His Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Her Majesty Queen Máxima of The Netherlands visited the University of Sydney this week as part of a state visit to Australia.
Accompanied by Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders, the King and Queen spent the morning exploring the research and education links between Australia and the Netherlands, against the backdrop of the University of Sydney Quadrangle.
Hosted by the University of Sydney's Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AM, Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison, the King and Queen and Minister Koenders were given a tour of research projects on which Australian and Dutch students are working together.
This included research by University of Sydney PhD candidates Moran Gilat, from the Netherlands, and Matthew Georgiades, from Sydney. Moran and Matthew spoke to the King and Queen about their research into the impact of ‘Freezing of Gait’ – a highly debilitating, yet poorly understood symptom of Parkinson’s disease.
The King and Queen were also introduced to students from the University of Sydney and other local universities by University of Sydney academic Professor Frans Verstraten and Professor Marc in Het Panhuis from the University of Wollongong. This included Australian students who have studied in the Netherlands, and Dutch students who are currently studying in Australia.
During an address following the tour, Minister Koenders presented the New Holland Scholarship Australia, which aims to further expand academic collaboration between the two countries.