Official visits to Italy and Scotland have recently been undertaken by the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria. The visits served to promote Victoria’s economy, advance trade investment, and build links in a variety of sectors.
Victoria and Italy share industry and investment links. While in Italy, the Governor visited Milan, Lombardy and met with representatives from business, industry and the innovation sector. Such engagements included a visit to the Milan Innovation District, touring Leonardo Helicopter Division Headquarters, and meeting with representatives from WeBuild. The Governor also met with Lou Farinotti, the President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Melbourne. These engagements provided the opportunity to promote Victorian investment opportunities with Italian counterparts.
In 2026, both Victoria and Milan are set to host international multi-sport events, with Victoria hosting the Commonwealth Games in regional hubs across the State; and Milan set to host the Winter Olympics. While in Milan, the Governor met with representatives from the Winter Olympics Organising Committee, the Milano Cortina 2026 Foundation. The meeting was an opportunity to share insights and learnings regarding the two upcoming Games, including on major events preparation, plans for legacy, and more generally share lessons from Australia’s experience with the Commonwealth Games. While in Milan, the Governor also toured the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) European Training Centre (ETC), where Her Excellency learnt about opportunities for Victorian athletes.
The Governor also attended various engagements with Lombardy officials, to further promote and support the long-standing bilateral relationship between Victoria and the region. In particular, the Governor met with Attilio Fontana, President of Lombardy and attended a signing ceremony for the Victoria-Lombardy Memorandum of Understanding. The Memorandum of Understanding cements the Victoria-Lombardy relationship and will support business and investment cooperation in agriculture and food, manufacturing, defence and aerospace, sports, major events and the creative industries. While in Milan, the Governor also met with Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan; and Naïla Mazzucco, Australia’s Consul General in Milan.
From Milan, the Governor departed for Scotland, where Her Excellency visited Edinburgh and Glasgow.
While in Edinburgh, the Governor met with His Majesty King Charles III. Read more about the engagement here.
Victoria and Scotland both have ambitious emissions and renewable targets and are investing in the renewable energy sector to combat climate change. While in Scotland, the Governor attended engagements related to the sector, including meeting with representatives from SSE Renewables; and Jon Dobson, Chief Financial Officer of Flotation Energy. Flotation Energy is a Scottish developer and owner of offshore wind projects. Their Seadragon project, a 1,500MW energy transition project, will be one of Australia’s first offshore wind farms, off the Gippsland coast. The Governor also met with Michael Matheson MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero Energy and Transport. While in Glasgow, the Governor met with Councillor Jacqueline McLaren, Lord Provost of Glasgow, and toured the Clyde Gateway regeneration project. This was an opportunity to learn about the project, which was designated as Scotland’s first Green Regeneration Innovation District, and to identify lessons for Victoria.
Both Victoria and Scotland are well known for their vibrant and thriving creative industries. While in Edinburgh, the Governor met with leaders of Edinburgh festivals and other creative organisations. The meeting was an opportunity for the Governor to build relationships between the Scottish sector and Victorian creative industries and institutions, as well as promote Victorian performers and artists.
The technology, defence, aerospace and space industries are important components of both the Victorian and Scottish economy. While in Scotland, the Governor attended a roundtable on the Scottish technology sector, where Her Excellency learnt how Scotland is growing its technology sector. While in Glasgow, the Governor also met with Joel Spark, General Manager of Space Services at Spire. The meeting served to encourage collaboration with the Victorian space industry.
Finally, the Governor attended various engagements with Scottish and United Kingdom representatives. These engagements served to further promote and support the long-standing relationships that exist between Scotland, the UK, Victoria and Australia. While in Edinburgh, the Governor visited Hopetoun House and met with Lord Hopetoun, descendent of the Right Hon. John Adrian Louis Hope, the Earl of Hopetoun, GCMG, former Governor of Victoria and first Governor-General of Australia. The Governor also attended an event with Scottish universities, current students, and Victorian alumni in Edinburgh, and while in Glasgow, met with Ivan McKee MSP, Scottish Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise. The Governor concluded her time in Scotland with a meeting with Tim Dillon, Victoria’s Agent-General to the UK and Commissioner for Europe.