July 2016 and earlier
Ambassador Ritchie awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany
On behalf of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Minister of State in the German Foreign Office, Professor Maria Böhmer, has awarded Ambassador David Ritchie the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In a formal ceremony on 5 July, State Minister Böhmer acknowledged Ambassador Ritchie's instrumental contribution to advancing the bilateral relationship, including through his work in the Australia Germany Advisory Group. She said, "You are a valuable and estimated partner, but just as well a good and close friend of the Germans." (pictured below, photos courtesy of German Foreign Office, photographer Myrta Köhler)
Government presenting Budget 2016-17
With the Government's budget for 2016-17, Australia will continue to provide a strong contribution to humanitarian and disaster relief efforts globally. The Emergency Fund will be increased to A$130 million in 2016-17, and A$220 million will be provided over the next three years to address humanitarian needs in Syria and neighbouring countries hosting large numbers of refugees. Funding will also be increased for gender equality and women's economic empowerment in the Indo-Pacific region.
Australia and Germany collaborating to help the Pacific access climate finance
Australia is continuing to lead efforts to assist our Pacific Island neighbours to access additional financing to address the impacts of climate change. A $2.3 million partnership with Germany’s aid agency, GIZ, will assist Pacific Island countries to better access and manage global climate finance, with a focus on the Green Climate Fund. (Media release by the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells)
Tasmanian start-up leading the world in collaboration with Bosch
A Tasmanian start-up has caught the attention of one of the world’s leading technology suppliers, and the result has the potential to change the face of agriculture in Tasmania and the world. Europe’s third largest conglomerate the Bosch Group is investing $2.5 million in Tasmanian AgTech business The Yield, to develop their technology and scale it globally. (Media release from the Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman)
Innovators to land in Berlin
The Australian Government will establish a landing pad for Australian startups in Berlin, a leading source of global innovation and disruptive technology. Minister for Trade and Investment, Steven Ciobo, announced the plan in Berlin on 26 April. See media release: Innovators to land in Berlin.
Australia Day 2016: Australians of the Year announced
Nicholas Milton, Chief Conductor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and General Music Director of the Saarländisches Staatstheater, also a member of the Australia-Germany Advisory Group, has been awarded an honour in the Order of Australia in the 2016 Australia Day honours list announced on 26 January 2016. (Please also see the Ambassador's remarks at australia-in-berlin.com/2016/01/28/australia-day-2016/).
Ambassador David Ritchie AO speaking on Australia Day 2016 at the Australian Embassy in Berlin, with the national anthem, Advance Australia Fair, sung by the G.A.N.Z. Ensemble featuring Annabelle Kemish
Australia-Germany Advisory Group Report Release
The Australia-Germany Advisory Group, established in 2014 to examine ways to build even closer ties between the two countries, presented its report to Prime Minister Turnbull and Chancellor Merkel in Berlin on 13 November 2015. It contains 59 recommendations across five themes, providing a blueprint to take the already strong bilateral partnership to a new level.
The presentation was followed by a joint press conference by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor (pictures showing the Prime Minister welcomed by the Chancellor; the presentation of the Advisory Group Report by the co-chairs, Finance Minister Cormann and State Minister Professor Böhmer, and members Ms Turnbull and Mr Klein; and the Prime Minister and the Chancellor addressing the media).
New bilateral tax treaty signed
Australia and Germany on 12 November signed a new 21st century tax treaty, which will reduce tax impediments to increase bilateral trade and investment and improve the integrity of the tax system (picture showing Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble, with State Minister Professor Maria Böhmer looking on // photo: Jörg Rüger / BMF).
Second joint meeting of Australia Germany Advisory Group in Canberra
The second joint meeting of the bilateral Advisory Group has now been held in Canberra (23 Oct) for discussion of the final report which is expected to be presented to the government leaders before the end of this year.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (centre) with German Minister of State Professor Maria Böhmer and her Australian Advisory Group co-chair, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann in Canberra; and the Prime Minister joining the full Group
First joint meeting of bilateral Advisory Group in Berlin
The Australia-Germany Advisory Group / the Deutsch-Australische Beratergruppe established by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Chancellor Angela Merkel had its first joint meeting on 10 July in Berlin, chaired by the Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann, and the Minister of State in the German Foreign Office, Professor Maria Böhmer.
On his visit to Berlin, Minister Cormann had been accompanied by a substantial Australian business delegation, and he gave a key address on Australian-German bilateral relations at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
The Australia-Germany Advisory Group with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel
Visiting Berlin: Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and the President of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Ms Lucy Turnbull AO.
