Laos-Australia Defence Alumni Hosted Dinner

(KPL) Australian Embassy on Oct 17 hosted Laos-Australia Defence Alumni Dinner 2019 in the presence of Col. Thouankham Soukchaleun, Director of ASEAN Political-Security Division, Ministry of Naional Defense, and Col. Nerolie McDonald, Australian Defence Attache to Laos.

The defence relationship between Laos and Australia began in earnest in 1998 when five officers from the Laos Peoples’ Army attended English language courses at Defence International Training Centre (DITC) in Melbourne, Australia. Now, 21 years later, there are over 500 LPA officers, Australian Ambassador to Laos, Mr Jean Bernard Carrasco told the function held in Vientiane.

The cornerstone of the relationship is the Defence Cooperation Programme, and, in particular, English language training. This programme, which aims to improve the English language skills of LPA officers so they can more effectively engage with international partners, continues to serve the interests of both nations well.

The programme has grown significantly over the past two decades.

In 2019, 21 officers from the LPA attended overseas courses or seminars sponsored by the Australian Department of Defence.

These include English language and teacher development courses at DITC, a Gender Advisor Course in Canberra and a Military Law Conference in Melbourne.

In March, eight officers from the LPA took part in an Australian led ‘Women, Peace and Security Seminar’ in Hanoi.

The seminar was the first tri-lateral defence activity between Australia, Vietnam and Laos, and attended by representatives from all three countries.

At the seminar, countries shared their experiences on women and gender related matters.

Source: Lao News Agency