The Australian Embassy in Vienna and Permanent Mission to the UN is accredited to Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Kosovo, Slovakia, Slovenia, and to the International Organisations in Vienna.
Celebrating Austrian-Australian environmental links
Crescendo Choir joined by Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer, Salzburg Mayor Mr Harald Preuner, Gerald Weindorfer and Edwin Weindorfer. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Ambassador Hammer with Edwin Weindorfer, great-great nephew of Gustav Weindorfer. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Ambassador Hammer with Mayor Preuner. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
On 16 July 2018, Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer joined the Mayor of Salzburg, Mr Harald Preuner, to celebrate with Tasmania’s Crescendo Choir the major contribution of Austrian botanist Gustav Weindorfer to conservation of wilderness in Tasmania. Gustav Weindorfer emigrated to Australia in 1900 and together with his Tasmanian wife Kate laid the foundations for establishment of the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park. With its ancient rainforests, alpine heath and the iconic Cradle Mountain, the national park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Tasmanian Wilderness.
Gustav Weindorfer’s relatives, great-nephew Gerald and great-great-nephew Edwin Weindorfer, were instrumental in organising the visit of the Crescendo Choir to Austria, including their special performance of The Mountain by renowned Australian composer Paul Jarman in the Marble Hall of Mirabell Palace. The moving performance, a tribute to Cradle Mountain and the love between Gustav and Kate Weindorfer, was beautifully complemented by display of historic photos of the couple.
NAIDOC Week 8 July to 15 July
Sunday July 8 marks the beginning of NAIDOC week for 2018. NAIDOC week is a celebration of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Communities throughout Australia hold activities and celebrations during NAIDOC week, including community barbeques, historical visits and cultural performances. NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee.
The theme of this year’s NAIDOC week is “Because of her, we can”, and celebrates the role of Indigenous women and their achievements. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are and have been leaders, politicians, and advocates for social change at the community, local state and national levels. Despite the longstanding and significant contribution these women have made to Australian society, the role of Indigenous women has sadly been insufficiently recognised. NAIDOC Week 2018 is an opportunity to celebrate Australia’s Indigenous women, their courage, determination and contribution to Australia.
Information on NAIDOC week can be found on the NAIDOC webpage.
Pride 2018 in Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava
Ambassdor Dr Brendon Hammer and diplomatic colleagues at Vienna Pride 2018. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Australia is committed to advocating for respect and non-discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTI) persons, including through our work in international organisations and fora. The Australian Government believes that human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent and that all people are entitled to respect, dignity and legal protection regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
In Austria, Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer and Australian Embassy staff joined members of another 34 diplomatic missions to march as Diplomats for Equality at the Vienna Pride festival on 16 June, and to celebrate diversity together with an estimated 200,000 participants. One month earlier, on 17 May, the Australian Embassy together with Diplomats for Equality issued a joint statement on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia IDAHOT. Read more here.
In Hungary, the Australian Embassy joined the statement of 35 Diplomatic Missions in support of the 23rd Budapest Pride Festival taking place from 6 – 7 July 2018. Please read the joint statement issued on 5 July here.
In the Slovak Republic, the Australian Embassy joined the statement of 31 Diplomatic Missions in support of pride marches for LGBTI rights in Bratislava on 14 July and in Košice on 1 September 2018. Please read the joint statement here.
Australia’s Participation at the 27th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice 2018
Photo caption: Ambassador HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Vienna, delivering Australia’s national statement to the 27th Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Photo caption: Dr Geoffrey Shaw, Australia’s Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking, speaking at a side event, chaired by Ambassador HE Dr Brendon Hammer, on the need for complementary work and international partnerships to address SDG 8.7 on forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Photo Caption: Australia’s Deputy Head of Mission, Alison Drury, presented at a side-event on the United Nations Joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Photo caption: Briony Daley Whitworth, Acting Senior Legal Officer, Attorney-General’s Department discussing Australia’s efforts to combat cybercrime and our commitment to global cooperation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Australia participated at the 27th Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), in Vienna from 14-18 May. The CCPCJ is the UN’s principal policy-making body on criminal justice issues and a key forum for advancing our interests in shaping comprehensive and integrated global crime prevention strategies. A copy of Australia’s national statement can be found here.
