The Hon. Tierney travel report

​Travel report for the trip to Indonesia and Vietnam, June 2019


The Hon. Gayle Tierney - travel report - Indonesia and Vietnam, June 2019 (pdf - 706.21kb)

Travel details

Minister’s name: Gayle Tierney

Portfolio/s: Training and Skills; Higher Education

Did the Minister’s spouse accompany the Minister in an official capacity? No

Accompanying ministerial staff: Mr David Miles, Senior Adviser

Countries visited: Indonesia and Vietnam

Date of travel: 9-17 June 2019

Number of official travel days (include day of departure and day of return): 9

Funding source (list Department/s or Agency): DET


Include combined expenses for Minister, accompanying staff and spouse (if accompanying in an official capacity): $34,277.63

Air fares (including taxes and fees): $20,567.94

Accommodation (including taxes and fees): $5,482.14

Other expenses (including travel fees, rail travel, travel allowances, cab charges, private cars, passport costs, meeting rooms): $8,227.55

Travel cost for Minister and ministerial staff (and spouse or de facto partner if applicable): $34.277.63

Are the above costs final and complete? No

Purpose of travel

I undertook travel to Indonesia and Vietnam from 9–17 June 2019, visiting Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Travel to these Southeast Asian countries aligned with the Victorian Government's international engagement priorities, including Victoria's Southeast Asia Trade and Investment Strategy, and aimed to: promote Victoria's economic, cultural and diplomatic interests; advance our state's international reputation; and enhance relations with key partners on post-secondary education and training.

In my capacity as Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Higher Education, I endeavoured to:

  • strengthen the Victorian Government's bilateral relationships with these regional partners, particularly promoting cooperation in the areas of higher education and training and skills
  • continue to build provider and people-to-people links between Victoria and Southeast Asia, including promoting Victorian TAFEs as providers of high quality VET delivery
  • promote Victoria as a destination for international students by highlighting our high quality of life, world-class education and training system, and safe and diverse community
  • engage with policy makers and tertiary education providers in the Southeast Asia region, to learn about how their education and training systems seek to address local skills challenges and identify matters of shared interest.

The program addressed these objectives through meetings and site visits with:

  • Indonesian and Vietnamese Government officials
  • Local education and training providers partnered with Victorian TAFEs and universities
  • Local businesses based in Indonesia considering partnerships with Victorian TAFEs for offshore training delivery

Overseas Australian and Victorian Government representatives, including the Ambassadors to Indonesia and Vietnam and the Victorian Commissioner for Southeast Asia.

Benefits of travel to the State of Victoria

In terms of key outcomes, the travel:

  • Sent an important signal to our overseas counterparts and contributed significantly to government-to-government relationships with key Southeast Asian regional partners, advancing the Victorian Government's international engagement objectives. My meetings with senior Indonesian and Vietnamese government officials were an especially important part of my travel program
  • Broadened and deepened my understanding of the specific challenges and opportunities related to skills development across the region during this period of rapid growth and economic and social change. For example, the Indonesian Government has developed a road map to guide it in its ambition to provide training for 58 million Indonesians by 2030. The Vietnamese Government has a commitment to modernising its economy and transforming its workforce to respond to broader global technological changes with its 'Industry 4.0' agenda
  • Provided unique insight into the market and regulatory environments facing Victorian TAFEs and universities in establishing offshore operations and service provision in Indonesia and Vietnam, and highlighted the need for long-term investment of time and resources in these countries
  • Gave me a clearer understanding of the strong partnerships that Victorian TAFEs and universities have established in the region, their longevity, and the scope for further market development, through my visits to institutions and meetings with students, teachers and managers
  • Enhanced my understanding of the important personal impact international partnerships can have, through my attendance at the 20th anniversary celebration of Know One Teach One (KOTO), a social enterprise delivering hospitality training for disadvantaged youth in partnership with Box Hill Institute
  • Reinforced alumni's strong sense of connection to Victoria, the high regard for Victorian education providers, and further promoted Victoria as a trusted friend and preferred destination for international students, through meetings with Vietnamese students and alumni of Victorian universities who are working or pursuing future studies in their home country.

Examples of my key engagements and related outcomes included:

  • A meeting with Dr Mohammad Rudy Salahuddin, Deputy Minister for Creative Economy, Entrepreneurship, and Cooperatives and SME Competitiveness, which included officials from the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs. This engagement raised the Victorian Government's profile with key Indonesian Government officials and supports the efforts of Victorian TAFEs, the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) to promote Victorian TAFEs as providers of high quality VET delivery and services.
  • My meeting with the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) improved my understanding of the investment climate in Indonesia and identified innovative opportunities for Victorian TAFEs to connect with, and provide training solutions for, offshore clients seeking to invest in Indonesia. Options for Victorian TAFEs to enter a tripartite partnership to mobilise investment from international partners were explored.
  • Meetings with local businesses (PT ODG and PT NS BlueScope Steel Indonesia) raised the profile of the TAFE Victoria brand as a possible partner for future training delivery and increased my understanding of the skills needs of businesses based in Indonesia.
  • My attendance at the 20th anniversary celebration of Know One Teach One (KOTO), a social enterprise delivering hospitality training for disadvantaged youth in partnership with Box Hill Institute (BHI), was a highlight of my visit to Vietnam. The event included the graduation ceremony for the 2018-19 class during which I personally congratulated the students. The story of KOTO and its partnership with BHI is a truly inspirational story demonstrating how young, disadvantaged Vietnamese students gain life-changing opportunities through individual leadership, corporate and tertiary partnerships.
  • My meeting with Dr Nguyen Hong Minh, Director-General, Directorate of Vocational Education and Training in the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) provided an opportunity to discuss the skills challenges in Vietnam and MOLISA's approach to upskilling Vietnam's large and diverse workforce. Vietnam is seeking to adapt its economy and its workforce to global changes, including the increasing digitalisation and automation of work (also known as 'Industry 4.0') and seeks to build a training system that responds to these and other challenges. We discussed how Victoria is responding to similar economic and technological challenges and the critical role for our TAFE and training system. The work of Chisholm Institute in Vietnam was a focus of the meeting, noting its partnership with 25 vocational colleges across the country supported with MOLISA funding. I highlighted the strengths of Victoria's TAFE and training system more broadly and welcomed the further exploration of opportunities for Victorian TAFEs to contribute to addressing Vietnam's upskilling needs.
  • My visit to a number of vocational training colleges partnering with Victorian TAFEs was especially valuable to further my understanding of the capacity constraints and challenges faced by Vietnam's VET providers, and the important contribution that our TAFEs are making in supporting VET delivery. In addition to meeting some of the partners in Chisholm's extensive network of partnerships, I was fortunate to visit the Hanoi College of Electro Mechanics and attend the launch of the Australia Vietnam Centre of Excellence in Teacher Training, established with Box Hill Institute.
  • My visit to RMIT Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City provided an insight into a high-performing Victorian university operating a world class facility in an offshore context. As RMIT Vietnam approaches the twentieth anniversary of its founding, it is promoting Victoria's reputation for providing high quality education and strengthening our people-to-people linkages.
  • My visit to Hanoi University highlighted the challenges and broad ambitions of one of Vietnam's leading universities striving to lift itself in world rankings and the important role played by La Trobe University as a long-term partner. The alumni dinner reinforced the benefits for Victoria of maintaining contact with our international alumni who are lifelong friends and unofficial ambassadors for our state.