Australian Embassy and Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia

Embassy Archive 2016

Australia’s statement to the OSCE Ministerial Council

Photo caption: Ambassador Hammer delivering Australia’s statement at the 23rd meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg. Copyright: Australian Embassy.

Ambassador Dr Brendon Hammer delivered Australia's statement to the 23rd Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Hamburg, Germany on 9 December 2016.  Ambassador Hammer conveyed Australia’s disappointment that ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine remained intractable and once again called on Russia to abide by its international obligations. He stated that Australia did not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea, and stressed the role of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in assessing the implementation of the ceasefire.  Ambassador Hammer welcomed the OSCE’s activities on countering terrorism and violent extremism, and highlighted Australia’s participation in OSCE workshops on combatting human trafficking. Ambassador Hammer also registered Australia's candidacy for the United Nations Human Rights Council for the term 2018-20.  Read the full statement here.


International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

25 November marks the UN International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW). Eliminating violence against women, both in Australia and internationally, is a priority of the Australian Government and a key part of its foreign policy and overseas aid program. This day, followed by the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign, encourages the change in attitude and behaviours that lead to and perpetuate violence against women by mobilising people everywhere to bring about change. For a media release by the Minister for Foreign Mininster, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, please refer here.

Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls works to ensure that the empowerment of women and girls is a central focus of Australia's diplomatic, development and defence concerns. Hear from Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls about what we can do to stop violence against women here.


Remembrance Day 2016


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 participated in Remembrance Day services in Vienna and at Commonwealth War Graves in Klagenfurt, southern Austria, and Solymár a short drive to the north of Budapest in Hungary.

For more information about Remembrance Day, please refer to


Australia's Statement to the 60th IAEA General Conference

On 27 September 2016, Australia's head of delegation, Ambassador David Stuart, Governor and Permanent Representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), delivered Australia's statement to the 60th Regular Session of the IAEA General Conference. Read the statement here.


Visit by Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education & Training students

The Embassy was pleased to welcome a group of six students from Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education and Training on 24 August.  Deputy Head of Mission David Lewis and First Secretary Gaia Puleston provided the special guests with an overview of how the Embassy operates. The students, coming from various backgrounds, were curious to learn more about the Embassy’s role in Austria, countries of non-resident accreditation, and the international organisations in Vienna.

The Australian Embassy was pleased to engage in a wide-ranging discussion with the students, and to hear more about their attendance at the 33rd FICE Congress & 2nd CYC World Conference, “Together towards a better world for children, adolescents and families”, currently taking place in Vienna.  The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to ensuring that indigenous peoples benefit from its work, as set out in its five-year Indigenous Peoples Strategy

Tranby National Indigenous Adult Education and Training  is the oldest not-for-profit Indigenous adult education provider in Australia.  It recently received an International Student Mobility Grant from the Federal Government of Australia, which has facilitated the students’ attendance at the conference.


World Humanitarian Day 2016

World Humanitarian Day, 19 August, has been designated to honour the efforts and sacrifices of those who endeavour to bring aid, protection and hope to the 125 million people affected by war, famine and other disasters worldwide.  Australia has a strong track record as a principled and generous humanitarian donor.  The Minister of Foreign Affairs marked World Humanitarian Day 2016 with the launch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Humanitarian Strategy.

Click  here for more information.


Celebrating Australian-Hungarian relations in Békés

The Association of Australian and Békés Citizens, a friendship group of the town Békés in South-East Hungary, held their Australia Day celebration on 30 July 2016. This is an annual event of the Békés community, traditionally organised in the summer, which is not linked to the official Australia Day on 21 January.

The Association was founded in April 2011 by a Hungarian cake maker Zoltán Juhász and his wife, Marika. Zoltán is a true enthusiast for Australia and his interest goes back to his childhood. With the Association he set the aim to build links between Australians and Hungarians mainly focusing on the Hungarian expats both living in Australia and those who returned and their families. Besides the cultural mission, the Association is active as a charity organisation working in close connection with regional hospitals.