With its focus on cybercrime, the Commission provided an opportunity for Australia to highlight the work Australia is doing to implement its International Cyber Engagement Strategy, including by investing 30 million dollars to improve cyber resilience in the Indo-Pacific region.
Combatting modern slavery was also a focus for Australia. Australia’s Ambassador for People Smuggling and Human Trafficking, Dr Geoffrey Shaw, spoke on the work of Alliance 8.7, a global initiative chaired by Australia, which aims to strengthen international cooperation to meet Sustainable Development Goal 8.7. Australia also announced $50,000 in funding to assist the work of the UNODC through its Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
Throughout the meeting, Australia continued to call for the mainstreaming of gender perspectives into criminal justice systems, in accordance with CCPCJ Resolution 26/3, adopted in 2017.
National Reconciliation Week 27 May to 3 June 2018
Don’t Keep History A Mystery
Sunday May 27 marks the beginning of the 18th anniversary of National Reconciliation Week. The focus of National Reconciliation Week is to encourage all Australians to learn about the shared histories, culture and achievements of Indigenous Australians. National Reconciliation Week also aims to educate and explore how all Australians can contribute to achieving reconciliation. The dates of National Reconciliation Week coincide with two significant events in Australia’s history.
On 27 May 1967 Australians universally accepted the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders into the national census count, as well as allowing the federal government to implement laws for Indigenous Australians. On the 3 June 1992, the High Court of Australia overturned the principle of Terra Nullius and recognised Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders as the traditional owners of Australian land. This case is commonly referred to as “The Mabo Decision” after key campaigner Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo. The outcome of the Mabo Decision led to the introduction of the Native Title Act in 1993. Today more than two million square kilometres of Australian land have been recognised as belonging to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
The theme of this year’s National Reconciliation Week is Don’t Keep History a Mystery: Learn, Share, Grow. In 2018, Reconciliation Australia aims to invite everyone to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and history.
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) 2018
The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) is celebrated annually on 17 May. IDAHOT embraces the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and promotes acceptance and respect regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Australia is a strong advocate for equal human rights, non-discrimination and non-violence for LGBTI persons globally. The Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission in Vienna has issued, together with 30 foreign missions in Vienna, an IDAHOT statement in support of LGBTI people. Read the statement here.
Celebrating the Entry into Force of the Australia-Austria Work and Holiday Visa Arrangement
Photo caption (l-r): Edward Ho, General Manager, Eva Air; Wolfgang Lukas Strohmayer, Director, Austrians Abroad, Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs; Ambassador HE Dr Brendon Hammer; Maria Bergmann, WHV holder and winner of flight ticket voucher. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Photo caption (l-r): Jodie Bjerregaard, Australian Embassy Berlin; Wolfgang Lukas Strohmayer, Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs; Barbara Bohaczek, Federal Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection; Silvia Perfler, Federal Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection; Laura Koestler, alumni; Sandra Oreski, Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
On 8 May, Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer hosted a reception to mark the commencement of the Australia-Austria Work and Holiday Visa arrangement. The arrangement, which entered into force on 15 February, enables young Austrians and Australians to work and holiday in the partner country for up to twelve months, thereby offering a unique cultural, social, linguistic and intellectual experience for young adults. Australian and Austrian government officials joined a group of Work and Holiday visa holders, alumni and travel industry members in celebrating the launch of the arrangement, which is expected to contribute further to deepening the already excellent people-to-people links that exist between Australia and Austria. One visa holder was the lucky recipient of a flight ticket voucher to Australia and a Work and Holiday Starter package.
