Australian Embassy

35th Celebrations MR

Released 27 February 2008

Celebrations of the 35th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between Australia and Vietnam

HANOI – On Tuesday 26 February, Hanoi witnessed two major cultural events organised by the Australian Embassy in Hanoi to celebrate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam.

In cooperation with the Hanoi People’s Committee, the Embassy opened a photographic exhibition at Ly Thai To Park with images spanning the 35 year relationship. The evening witnessed Gala event with 600 invited guests at the Opera House organised by the Embassy in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism, the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra and the Hanoi Opera House.

Photographic Exhibition

Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, H.E. Mr Bill Tweddell, opened a photographic exhibition entitled “Australia – Vietnam: Then & Now” at Ly Thai To Park. The exhibition was curated by Embassy staff over more than 6 months. Images were sent in by Australians and Vietnamese, as well as more than 30 photographs being sourced from the National Archives of Australia.

The Embassy held an informal ceremony to open the exhibition utilising both Australian Indigenous and Vietnamese cultural characteristics. This approach allowed the audience to make speeches or comments on their impressions of the exhibit and experiences of Australia and Vietnam.

Ambassador Tweddell said: “The photographs in this exhibition are significant for their portrayal of many important official moments, such as the signing of the first Trade Agreement between Australia and Vietnam in 1974; and equally for the more personal moments, such as a Vietnamese football fan supporting the Socceroos during their game against Thailand in Hanoi in 2007. The exhibition itself will make a valuable contribution to the overall collection of historical information on the bilateral relationship.”

The exhibition was displayed at Ly Thai To Park and free to all comers so that everyone could participate in the celebrations for the 35th anniversary of bilateral relations. The display set-up was unique to exhibitions in Hanoi as it was outdoors and included lighting. This allowed the exhibition to be viewed 24 hours a day for the ten days it showed in Hanoi. More than 6000 people viewed the exhibition in Hanoi. The exhibition also showed in Ho Chi Minh City and Vung Tau Town. The Australian Embassy also plans to produce a photo-book of the exhibition.

35th Anniversary Gala Performance

 The Australian Embassy in Hanoi also hosted a gala event for invited guests to celebrate the 35th Anniversary at the Hanoi Opera House on 26 February. More than 600 VIPs were treated to a function with traditional Vietnamese food and fine Australian wine. This was followed by the formal ceremonies and a collaborative operatic performance by Australian soprano singer, Annalisa Kerrigan, and the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra. “The collaboration between Annalisa Kerrigan and the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra is an excellent example of the strength of our cultural ties,” said Ambassador Tweddell. The Embassy is pleased to have been able to organise these events with the generous support of our Australian business sponsors: ANZ, BHP Billiton, RMIT Vietnam, Santos and CPA Australia.”

“The longstanding and expanding relationship between Australia and Vietnam has been maintained continuously since February 1973. Since those early days, the bilateral relationship has grown to encompass cooperation across an incredibly broad range of areas such as education, development assistance, trade and investment, regional and multilateral political and economic issues, immigration, agricultural science, law enforcement, and defence - to name just a few,” Ambassador Tweddell said.

The gala–event in Hanoi coincided with a similar function in Melbourne, Australia, and attended by the Australian Deputy Prime Minster and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Ms Julia Gillard MP, and the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education and Training, HE Professor Nguyen Thien Nhan.