Over 100 people attended the event, of whom 30 were Australians with Hungarian origin, visiting at the invitation of the Békés Association. The Bishop of Szeged-Csanád, László Kiss-Rigó, the vice-mayor of Békés, Dr Tamás Pálmai, hospital director, Dr László Becsey were among the guests. The visiting Australian-Hungarians were organised by Julianna Szodorai, Hungarian community leader in Perth.

The cheerful day started with speeches by some of the organisers and guests. The Embassy was represented by Deputy Head of Mission David Lewis and Hungary Policy Officer Patricia Marity. After the music and dance performances a traditional Hungarian lunch was served and the afternoon was spent in a friendly atmosphere with talks and networking.

Listening to the Australian and Hungarian anthems. Left to right: Patricia Marity, Hungary Policy Officer; David Lewis, Deputy Head of Mission; László Kiss-Rigó, Bishop of Szeged-Csanád, Dr László Becsey, Director of Réthy Pál Hospital in Békéscsaba. Copyright: István Virág


Deputy Head of Mission David Lewis welcomes guests and thanks the work of the organiser and Association President Zoltán Juhász (on the right). Copyright: István Virág

Left to right: László Kiss-Rigó, Bishop of Szeged-Csanád;  József Nagy, Dean of Békés; Tamás Pálmai, Vice-mayor of Békés. Copyright: István Virág

Australian and Békés citizens celebrating traditions and friendly relations on the Australia Day of Békés. Copyright: István Virág

Djuki Mala at Tanzsommer Innsbruck

Photo caption: Djuki Mala posing with First Secretary Gaia Puleston, Innsbruck Mayor Christine Oppitz-Plörer and Tanzsommer Innsbruck Director Josef Resch.

Australian Indigenous dance group Djuki Mala received standing ovations for its vibrant performances at Austria’s second largest dance festival, Tanzsommer Innsbruck, from 7 – 10 July. This was the first time Djuki Mala performed in Austria as part of a tour through Europe and the Middle East, including stops in Spain, Lebanon, Israel and Cyprus.

Held during NAIDOC Week, Djuki Mala’s high-energy and fun performances provided the Tyrolian audience with a rare insight into Aboriginal Australia. The Embassy hosted a reception for Djuki Mala and special guests,  including the Mayor of Innsbruck, Ms Christine Oppitz-Plörer.

Coming from Elcho Island, a small island in the north of Australia off the coast of Arnhem Land, Djuki Mala combine popular culture with their identity as Yolngu people. Their cross-cultural dance spectacle has captivated audiences throughout the world.


Joint Statement on Bratislava and Kosice Pride Marches 2016

On the occasion of Pride Marches in Bratislava on 30 July 2016 and in Kosice on 3 September 2016, Australia has joined 19 Embassies to Slovakia to convey our support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities in Slovakia and their right to express themselves peacefully and lawfully. Read the press release here.



3-10 July 2016

The Australian Embassy & Permanent Mission is proud to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2016. 

NAIDOC stands for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920s, which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians. NAIDOC Week is an important occasion to recognise and show respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and culture.  It is also an opportunity to bring together all Australians to celebrate our shared history.

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2016 is “Songlines: The living narrative of our nation”.  For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the Dreamtime is when everything in this in this universe was created by their ancestor spirits. Dreaming tracks crisscross Australia and trace the journeys of these ancestral spirits – they may be referred to as ‘Songlines’.

For more information see:

NAIDOC week poster


From l-r: Torres Strait Islander Flag, Australian National Flag, Australian Aboriginal Flag


Joint Statement on Budapest Pride 2016

On the occasion of the 21th Budapest Pride Festival, Australia joined 30 other Embassies in Budapest to convey our support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities in Hungary and their right to express themselves peacefully and lawfully. Read the press release here.


Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty 20th Anniversary Ministerial Meeting

Australia is a strong and consistent supporter of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Read Australia’s statement by Mr Richard Sadleir to the 20th Anniversary Ministerial Meeting in Vienna here.


World Music in Vienna: Joseph Tawadros

From left to right: Joseph Tawadros and Ms Anne Marie Ribas.

