Brazil's Ambassador to Australia (Issue 19, 2012)

BrazilBrazil's Ambassador to Australia, His Excellency Mr Rubem Corrêa Barbosa, visited La Trobe University's Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) to present a seminar on Australia-Brazil relations and the future on Friday 14 September.

‘On all measures, this vast nation in Latin America is now a big player on the world stage and its relationship with Australia is of major significance,’ says ILAS Director Dr Ralph Newmark.

ILAS is Australia’s first and Victoria’s only academic centre dedicated to Latin America holding regular research seminars and intensive summer and winter subjects.

‘In Australia there are around 16 000 Brazilian university students studying and this figure is expected to expand,’ says Dr Newmark.

In recent years, Brazil has emerged as an economic powerhouse of globalisation, along with China and India, and recently passed the UK and France as the world's fifth largest economy.

Over the next four years, Brazil will host both the 2014 Football World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games and in terms of the environment, Brazil is the custodian of most of the Amazon basin.

‘There are already many political, economic and educational connections between our two countries.

‘Australia's Prime Minister recently visited Brasília and Australia-Brazil trade and investment is growing at a rapid rate.

‘The Brazilian Ambassador's visit to La Trobe University strengthened both La Trobe's role as the place to study and Australia's relationship with the "giant of Latin America”,’ says Dr Newmark.

In another first, next year ILAS and the History program at La Trobe will be introducing Australia's first dedicated subject on Brazilian History – Brazil: History, Development, Culture and The Amazon – to continue to be at the forefront of these developments.