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Making more of the Australia-Canada relationship
(Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Treasurer Joe Hockey)
“I want to make more of this friendship: for our own good and for the good of the wider world... Australians and Canadians should be more conscious not only of all that we have in common but of all the good that we might do together. So, my intention is to broaden and deepen the relationship between our two kindred countries.” – Prime Minister Tony Abbott in his address to the Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum (Full Text)
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey welcomed a Canadian delegation to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting in Sydney on 22-23 February 2014. Among world finance leaders were Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz. The event was part of Australia’s year-long presidency of the G20, and resulted in agreement to develop policies to lift the collective GDP of G20 members by more than 2 per cent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the next five years.
Minister Flaherty and Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird also travelled to Melbourne for the Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum. Mr Baird met Australian Prime Minister Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop as well as many business leaders and officials. The Economic Leadership Forum is the premier forum for discussion of the economic relationship between Australia and Canada, where governments and businesses come together to discuss how to enhance the links between our economies for the sake of common prosperity and strength.
“For ours is a strong bi-lateral relationship based on common values and shared experiences. Indeed there is a deep affection between the Australian people and the Canadians.“ - Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s address to the Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum
(Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop)
Mr Baird added in his own speech, “Our shared future prosperity depends now more than ever on making maximum use of everything that our great nations have in common. This forum’s success is testimony to the fact that Canadians and Australians see each other as natural allies. Now it is our job to make the most of that.”
Western Australia Senate Election
An election for six new Senators for Western Australia will be held on Saturday 5 April 2014.
You can check if you are enrolled to vote in Western Australia, enrol or update your enrolment details at www.aec.gov.au/enrol. The deadline to enrol is 8pm AWST Friday 7 March 2014.
In person voting will not be available at the High Commission in Ottawa.
However, an Australian overseas voting centre will be available at the Australian Consulate and Trade Commission in Vancouver (Suite 2050 - 1075 West Georgia Street). Voting is available Monday through Friday during office hours 9:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-4:30pm starting Monday 24 March 2014.
You can also apply online for a postal vote to be sent to you from Australia at www.aec.gov.au/overseas.
What to do when it is colder than Mars: Australia Day at the movies
“Fabulous”, ‘magic”, “triumph”: feedback from some of the more than 230 guests from government, business, military, arts, media and civil society who braved a cold Ottawa winter night (January temperatures in Ottawa have been colder than those recorded on Mars) to enjoy the High Commission’s celebration of Australia Day with dinner at the movies at the historic ByTowne Cinema on 30 January.
Special guests were privy to an advance screening of Tracks. The movie, which enjoyed great reviews at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), is based on Robyn Davidson’s account of her epic journey from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, across 1,700 miles of the Australian outback. The film stars Mia Wasikowska.
Tracks will be showing at the ByTowne Cinema in Ottawa later this spring, as well as other theatres across North America and in Australia.
More photos from the event:
Australia assumes Presidency of the G20
Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has launched Australia’s presidency of the G20 in Brisbane, Queensland. Australia took over the presidency of the G20 on 1 December 2013 from Russia.
The G20 brings together the leaders of the world’s major economies to deal with the biggest economic challenges – it can take decisive action to make a real and positive difference to people’s lives.
Australia’s G20 Presidency will focus on the key themes of:
-promoting stronger economic growth and employment outcomes by empowering the private sector, and
-making the global economy more resilient to deal with future shocks.
The year will culminate in the G20 Leaders Summit to be held on 15 and 16 November in Brisbane, Queensland.
This will be the most significant meeting of world leaders Australia has ever hosted.
Canada hosted the 4th summit in June 2010 in Toronto.