Information for Austrians on how to lodge and prepare an application is available on https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/visa-1/462-- and for Australians on http://www.vfsglobal.com/austria/australia/.
A press release in German is available here.
Anzac Day 2018
Photo caption: Ambassador HE Dr Brendon Hammer addressing the audience at the 2018 Anzac day commemorative service. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Photo caption: Laying of wreaths at the 2018 Anzac day commemorative service. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
On 25 April, the Australian and New Zealand Embassies commemorated Anzac Day with a Dawn Service held on the steps of the historic Karlskirche church in the centre of Vienna. Vienna-based ambassadors from Britian, Ireland, Canada, France and Turkey, and diplomatic and military representatives from these and several other countries, laid wreaths and stood side-by-side with Australians and New Zealanders, and members of the public, including a Hungarian community group, to mark the occasion.
Australia-Europe Relations Seen through the Eurovision Song Contest
Photo caption: Dr Dean Vuletic citing Australian Korea-born Eurovision 2016 entrant Dami Im as an example of Australia embracing its multicultural society. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Photo caption: Ambassador HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Austrian ORF Program Director Kathrin Zechner, Croatian Ambassador HE Vesna Cvjetkovic with members of the diplomatic and academic communities listening to Dr Vuletic. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Ahead of Australia competing for the fourth time in the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon from 8-12 May, Australian historian and author Dr Dean Vuletic gave a fascinating presentation about the history of Australian-European relations seen through the prism of the Eurovision Song Contest at the Australian Residence on 24 April. Dr Vuletic shared his perspectives on how Australia’s fascination with the Eurovision reflects our multicultural heritage and society. Australian Eurovision entrants to date have been of either Indigenous or Asian heritage, including this year’s candidate Jessica Mauboy. For more information, please refer to: https://eurovisionworld.com/eurovision/2018/australia
Sydney Dance Company performance in Slovenia
Image caption: The first ever performance by the Sydney Dance Company in Slovenia on 7 April was a great success, and a hit with Ljubljana’s audience. The show featured productions by Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela (“Lux Tenebris”), Cheng Tsung-lung (“Full Moon”), and Gabrielle Nankivell (“Wildebeest”). Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Image caption (l-r): Dominic Chang, Producer, Sydney Dance Company; Andrej Jaklič, Head of Theater and Contemporary Dance, Cankarjev dom; Ms Alison Drury, Chargé d’Affaires, Australian Embassy; Ms Uršula Cetinski, Director General, Cankarjev dom; Rafael Bonachela, Artistic Director, Sydney Dance Company. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
On 7 April, Chargé d’Affaires Ms Alison Drury, in cooperation with Ms Uršula Cetinski, Director General of Cankarjev dom, hosted a reception for Embassy contacts on the occasion of a performance by the Sydney Dance Company in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana. The show was part of the company’s European Spring Tour and featured Artistic Director Rafael Bonachela’s production “Lux Tenebris”, Cheng Tsung-lung’s “Full Moon” and Gabrielle Nankivell’s “Wildebeest”. The performance was the company’s first show ever in Slovenia, and a great success with Ljubljana’s audience.
Visit by the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Hungary and Slovenia
Image caption: On 22 February, Ms Bishop met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to discuss bilateral ties. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Image caption: On 23 February, Ms Bishop met with Slovenian President Borut Pahor. Ms Bishop’s visit was the first visit by an Australian Foreign Minister to Slovenia. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs visited Hungary and Slovenia from 21 to 23 February 2018 to strengthen bilateral relations and promote Australia’s economic and security interests. The mutual benefits to accrue from a future free trade agreement with between Australia and the EU was a key focus of discussions.
In Hungary, Ms Bishop met with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán; Mr Péter Szijjártó, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Visegrád Four Group Foreign Ministers (the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia). Ms Bishop delivered a presentation entitled The Australian Foreign Policy White Paper: Preserving the Rules-Based Order at the Hungarian Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Trade and investment opportunities between Australia and Hungary were the focus of a round table discussion at the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Ms Bishop also highlighted the importance of gender equality at a business breakfast on “Women in Leadership”, hosted in cooperation with the Hungarian Business Leaders Forum.
Minister Bishop’s visit to Slovenia was the first ever visit by an Australian Foreign Minister since diplomatic relations were established in 1992. Ms Bishop met with Mr Borut Pahor, President of the Republic of Slovenia; Mr Karl Erjavec, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Mr Dejan Židan, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food and Mr Zdravko Počivalšek, Minister of Economic Development and Technology. The meetings provided an opportunity to discuss shared priorities for Australia and Slovenia’s UN Human Rights Council membership, as well as Slovenia’s UN World Bee Day initiative, which Australia has actively supported. In recognition of the strong people-to-people links shared between Australia and Slovenia, Ms Bishop met with Australian business representatives, alumni, and community members.
For more images, please refer here.
Australia-Austria: Launch of Work and Holiday Visa Arrangement
Copyright both photos: Tourism Australia
On 15 February, a reciprocal Work and Holiday Visa arrangement between Australia and Austria will enter into force. Under the program, young Austrians will have the opportunity to work and holiday in Australia for up to a year, and young Australians to do the same in Austria. 200 visas for each side will be available on an annual basis. Applications for the first round open on 15 February.
Information for Austrian citizens on how to lodge and prepare an application is available at https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/visa-1/462-- Further information and announcements about the program are available at http://germany.embassy.gov.au/beln/Visas_and_Migration.html. Austrian citizens can request a letter of Austrian government support by email to: email@example.com.
Australian citizens may apply for a Work and Holiday Visa at the Austrian Embassy in Canberra, the VFS (http://www.vfsglobal.com/austria/australia/) as well as – during a lawful stay in the Schengen area – at the Austrian Embassies in Ljubljana, Bratislava, London and the Austrian Consulate General in Munich. Australian citizens can request a letter of Australian government support by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
General information for Australian citizens about Work and Holiday arrangements overseas are available at: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/ente/work.
Australia Day 2018
First image above: Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer addressed members of the Australian Connection in Austria (OzCon) and the Austrian-Australian Society at the Australia Day celebrations in Vienna on 26 January. Copyright: OzCON. Second image above: Ambassador Dr Hammer with Semra Turkovic-Hrle, Assistant Secretary, Secretariat of the Policy-Making Organs, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and Dr Gabriele Weichart, Secretary General, Austrian-Australian Society. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Image: On 26 January, Australians and alumni celebrated Australia Day at the Vander Urbani Resort in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Copyright: Vander Urbani Resort.
Image: On 25 January, Embassy colleagues held an informal Australia Day celebration with Australians from International Organisations and nuclear policy contacts in Vienna. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
On 26 January 2018, Australians and alumni in Austria, Hungary, Kosovo, and Slovenia got together to celebrate Australia Day with family and friends. In Austria, Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer joined the Australian Connection in Austria (OzCon), and the Austrian-Australian Society, for an Australia Day celebration at a typical Heuriger in Vienna’s 19th district. Special guests included members of the Graz regulars alumni table. The program included music performed by Australian Vienna-based vocalist Sonia Anfiloff, a quiz and a slide-show of Australian images. On 25 January, Australian Embassy colleagues hosted an informal Australia Day celebration for Australians from International Organisations and nuclear contacts based in Vienna.
In Hungary, the Nozzies celebrated Australia Day in Budapest at Beckett's Irish Pub. In Kosovo, the Council of Kosovo-Australia Relations hosted an Australian National Day reception for more than fifty people in Pristina. In Slovenia, Australians and alumni got together for an Australia Day event at the Vander Urbani resort in Ljubljana. For more information about Australia Day, please visit: www.australiaday.org.au
Achieving Gender Equality and Female Empowerment: Australia participates in ACUNS Vienna UN conference 2018
On 10 January, Ambassador HE Dr Brendon Hammer spoke about Australia’s commitment to gender equality, female empowerment and ending violence against women at the Vienna UN Conference 2018 organised by the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS). Read Ambassador’s speech here.
Photo caption (l-r): International Gender Champions Vienna: HE Ambassador Helen Eduards, Sweden; HE Ambassador Christine Stix-Hackl, Austria; Fatou Haidara, Managing Director, Policy and Programme Support, UNIDO; HE Ambassador Jean-Louis Falconi, France; Nicole Shampaine, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., USA; Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary, CTBTO; Simonetta Di Pippo, Director, UNOOSA; Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director, DPA Division of Policy analysis and Public Affairs, UNODC (at the back); HE Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer, Australia; Laura Rockwood, Executive Director, Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation; HE Ambassador Claude Wild, Switzerland; HE Ambassador Andrej Benedejcic, Slovenia; Martin Kreutner, Dean and Executive Secretary, International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA); HE Ambassador Hannu Kyröläinen, Finland. Copyright (both photos): Australian Embassy.
Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women are key pillars of Australia’s domestic policy and also span Australia’s foreign policy, economic diplomacy and aid efforts. Australia has adopted policies to ensure that at least 80 per cent of Australia’s aid investments address gender issues. For example, Australia’s Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development aid program is specifically targeted at supporting women in 14 Pacific countries.
Australia recognises the great economic potential that the empowerment of women can bring and works to support their participation in the workforce. Unlocking this potential and advancing gender equality could lead to substantial global growth.
Australia is also committed to ending violence against women and has set up an ambitious reform agenda seeking to meet that objective, including through cultural change.
Launch of 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper: Advancing Australia’s interests
On 23 November, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister of Australia, officially launched the Foreign Policy White Paper, the first comprehensive policy paper on Australia’s international engagement since 2003. The White Paper provides a roadmap for advancing and protecting Australia’s international interests, and sets out the strategy of the Government of Australia for engaging with the world over the next decade. The Foreign Policy White Paper is the result of an unprecedented level of public consultation, drawing on the views of local communities, business, academics and think tanks, and federal, state and local governments. For more information, please refer to www.FPWhitePaper.gov.au
Celebration of Australian – Austrian botanical links
Launch of online exhibition of Australian flora and fauna by Austrian botanical artist Ferdinand Bauer
Rainbow lorikeet, watercolour, Ferdinand Bauer, based on pencil sketch made at Port Phillip, April 1802. Natural History Museum London.
Christmas spider, 1805, field drawing/watercolour, Ferdinand Bauer. Natural History Museum Vienna/Natural History Museum London.
The State Library of New South Wales launched a ground-breaking new website on 16 November 2017 featuring more than 300 rarely seen works by Austrian Ferdinand Bauer (1760-1826) - one of the world’s greatest natural history artists. It is part of a unique project embracing both print and digital technology. Bauer’s exquisite pencil sketchings of Australian flora and fauna, his extraordinary colour-coding system and pioneering field work come to life in the Painting by Numbers website and in a book published by botanical scholar Professor David Mabberly entitled Painting by numbers: the Life and Art of Ferdinand Bauer.
Ferdinand Bauer drew Australian birds, animals and plants during the first circumnavigation of the Australian continent under Captain Matthew Flinders from 1801-1803. He was acclaimed for capturing precisely the tone and shading of his specimens. “His mind worked at such speed that he could remember colours by number,” says Professor Mabberly. In 1817 Johann Goethe described the works, saying: “…we are enchanted at the sight of these leaves: nature is revealed, art concealed, great in its precision, gentle in its execution, decisive and satisfying in its appearance”.
