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Australian Shadow Treasurer urges UOWD students to lead their communities

Thursday, 21 April, 2011

Joe Hockey says respecting each other's culture is the way forward
On a visit to UOWD on April 20, 2011, Joe Hockey, Shadow Treasurer and opposition minister in Australian Parliament, said university students should use their education to make a difference in their communities and help people 'make their voice heard.'

In a Majlis discussion with members of the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), Mr Hockey said that a higher education gives students the right tools to be leaders. He also stressed the need to engage in social and humanitarian activities, rather than concentrating only on one's job, because charity work is 'good for the soul'. He said that such involvement can also be bonus when applying for jobs because employers look for something beyond academic qualifications.

Himself a student leader, in his university days, Joe Hockey was involved in student politics and was elected President of the Students Representative Council at University of Sydney, and later helped raise funds for worthy causes and, as Minister for Financial Services also worked to increase the representation of women on the Boards of companies and on Government committees.

Hockey also referred to the power of the social media, including Facebook and Twitter, being an active user of both. "Social media has given people a voice. I strongly believe that people-power will govern the 21st century."

Speaking about Australia, Hockey said he was proud of the countrys secular society and multi-culturalism, pointing out that many languages were spoken in Australia In fact, the second most widely spoken language by children at home, after English, is now Arabic. He said the country gives full rights to immigrants, and equal opportunities to all, as proven by the rise of powerful personalities from humble beginnings, including international media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Rob Whelan, President of UOWD, said: "Given that the SRC elections have just been held at UOWD, the visit of Joe Hockey was a good opportunity for the students involved in the various teams to talk to a 'real' politician from a culturally diverse country."

On a short visit to the UAE, Hockey earlier met a number of government officials, including Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade.

Joe Hockey was elected to the Australian Parliament in 1996 and has served as Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, Minister for Small Business and Tourism, Minister for Human Services in the Fourth Howard Ministry and Federal Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service.

Following the 2007 Federal Election Joe was appointed Shadow Minister for Health and Ageing and Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives. In 2008, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Finance. In February, 2009 Joe was appointed by Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull as Shadow Treasurer. He was subsequently reappointed by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in December 2009.