Prime Minister Abbott also unveiled the logo for Australia’s host year. It was designed by Indigenous creative agency Gilimbaa and represents the weaving together of nations, a gathering of leaders and the journeys they will embark upon throughout 2013-14.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Premier of Queensland Campbell Newman
Read Prime Minister Abbott’s full speech here: http://www.pm.gov.au/media/2013-12-01/australia-assumes-presidency-g20
For further information on Australia’s G20 Presidency, see www.g20.org
2014 Griffith by-election
A by-election for the federal electoral Division of Griffith in Queensland will be held on Saturday 8 February 2014. Please visit the Smartraveller website for information on overseas enrolment and voting procedures.
Forty years of the Sydney Opera House
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Opera house. The first concert there, albeit an unofficial one, happened on 9 November, 1960 as Paul Robeson sang for the workers on site.
Foreign Minister addresses need to end sexual violence in conflict
This week, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is leading Australia’s delegation to Leaders’ Week at the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
During the gathering of world leaders and ministers, the UK launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative #TimeToAct on social media platforms – including Twitter and Facebook. Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is among 119 leaders calling on all UN countries to sign up to end the use of sexual violence in conflict.
With Australia as President of the United Nations Security Council for the month of September, Ms Bishop will chair a Security Council debate on small arms and light weapons. She will also host a high-level event to promote entry into force of the recently adopted Arms Trade Treaty. Australia welcomes the recent announcement that the United States would become the 95th country to sign onto the Arms Trade Treaty.
During Leaders’ Week, Ms Bishop will conduct a series of bilateral meetings with her counterparts, discuss the situation in Syria, and promote the Millennium Development Goals and the post-2015 development agenda.
Click here for the press release previewing the Leaders’ Week
Abbott Ministry sworn in by Governor General Bryce
On 18 September 2013, the first ministry of Prime Minister Tony Abbott was sworn in by the Governor-General, Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO, at a ceremony at Government House. The Governor General later presided at a meeting of the Federal Executive Council.
|Prime Minister Tony Abbott||Foreign Minister Julie Bishop|
Julie Bishop sworn in as Minister for Foreign Affairs
The Hon Julie Bishop MP has been sworn in as Australia’s 38th Minister for Foreign Affairs. As Foreign Minister, Ms Bishop will lead Australian efforts to strengthen relations with our key partners and drive Australia’s contribution to global and regional forums. Within the Foreign Affairs portfolio, Ms Bishop will also take on the role of Minister for International Development and will oversee a refocussing of the Australian aid program to ensure a more effective and efficient delivery of development assistance.
NAIDOC Week Celebration
Celebrating NAIDOC Week 2013, the Australian High Commission hosted a wonderful performance by Indigenous dance troupe The Chooky Dancers at the Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health. They were supported by Western Australian percussion group Tetrafide. See here for photos and more information.
Anzac Day in Ottawa
The Australian and New Zealand High Commissions commemorated Anzac Day on Thursday 25 April at
the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. Canada's Minister of National Defence, the Hon. Peter MacKay P.C., M.P., Canadian Forces personnel, veterans and Australians and New Zealanders in Ottawa joined the High Commissioners of Australia and New Zealand for a traditional morning service.
Australian Governor-General's visit to Canada
At the invitation of the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Rt Hon David Johnston, and the Government of Canada, Australia's Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC CVO, and Mr Michael Bryce AM AE visited Canada from Tuesday 2 April to Sunday 7 April 2013.
On 5 April, the Governor-General gave a keynote address at the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa. The speech focused on Australia's multicultural history and future.
Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust
All Australians in Canada are encouraged to donate to the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust. The Trust aims to eradicate avoidable blindness in Commonwealth countries, as well as developing young leaders through its leadership awards scheme. The Australian Government has pledged up to $5 million to the Trust.
Public Consultation: ANZAC Day Services at Gallipoli in 2015
Many Australians would like to attend the commemoration of the centenary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli in 2015. To provide an opportunity for a wide range of Australians to attend these commemorations, the Government has decided to hold a ballot for allocating ‘attendance passes’. Those who would like to participate in the consulation process can visit the Department of Veterans' Affairs below and complete an online survey.