The ANU campus is at the heart of a rapidly changing Canberra. Photo by Stuart Hay.

The ANU campus is at the heart of a rapidly changing Canberra. Photo by Stuart Hay.

The world’s best kept secret

An announcement by one of the largest global airlines opens up a world of possibilities for Canberra, writes ANDREW BARR, BA (PolS) '96.

When I was a student at ANU 25 years ago, the idea of international flights out of Canberra was inconceivable.

Yet, in just a few months, ANU students will be able to hop on a plane in Canberra and be in Singapore in just over six hours.

You can also get on a flight in Canberra and be in Wellington in under four hours.

This is a reality that will have significant benefits to Canberra. Our city will finally arrive on the world stage.

For organisations like ANU, the opportunities are endless.

It will make Canberra and ANU a much more attractive option for students globally, particularly from New Zealand and South East Asia, as international flights open up opportunities to link with institutions and businesses in these areas.

Canberra's economy has traditionally relied heavily on the Australian Government for job creation and employment.

However, the past five years have seen a shrinking Australian Public Service (APS) footprint in Canberra due to Federal Government cuts. 

If we want to continue growing and continue to provide great opportunities for our smart graduates to stay in Canberra, then our economy will have to diversify further to create more jobs outside of the APS.

I believe the tertiary education sector is crucial to Canberra's future.

One in every nine Canberrans are either working or studying in one of our tertiary education institutions.

Universities and research organisations are significant contributors to the 'knowledge capital' and help drive employment and economic activity into the territory.