The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA093 - 17 August 2006

Pru Goward Appointed as Chair of Council for Australian-Arab Relations

I welcome the appointment of Ms Pru Goward as the new Chair of the Council for Australian-Arab Relations (CAAR). Ms Goward brings a wealth of community experience to her role, and an ability to communicate with the public on key issues.

Ms Goward has been a member of the Council since May 2003.

In addition, four new members have recently been appointed to the Council. They are Mr Abduljalil Albaf (General Manager of Clubcafé), Mr James Langridge (Vice President International of the University of Wollongong), Mr Alfred Moufarrige (Managing Director and CEO of Servcorp Limited), and Dr Glen Simpson (CEO of Coffey International Development). Council members are drawn from a range of fields including academia, business and government.

The new Council line-up comes at the same time as the launch of CAAR’s second Strategic Plan, for 2006-2009, and the establishment of the Council on a permanent basis. The CAAR was originally created under the auspices of both Ministers in January 2003 with a three-year inaugural term of office.

Australia has a large, diverse and long-standing Arab community. A quarter of a million people declared their Arab ancestry in the 2001 Australian Census, and Arabic is the fifth most spoken language in Australia.

CAAR plays a significant role with the Australian Government and others, to expand contacts and cooperation between Australia and the Arab world.

CAAR works to enhance people-to-people links through support for activities such as professional and cultural exchanges, and the promotion of trade, tourism and education. Engaging young people as the ambassadors of our respective societies is an important focus of the Council’s projects.

I encourage the business communities in Australia and the Arab world to join with CAAR to sponsor its various activities, including the promotion of two-way trade and investment.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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