100th Anniversary of ANZAC
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the landing of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) on the Gallipoli Peninsula the Embassies of Australia and New Zealand held a Service of Remembrance on 25 April 2015 at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) World War One Cemetery on the grounds of the Südwestkirchhof (South Western Cemetery) in Stahnsdorf.
Impressions from the ANZAC Day ceremony in Stahnsdorf
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Berlin
Australia\'s Foreign Minister, Ms Julie Bishop MP, visited Berlin on 21-22 April 2015 for talks with her German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, to discuss the foreign fighter threat and the evolving security situation in the Middle East and eastern Ukraine. She also met Minister of State Maria Böhmer to discuss the work of the newly-established Australia-Germany Advisory Group and Dr Böhmer’s role as Chair of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop with her German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier at a joint press conference at the Foreign Office in Berlin (© Auswärtiges Amt)
Environment Minister Greg Hunt in Berlin
Australia\'s Federal Minister for the Environment, Mr Greg Hunt MP, visited Berlin on 28 January 2015 for discussions with key German Government representatives on UNESCO related issues and broader environmental developments. Among others, he met the German Minister of State in the Foreign Office, Professor Maria Böhmer, who is also Chairperson of the upcoming 39th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Bonn.
Minister Hunt and German State Minister Böhmer meeting in Berlin (© Auswärtiges Amt)
Bilateral visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel to Sydney, 16/17 November 2014:
Joint Press Conference by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel
German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in Sydney (Photos: Quentin Jones/DPS Auspic)
G20 Summit in Brisbane 15/16 November 2014: G20 Leaders\' Communiqué
G20 Summit in Brisbane 15/16 November 2014: Prime Minister Tony Abbott: "It\'s about real results, not lofty words"
Impressions from the G20 Summit (Pictures: © G20 Australia)
Diplomats in the GDR: A look back into history - Radio broadcast of a panel talk in the Australian Embassy
At the invitation of Ambassador Ritchie and the German Foundation for the Reappraisal of the Communist Dictatorship, a panel also including Uruguay Ambassador Alberto Guani Amarilla, US Deputy Head of Mission James Melville and the former head of the Permanent Office of the Federal Republic of Germany in East-Berlin, Hans Otto Bräutigam, discussed their experiences as diplomats working in East Berlin during the times of the GDR. The discussion was presented by Peter Lange, of Deutschlandradio, and will be broadcast on 26 September 2014, 18.07h, on DeutschlandradioKultur.
Ambassador Ritchie (3rd from right) with (left to right) James Melville (US Embassy), Peter Lange (Deutschlandradio), Alberto Guani Amarilla (Ambassador of Uruguay), Dr Anna Kaminsky (Director, Stiftung Aufarbeitung/Foundation for the Reappraisal of the Communist Dicatatorship), Markus Meckel (Chairman, Council of the Foundation) and Hans Otto Bräutigam (former head of the Federal German Permanent Office in East Berlin); and welcoming the audience to the panel talk.
Environment ministers for talks in Berlin
© BMUB/Sascha Hilgers
On a visit to Berlin on 17 Sept 2014, Australian Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt (r.) and Queensland Environment Minister Andrew Powell met with Parliamentary State Secretary Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter of the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety. They also had a meeting with the Minister of State for the Federal Foreign Office, Professor Dr Maria Böhmer, to discuss Australia’s plans for a healthier, more resilient Great Barrier Reef.
FIFA World Cup opened in Brasil - Australia\'s Socceroos playing in a group with Chile, the Netherlands, and Spain
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (r.) welcoming Ambassador David Ritchie to a World Cup function at the Foreign Office
(Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek) // Ambassador Ritchie at the Dutch Embassy for the broadcast of the Australia-The Netherlands match
Australia Ratifies the Arms Trade Treaty
The Australian Government ratified the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) at the United Nations in New York on 3 June 2014. The Arms Trade Treaty will be the first legally binding instrument ever negotiated in the United Nations to esteblish common standards for the international transfer of conventional arms.
Op-ed by Minister for Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop MP: "Australia in the front line against arms trafficking"
Australian Trade Minister Robb in Frankfurt
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb is on a visit to Frankfurt on 8 and 9 May 2014 as part of a broader visit to key centres of Europe to pursue Australia\'s ambitious tade and investment agenda. His program in Frankfurt includes meetings with financial industry representatives and a broad range of other business contacts. He will also address Australia\'s G20 agenda.
Minister Robb (centre) in Frankfurt with Consul-General David Campbell, Ambassador David Ritchie, Member of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH Peter Tyroller and OAV Managing Director Timo Prekop (left to right)
Foreign Minister Bishop in Switzerland
During an official visit to Switzerland on 27 March 2014, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met with Swiss President and Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter to discuss security issues and the role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. In Geneva she addressed the Conference on Disarmament and met with a number of international organisations.
Climax of the Leichhardt year - Events in Cottbus and Goyatz
A festive event at the "Weltspiegel" cinema in Cottbus on 22 October and the 8th Leichhardt conference in Goyatz at the Schwielochsee on 23 October marked the climax of the celebrations around Ludwig Leichhardt\'s 200th birthday. Both events included a live video link to Australia.
In the margins of the conference, a "Leichhardt stele" designed by Australian artist Sue Hayward was officially unveiled at the Schwielochsee.
Meanwhile, a hitherto unknown letter written by Ludwig Leichhardt, dated from 1839, was discovered at the State Library of Queensland.
Ambassador Peter Tesch speaking in Cottbus // Ambassador Tesch signing the "Golden Book" of the city of Cottbus, with Lord Mayor Frank Szymanski to his left, and in the background (left to right) Lutz Wegner, Headmaster of the Leichhardt High School; Werner Pfeil, board member of the Ludwig Leichhardt working group; Ludwig Leichhardt, great great grand-nephew of Ludwig Leichhardt; Ingrid Klauka, board member of the Ludwig Leichhardt working group; Bernd Boschan, Executive Director of the Regional Administration Lieberose Oberspreewald; Dietmar Woidke, Premier of the State of Brandenburg; Reinhard Drogla, President of the Cottbus City Council.
[photographer: Michael Helbig]
Joint Australian-German stamp release celebrating Ludwig Leichhardt
Presentation at the Embassy in Berlin, 10 October
Dr. Kurt Bley of the German Finance Ministry and Ambassador Tesch // Ambassador Tesch, Dr Peter Danckert MP, Dr Bley
Dr Bley and Ludwig Leichhardt, great great grand-nephew of the historic Ludwig Leichhardt // Copies of the "Leichhardt Stamp White Album"
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New Government Sworn In
On 18 September 2013, the Hon Tony Abbott MP was sworn in as Prime Minister by the Governor-General. Ms Julie Bishop MP was sworn in as Minister of Foreign Affairs. For a full list of the first Abbott ministry, please visit www.pm.gov.au.
Leichhardt Bicentenary activities approaching their climax
The Ludwig Leichhardt bicentenary is getting closer to its climax on 23 October 2013, the 200th birthday of the Brandenburg-born explorer. On its way to the lakes in the Spreewald area a replica of an historic \'Kaffenkahn\' barge has now passed through Berlin\'s Landwehr Canal and stopped over at the German Technical Museum, showing how Leichhardt\'s family operated such a vessel carrying bricks and other goods between different parts of Brandenburg.
Meanwhile, Queensland Senator Sue Boyce has announced the results of a Leichhardt drawing and essay school competition.
Ambassador Peter Tesch (left) with the Director of the German Technical Museum, Prof. Dr. Dirk Böndel (centre) at the press call at the Landwehr Canal // The replica of the historic \'Kaffenkahn\' barge on the Landwehr Canal in front of the German Technical Museum
Museum Director Professor Böndel and Ambassador Tesch with Lieberose Council Director Bernd Boschan and Council Manager Annett Joppich // With crew members in historic costumes in front of the original \'Kaffenkahn\' barge held by the Museum
NAIDOC Week 2013 celebrated in Berlin
The Embassy celebrated NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week 2013 on 11 July by hosting a a guest lecture by Professor Dany Adone (University of Cologne) on \'Indigenous Sign Languages of Arnhem land\', complemented by an exhibition of Indigenous art from north-west Australian remote area art centres, \'Sun Flying\', curated by Helen Read, Palya Art (www.palya.com.au).
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Ambassador Tesch welcoming guests // Professor Adone presenting her lecture
Professor Adone with Professor Philip Bergmann // The Embassy\'s exhibition space
Team Australia Skillaroos visiting Berlin
32 of Australia\'s best young apprentices and trainees, known as the Team Australia Skillaroos, will be participating in the largest and most prestigious event of its kind, the 42nd WorldSkills International Competition in Leipzig from 2 to 7 July 2013. On their way to Leipzig, the team passed through Berlin, including for a visit to the Australian Embassy.
Team Australia Skillaroos visiting the Embassy // SAO Sue McQualter (centre) with WorldSkills Australia Chair Brian Wexham (left), WorldSkills Australia CEO Mark Callaghan and two team members
‘Connecting Australian–European Science and Innovation Excellence’ (CAESIE) is a new vehicle for driving collaboration between Australian and European researchers and small–to–medium–sized enterprises (SMEs). CAESIE aims to promote collaboration to address some of the world’s grand challenges: covering Clean Energy; Healthy Ageing through enabling technologies; Sustainable Cities.