Australia’s world famous, award winning oud player and composer Joseph Tawadros.

From left to right: Ambassador Stuart, Mrs Radwa Abel Aziz, Egyptian Ambassador Khaled Shamaa, Joseph Tawadros, Mrs Loriana Fabian Marrapodi, Italian Ambassador Giorgio Marrapodi, Ms Anne Marie Ribas.

From left to right: Richard Holzer-Remondi, Australian Embassy; Lidija Plibersek, Managing Director, Pogrebno podjetje Maribor cemetery, and President of the Association of significant cemeteries in Europe (ASCE), and spouse, Marko Ferlez.

World-famous oud virtuoso and composer Joseph Tawadros gave a concert hosted by Ambassador David Stuart and his wife, Ms Anne Marie Ribas, at the Australian Residence on the evening of 9 June.

Born in Egypt, Joseph Tawadros represents well the multiculturalism and diversity of Australia, where the family immigrated when he was young. His grandfather being a musician in Egypt, he and his brother, James Tawadros, grew up playing the oud in Newtown in Sydney.

Joseph Tawadros studied in Australia and Egypt and became a master of this ancient Arab instrument, ‘Al Oud’ (a short necked string instrument characterized by its rich, sonorous sound and rounded back frame). He has a unique style, very intense and sensitive at the same time. His music is often inspired by quotes from writers and poets and he loves improvisation.

Tawadros’s success is marked by winning the ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) Award in three consecutive years for the Best World Music Album. He has made thirteen albums – about one a year since he was 21. He has been touring extensively, performing alone, with his brother and with established musicians all around the world.

Some 40 guests attended the event, including representatives from the diplomatic community, culture and business. Typical for Joseph Tawadros, he entertained the audience throughout the concert talking about his passion for the oud as well as sharing his own stories, memories and experiences about Egypt and Australia.


Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) brings Dvořák to Vienna


Musical SSO reception at the Australian Residence. Copyright: Marion Carniel

Ambassador David Stuart and Ms Anne Marie Ribas with the SSO string quartet. Copyright: Marion Carniel

From left to right: Ambassador Stuart, Gudrun Gutt (ORF), UK Ambassador Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque. Copyright: Marion Carniel


From left to right: Lerida Delbridge and Claire Herrick. Copyright: Marion Carniel


String quartet performing Dvořák’s American Quartet. Copyright: Marion Carniel

A string quartet of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (SSO) showcased Australian musical talent at a musical afternoon reception at the Australian Residence on 29 March, hosted by Ambassador David Stuart and his wife, Anne Marie Ribas. Lerida Delbridge, Claire Herrick, Timothy Nankervis and Justin Williams performed the 2nd and the 4th movements of Antonín Dvořák’s American Quartet and Arthur Johnston’s “Pennies from Heaven” to great applause. 

Resident at the Sydney Opera House, the SSO is Australia’s flagship orchestra performing around 200 concerts each year. The four musicians have toured around the world and are winners of numerous prizes and awards. Lerida and Justin have played previously at the Musikverein Vienna as members of the Tinalley String Quartet.

The SSO string quartet was in Vienna and Budapest to perform a series of live performances aboard selected Australian Pacific Touring (APT) ships on a Danube river cruise. APT is a major sponsor of the SSO and supports SSO’s flagship Master Series at the Sydney Opera House, which each year showcases some of the world’s biggest musical stars performing music from the SSO’s repertoire.



Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program 2016

The 2016 Australian Cultural Diplomacy Grants Program (ACDGP) is now open for application. The ACDGP aims to deliver innovative Australian projects to an international audience by supporting projects that strengthen the nation’s reputation as a sophisticated, creative nation and foster ongoing collaborative international exchange. Projects that establish networks, stimulate collaboration, enhance market access and promote Australian expertise in the arts may consider applying for funding.  The ACDGP provides grants of up to $60,000 per year (for a maximum 3 year period) for international arts and cultural activities that reflect key diplomatic cultural objectives.  