The Natural History Museum Vienna, which owns more than 2,000 of Bauer’s pencil drawings, is a key contributor to this current project together with the State Library of NSW, the Bodleian Libraries Oxford, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, the Natural History Museum London and the Linnean Society in London.
Visitors to the Painting by Numbers website will be able to view the incredible detail in Bauer’s work, experiment with his signature palettes and see how he turned his field drawings into fully realised and detailed studio watercolours.
Statement to the 49th Session of the CTBT Preparatory Commission: 13 November 2017
On 13 November, Ambassador HE Dr Brendon Hammer, Resident Representative to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), delivered the Australian National Statement to the 49th Session of the CTBT Preparatory Commission. For the statement, please refer here. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
Remembrance Day 2017
Image caption: On 11 November, Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer attended Remembrance Day commemorations at the Commonwealth War Graves cemetery at Klagenfurt, in Austria. Copyright: Australian Embassy.
On Remembrance Day, a minute’s silence is held in many parts of the world to remember the servicemen and women who gave their lives in wartime and during conflicts and peacekeeping operations. Remembrance Day is held on 11 November, the date which commemorates the anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War in 1918.
The Australian Embassy in Vienna is accredited to six countries, two of which have Commonwealth War Graves in which Australian servicemen are buried: the cemetery at Klagenfurt in southern Austria, and the cemetery at Solymár, a short drive to the north of Budapest in Hungary. There is a third cemetery at Maribor in central Slovenia where many Allied servicemen are buried. This cemetery does not contain marked graves for Australians, but does contain the graves of a large number of unidentified soldiers. The Australian Embassy, Vienna attended commemorative services in Klagenfurt and Solymar and a Remembrance Day Church Service in Vienna.
Australia’s Participation in the 7th Session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption
Photo caption: On 7 November, Luke Arnold, Director, Law and Justice Section, Governance Fragility & Water Branch, Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), delivered Australia’s national statement to the 7th session of the UNCAC Conference of States Parties.
Photo caption: Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer (seventh from left) with the Hon Taneti Maamau (sixth from left), President of Kiribati and other Pacific colleagues; (l-r) Wanni Teo, NZ Permanent Mission Vienna; Eric Iban, Office of the Attorney General, RMI; Leonito Bacalando, Ministry of Justice, FSM; John Brandolino, UNODC; Sa'aga Talu Teafa, Chief Ombudsman, Tuvalu; the Hon Taneti Maamau; Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer; Mihaela Stojkoska, UN-PRAC; Graham Leung, Secretary, Justice & Border Control, Nauru; Setariki Waganitoga, Office of the Prime Minister, Vanuatu; Derek Futaiasi, Office of the Prime Minister, Solomon Islands; Catherine Evans, Deputy Solicitor General, Cook Islands; Maria Adomeit, UN-PRAC.
Photo caption: Luke Arnold, Director, DFAT, participates as a panellist in a side-event on “Understanding the Links between Corruption and Violent Extremism.”
Australia participated in the 7th session of the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC CoSP) in Vienna from 6 to 10 November 2017. A copy of Australia’s national statement can be found here.
Australia highlighted the impact corruption has on our economic, security and development interests and encouraged member states and civil society to work together to combat it.
Australia’s Investment in Anti-Corruption
As one of the world’s leading anti-corruption donors, Australia has agreed to provide more than $20 million in funding to anti-corruption programmes over the next four years. Australia will fund the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the UN Development Program (UNDP) to work with states parties to prevent and combat corruption, as well as the World Bank-UNODC Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative, which assists countries to recover assets stolen through corruption.
Within our region, Australia has been a strong supporter of the UN Pacific Regional Anti-Corruption Project (UN-PRAC), which supports Pacific Island Countries strengthen their capacity to address corruption.
Indigenous Australia at World Museum Vienna Grand Reopening
Image caption: Koomurri dance group at World Museum Vienna Reopening. Copyright: Daniel Auer.
