonia Roitman invited Dr Varghese to address students on the challenges facing development and how Australia engages and contributes with the international debate.

“It was really insightful for students in the course to hear Mr Varghese’s experiences while he was at DFAT, and now as the UQ Chancellor, emphasizing the important role of Australian academia in promoting solutions for a more equitable development,” she said.

Dr Roitman said the students and the Chancellor discussed a range of issues including UQ engagement in the production of space, to Australian foreign aid priorities, governance and development.  

She said Mr Varghese was delighted to interact with students and learn about their home countries.

“We look forward to having more opportunities like this in the near future,” Dr Roitman said.

Mr Varghese’s career in public service includes senior positions as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2012-2015), High Commissioner to India (2009-2012), Higher Commissioner to Malaysia (2000-2002), Director-General of the Office of National Assessments (2004-2009) and Senior Advisor (International) to the Prime Minister of Australia (2003-2004).