For further information, go to www.caesie.org.
World Environment Day, 5 June
To celebrate World Environment Day, the Embassy hosted two lectures as part of its Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack series (jointly initiated with Free University, Berlin): "Green Politics in a brown country", by Professor Verity Burgmann (University of Melbourne), and "The Sea and the Summer: Utopia as Futorology", by Professor Andrew Millner (Monash University). The talks were complemented by the opening of a photo exhibition, Climate Contrasts, presenting works by Sandra Eichler documenting the impact of the \'Black Saturday\' bush fires in Victoria in 2009 and the flooding of Lake Eyre in 2010.
Professor Burgmann and Professor Millnar talking in the Embassy\'s lecture space
World Environment Day celebrated at the Embassy // Second Secretary Amanda Annamalay introducing photographer Sandra Eichler
"The Leichhardt-Lecture: Biodiversity Discovery in the Digital Era", jointly organised by the German Embassy Canberra and CSIRO, 5 June 2013, Canberra - for more information, please see www.australien.diplo.de/Vertretung/australien/de/08/seite__leichhardt__lecture.html
Pictured (L-R) are Anne Braun (Scientific Affairs Officer, German Embassy), Dr John La Salle (Director, Atlas of Living Australia; presenter), Mr Matthias Sonn (Acting Ambassador of Germany), Dr Daniel Walker (Deputy Chief, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences), Liz Yuncken (Europe Advisor, CSIRO)
Strengthened aid cooperation
AusAID Director-General Peter Baxter and Gudrun Kopp, German Parliamentary State Secretary to the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, during a visit to Sydney on 23 May 2013 pledged to strengthen the Australian-German aid cooperation in Africa. In a first activity under the partnership agreement, AusAID has committed A$2m to improve governance in mining in Liberia.
Australian Ancestral Remains to be Returned from Berlin
A delegation of representatives from Indigenous peoples in Australia is on a visit to Berlin this week to collect ancestral remains from the Charité.
Address by then Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts, The Hon. Michael Danby MP: Indigenous Ancestral Remains returning home
Parliamentary Secretary Michael Danby MP speaking at the ceremony // Ian Crombie, representative of the Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara peoples, and Ned David, Co-chair, Advisory Committee for Indigenous Repatriation
Signature of documents at the ceremony // German MP and head of the German-Australian Parliamentary Friendship Group Volkmar Klein; Ambassador Peter Tesch; Ian Crombie, representative of the Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara peoples; Michael Danby MP, Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts; Tauto Sansbury, representative of the South Australian peoples
ANZAC Day 2013
To commemorate the 98th Anniversary of the landings at Anzac Cove and to honour the war dead of both nations, a Service of Remembrance will be held at the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery, Heerstraße 151 in Berlin-Charlottenburg at 10:30h on Thursday 25 April 2013.
Address by the Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts, The Hon. Michael Danby MP: Lest We Forget, Nie Wieder, Koved Zayer Ondenk
Ambassador Peter Tesch (left) and the Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts The Hon. Michael Danby MP speaking at the ANZAC Day 2013 ceremony in Berlin
Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation on visit to Berlin
The (former) Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, the Hon Greg Combet AM, MP (pictured right), visited Berlin for an official program on 10-12 April, including talks with German Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Peter Altmaier MdB
International Women\'s Day 2013
Senator the Hon Bob Carr, then Minister for Foreign Affairs, recorded a video message to mark UN International Women\'s Day (8 March) addressing this year\'s IWD theme of ending violence against women.
Australia at Berlinale 2013
Australian films win top awards at the Berlin International Film Festival
Two Australian films have won Crystal Bear awards at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival in an outstanding show of recognition of Australian talent. Kim Mordaunt\'s debut feature The Rocket won Best Feature in the Generation Kplus program. Matthew Moore\'s The Amber Amulet has been awarded Best Short Film in Generation Kplus and Catriona McKenzie\'s feature Satellite Boy has received two Special Mentions in the same section.
The Rocket also won Berlinale\'s Best First Feature Award and the Amnesty International Film Prize.
The Australian film industry was represented strongly at this year\'s Festival, including in the NATIVe program (australiaatberlin.com).
Ambassador Peter Tesch (2nd from left) with Berlinale NATIVe program curator Maryanne Redpath, US Ambassador Phil Murphy (right), New Zealand Ambassador Peter Rider (2nd from right) and Canadian Chargé d’Affairs Eric Walsh, at a reception at the Embassy celebrating Berlinale\'s NATIVe program // Ambassador Peter Tesch with Screen Australia\'s Erica Glynn, Head of Indigenous, Dr Ruth Harley, CEO, and Dale Fairbairn, Marketing Manager (from right).