The Australian Koomurri dance group featured as part of an open-air show to celebrate the re-opening of the World Museum in Vienna on 25 October. Diversity, tolerance, respect and cooperation were key themes of the show attended by over 7,500 guests and broadcast nationally on television. Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer, Embassy staff and friends attended the show which was opened by Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen and featured other performers from Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Iran, Mexico, Mongolia, South Africa, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
Representing the world’s longest surviving continuing culture and with members hailing from a variety of clans in New South Wales, Queensland and the Torres Strait, the seven Koomurri members brought Australian Indigenous culture to Austria through a mix of traditional and contemporary dance accompanied by didgeridoo music. Koomurri recently won the 2016 national Aboriginal Dance Rites competition and have performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and Australia Day at Barangaroo and Circular Quay. Prior to their performance in Vienna, Koomurri members also performed at a major Festival in Hungary.
The World Museum Vienna is one of the leading ethnographic museums in the world and has undergone three years of reconstruction. Among its feature displays are segments of the James Cook collection as well as Australian artefacts and objects collected by others, including the Habsburg Crown Prince Franz Ferdinand during his Australia visit in 1893. The Museum’s newly restored facilities and displays are dedicated to the cultural diversity of humankind and the diverse historical ties between Austria and other regions around the world.
Milestone achieved: Australia-Austria Work and Holiday arrangement signed
Photo caption (l-r): Austrian Ambassador HE Dr Bernhard Zimburg and Australian Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Alex Hawke MP at the signing of the Australia-Austria Work and Holiday arrangement.
Australian Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Alex Hawke MP, and Austrian Ambassador to Australia, HE Dr Bernhard Zimburg signed a bilateral Work and Holiday arrangement on 19 October. The arrangement provides a unique cultural, social, linguistic and intellectual experience for young adults. Once implemented up to 200 young people each year from both Australia and Austria will be able to holiday and work under this arrangement. The arrangement is a tangible affirmation of our countries’ expanding and deepening links.
Work has started on the implementation of the arrangement and once implemented the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website will be updated to advise eligible nationals from Austria that they are able to apply for a visa.
Visit by His Excellency the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove to Hungary and Austria
Image caption: On 27 September, HE General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of Australia, met with HE János Áder, President of Hungary, at Sándor Palace, Budapest. Copyright: Office of the Hungarian President.
Image caption: On 29 September, HE General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) met with HE Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of the Republic of Austria, at Hofburg Palace. Copyright: Office of the Austrian President.
From 27 to 30 September, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove visited Hungary and Austria.
The State visit to Hungary was the first ever by a serving Australian Governor General. Their Excellencies met with Hungarian President HE János Áder and HE Anita Herczegh, as well as Mr László Kövér, Speaker of the National Assembly for bilateral discussions. The Governor General also met with Mr András Heisler, President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary (Mazsihisz), and Chief Rabbi Dr Róbert Frölich at the Great Synagogue in Budapest, and their Excellencies laid a wreath at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Solymár in memory of 13 Australian RAAF soldiers killed in World War Two. Their Excellencies also met with members of the Australian community in Hungary in recognition of the close people-to-people links which underpin the warm and friendly relations between Australia and Hungary.
The Governor-General and Lady Cosgrove met with HE Alexander Van der Bellen, Federal President of the Republic of Austria for bilateral discussions during their official visit to Austria. The Governor General also met with HE Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Secretary General of the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE), and Mr Yury Fedotov, Director-General of United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV), and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). These calls highlighted Australia’s commitment to the multilateral system for addressing today’s complex global security challenges. Their Excellencies met with members of the Australian community in Austria, many of whom are working with key international organisations, including the United Nations, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), or contributing to Vienna’s rich culture and artistic scene.
Australia's National Statement to the 61st IAEA General Conference
On 19 September 2017, Australia's Head of Delegation, Ambassador Brendon Hammer, Governor and Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), delivered Australia's statement to the 61st Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference. Read the statement here.
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