Applications are open until 12 noon on Monday 11 April 2016 AEST. Applications must be submitted online via Smartygrants.

Full details on eligibility and how to apply can be found here.


Economic diplomacy in Budapest

On 18 February, Ambassador David Stuart co-hosted an event dedicated to Australia at the Aria Hotel in Budapest. Steve Rank, Senior Trade Commissioner of Austrade Central Europe joined Ambassador Stuart from Warsaw for the evening. Some 50 people attended the event, including representatives of international companies, Hungarian business and peak bodies, officials and diplomats.

Hungary trade event _ HOM speaking

Ambassador David Stuart talking about the economic ties between Hungary and Australia. Copyright: Diplomacy & Trade Magazine

Hungary trade event _ audience

Representatives of international and Hungarian businesses, officials and diplomats attending the event. Copyright: Australian Embassy

Hungary trade event _ MFA _ PM

Dávid Horváth, Hungarian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Patricia Marity, Australian Embassy. Copyright: Diplomacy & Trade Magazine


The event followed Diplomacy & Trade’s publication of a four page country focus on Australia in January, which included an interview with Ambassador Stuart focusing on economic ties and separate articles on the Hungarian community in Australia, tourism, migration and health care, Indigenous Australians and the Sydney Olympic Games.

During the event, Ambassador Stuart spoke about the bilateral relationship between Australia and Hungary, in particular the long history of Hungarian immigration to Australia and the value of the Hungarian diaspora as an important part of Australia’s multicultural society. He highlighted how much Australia benefited from the role played by many refugees who had fled Hungary in the 1940s, 1950s and before the end of the Cold War. He also said that bilateral trade figures had shown recent signs of growth, reflecting increasing automobile and other Hungarian exports to Australia. He said he saw potential in certain sectors, like mining technology in Hungary and agribusiness in Australia.

Mr Rank provided an overview of Australia’s strong economic performance, stressing the opportunities for Hungarian businesses in Australia, and shared his personal and professional experiences regarding the business benefits to Australia of hosting the Sydney Olympics in 2000. This met with high interest given that the International Olympic Committee announced on 17 Feburary that Budapest, together with Los Angeles, Paris and Rome, had submitted stage one of the official candidature process for hosting the 2024 Olympic Games:

Hungary trade event _ HOM with guests

From left to right: Ambassador David Stuart; Viola Gurise-Pap, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA); Sándor Mátyus, IHRA. Copyright: Diplomacy & Trade Magazine

Hungary trade event _ Kozma Rank

Ágnes Kozma, Artistry Vision, and Steve Rank, Austrade. Copyright: Diplomacy & Trade Magazine

Hungary trade event _ attendees

From left to right: Liam Crow, FirstMed Center; Michele Orzan, European Chamber; Dr Andrea Jádi Németh LLM, Jádi-Németh Law Firm; Dr Bálint Bassola, Jalsowszky Law Firm. Copyright: Diplomacy & Trade Magazine



Australia's Statement at the 59th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna


On 15 March, Dr Lisa Studdert, First Assistant Secretary, Population Health and Sport Division, Department of Health,
delivered Australia's statement at the 59th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. Read the full statement here.


Australia Day


Image: Australian Consul Maree Fay (left) addressed members of the Australian Connection in Austria (OzCon) and the Austrian-Australian Society at the Australia Day celebrations in Vienna on 23 January. Copyright: Australian Embassy.

Image (l-r): group shot with representatives of Metropole Magazine, OzCon and the Austrian-Australian Society. Copyright: Australian Embassy.

Image: Australia day celebration at the Zsivago Café in Budapest on 24 January. Copyright: Australian Embassy.

On 23 and 24 January 2016, the Australian Embassy joined Australian friendship groups in Austria and Hungary in their celebration of Australia Day. In Austria, the Australian Connection in Austria (OzCon), and the Austrian-Australian Society, celebrated Australia Day with members and friends at a typical Viennese Heuriger with music and song, and a slide show of Australian images. In Hungary, the Nozzies celebrated Australia Day in Budapest at the Zsivago Café. Celebrate what’s great about Australia: