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Australia’s National Day celebrated in Vientiane

Australian Ambassador to Laos Paul Kelly hosted a reception joined by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith, foreign diplomats and relevant officials to celebrate the National Day of Australia in Vientiane on Feb 8.

“Australia Day is a time to reflect on, and acknowledge, our nation’s past and to learn about our national journey, including the ongoing history, traditions, and cultures of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples,” said Ambassador Paul Kelly.

“Australia’s First Peoples are the traditional carers of our lands and waterways and they have a fundamental role in Australia’s story – a story that began over 60,000 years ago,” Ambassador Paul Kelly mentioned. “In addition to celebrating the story of Australia’s First People, we also recognise modern Australia as a vibrant, successful, and multicultural society. While we are old – we are also new. In a population of 25 million, Australia has become home to 7 million migrants since 1945.”

2022 was an important year for Australia’s relationship with Laos as the two countries marked 70 years of unbroken diplomatic ties.

During the course of the year, some recurring themes have provided the foundations of the successful relationship.

Australian Government scholarships have helped many Lao citizens achieve their leadership potential in the government, business and community sectors – particularly women, people from ethnic backgrounds, and persons living with a disability.

Supporting education is an investment in Laos’ human capital as well as in the ties that the two countries share.

“Australia seeks to work with Laos and other ASEAN partners to shape this period of change together. Indeed in regard to ASEAN, Laos and Australia are bound very close. Through a fortunate set of circumstances – Laos is Australia’s ‘Country Coordinator’ for ASEAN from 2022 to 2024. This means we will be working closely as Laos prepares to chair ASEAN in 2024. It is also the same year that ASEAN and Australia will recognise 50 years since Australia became ASEAN’s first Dialogue Partner; and it will also be 30 years since the opening of the first Friendship Bridge. Australia is committed to support Laos to deliver a successful chair year,” said the ambassador.

Source: Lao News Agency

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