THE Governor of Victoria visited Israel this week, and told The AJN that she was wowed by the “energy and optimism” she encountered.
Linda Dessau said that Premier Daniel Andrews asked her to make the trip to further the connections he made during his visit last year, and deepen the Israel-Victoria collaborations which he has been keen to grow.
She met Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, and held general discussions on Israel’s history and its achievements today. But most of her trip consisted of meetings that were very focused on areas where Victoria wants to get more involved with Israel.
She went to see Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv, to discuss the “amazing enhancement of the city that has taken place”, because smart cities are a focus of the Victoria-Israel collaboration.
Dessau enthused about a tour of Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem, praising its approach of integrating innovation into the campus, and saying this is similar to the focus in some places in Victoria.
Andrews is especially keen to see connections built in healthcare, medical technology, and bio-science, and Dessau said after talking to Hadassah’s chairman Erez Meltzer: “It was quite clear in our discussions that there are opportunities to enhance and expand.”
She added that there was a meeting with Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, and identified “many areas where we could be able to cooperate”.
Dessau’s itinerary also included the Weizmann Institute of Science, where she met its president, Daniel Zajfman, and Israel’s Innovation Authority, where she spoke to director Aaron Aaron. She placed emphasis throughout the trip on cybertechnology and defence.
Paul Israel, director of the Israel-Australia Chamber of Commerce, which employs two staff members dedicated to Victoria, told The AJN during the visit: “The chamber is very proud of its association with Victoria who has shown real commitment by investing resources in Israel and is very focused on generating mutual benefits for both states.”