Bond University has played host to the Italian Consul General in Queensland and the Northern Territory, the latest in a series of dignitaries to visit the university in recent weeks.
Salvatore Napolitano met with Bond University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Tim Brailsford before taking a tour of the campus as part of his first official visit to the Gold Coast since taking on his role at the start of this year.
While covering the vast expanse of Queensland and the Northern Territory was a challenge for Napolitano, he said he was adjusting well to his new position, having come to Australia after four years working at the Italian Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“I work in the main interests of my community and also the relations between Queensland and Italy.
“One important aspect of the job is promoting trade, academic exchanges, more collaboration, culture, art, this is very important.
“Queensland is treating me very well, and with my family here, it’s the perfect place to be. I’ve also been very well welcomed by my (Italian) community, it’s very active, it’s very large.
“I have a hard time being everywhere, but I feel good.”
Napolitano moved into the diplomacy field following roles including working for a private company in Hungary, and as a civil servant in Ecuador.
He said like most of Europe, Italy was keeping a close eye on the United Kingdom’s efforts to carry out Brexit.
“Looking at all the things that are happening with Brexit, I think it’s quite clear that it’s a complex process and of course our hopes are that Europe gets stronger and has more cohesion and can serve the interests of its people. Europe has shown that at times of crisis it can get up, stand up, and improve its functioning.”
Napolitano joins a long list of prestigious visitors to the Bond campus in recent weeks, including University of Buckingham Vice Chancellor Sir Anthony Seldon, the outgoing President and Vice Chancellor of Western University in Canada, Professor Amit Chakma, and the Fijian High Commissioner to Australia, His Excellency Luke Daunivalu, also a Bond alumnus.