Australian film director Warwick Thornton (left) with NATIVe program guests // ZDF editor Stefanie Hayn reporting from the NATIVe program reception at the Australian Embassy, 8 February 2013
Australian cast and crew from \'Satellite Boy\' in Berlinale\'s Generation program // Screen Australia\'s CEO Dr Ruth Harley with film director Jane Campion
Berlin-Canberra Declaration of Intent on a Strategic Partnership
Marking the completion of the 60th anniversary year of full diplomatic relations between Australia and Germany on 28 January 2013, then Australian Foreign Minister Senator the Hon Bob Carr visited Berlin for meetings with his German counterparts, Foreign Minister Dr Guido Westerwelle MdB and the Minister for Economic Co-operation and Development, Dirk Niebel MdB. Following their talks, Senator Carr and Dr Westerwelle signed the Berlin-Canberra Declaration of Intent on a Strategic Partnership.
Senator Bob Carr and German Foreign Minister Dr Guido Westerwelle concluding the signature of the Berlin-Canberra Declaration
Embassy celebrating Australia Day - Order of Australia Medal awarded to German RFDS supporter
Celebrating Australia Day, the Embassy hosted a major reception for around 400 guests on 28 January. Highlights of the event were the opening of activities for the 200th anniversary year of Ludwig Leichhardt (the famous explorer was born on 23 October 1813 in the Spreewald area south of Berlin), which included the unveiling of a commemorative coin issued by the Perth Mint, and the award of an Order of Australia Medal to German pediatrician Dr Hans-Ullrich Henschel, who in 2004 established flydoc australia, a group supporting the Royal Flying Doctor Service by raising donations.
Senator Carr and Perth Mint Marketing Director Ron Currie unveiling Leichhardt coin (left) and Senator Carr awarding OAM to Dr Hans-Ullrich Henschel
Anniversary of Ludwig Leichhardt\'s 200th birthday in October 2013 - overview of activities
Australia-Germany Innovation Forum
The next 60 years of innovation in action - 24 January 2013
Australia and Germany celebrating 60 years of full diplomatic relations in 2012
Op-ed: Australia Germany - Close Friends and Global Citizens - Looking Beyond 60
Youtube-Video: Australia and Germany - celebrating 60 years of formal diplomatic relations
Australia and Germany celebrating 60 years of full diplomatic relations in 2012
Historical document: Statement by the Minister for External Affairs, the Rt. Hon. R.G. Casey, 28 January 1952
Op-ed: Australia Germany - Close Friends and Global Citizens - Looking Beyond 60
Youtube-Video: Australia and Germany - celebrating 60 years of formal diplomatic relations
Third Australia-Germany Science Circle
The Australian Embassy in Germany hosted the Third Australia-Germany Joint Science Circle at the Deutsches Museum in Bonn on 18 October 2012.
Australia\'s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, AC, opened the Third Australia-Germany Joint Science Circle in Bonn, 18 Oct 2012.
Anniversary of Ludwig Leichhardt\'s 200th birthday in 2013
With a view to the anniversary of explorer Ludwig Leichhardt\'s 200th birthday in 2013, students of the Ludwig Leichhardt Oberschule, Goyatz, in the Spreewald area where Leichhardt was born, visited the Embassy in early August, and in turn Embassy staff visited the school later in the month.
Kim Scott reading at the Embassy
NAIDOC Week 2012 celebrated in Berlin - Indigenous artworks presented at the Embassy
Works by major artists from Central and Western Desert Art Communities
Opening of the show - Ambassador Peter Tesch and gallerist Matthias Kelch
Australian artists shine at dOCUMENTA (13)
The works of eight Australian visual artists will be on show at dOCUMENTA (13), opening 9 June in Kassel.
Australia - Germany Solar Future Forum - Berlin, 5 June 2012
Leading experts discuss future of photovoltaics / Solar industry forum on World Environment Day
The Australia-Germany Solar Future Forum web page is now live on the Austrade site
Ambassador Tesch welcomes the participants of the Australia-Germany Solar Futur Forum; and Ambassador Tesch with Senior Trade Commissioner Nicola Watkinson and Professor Martin Green
Sir George Reid Memorial Trophy at Hoppegarten
One hundred years ago, in May 1912, Sir George Reid, former Prime Minister of Australia and first High Commissioner for Australia to London, spoke in the Reichstag to an audience of s