The start of 2013 has been a challenging time in Australia. Many of us in Malaysia have friends and family who have been personally affected by the bushfires in South East Australia. It has been terrific to see how the Australian community in Malaysia, as well as our New Zealand and other friends, have come together to support Australians in need. Thank you to the Malaysia Australia Business Council and its partners for the initiative and enterprise in organising the fundraising gathering at the KLCC Convention Centre.
The High Commission commenced 2013 with a high-level visit between Australia’s Secretary of the Department of Defence, Dennis Richardson AO, and Malaysia’s Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence, Dato’ Seri Dr Haji Ismail bin Haji Ahmad. The meetings reaffirmed the importance of the Malaysia-Australia Defence relationship and provided the opportunity for representatives from both countries to discuss mutual security challenges and to explore areas for further defence cooperation.
The High Commission also opened the year with much excitement as we celebrated Australia Day in true Australian spirit at the KLCC Convention Centre. This year’s event, themed ‘Australia Unlimited’, was attended by over 900 representatives from government, the arts, education and the business community. The event was successful from the High Commission’s perspective, allowing us to showcase Australia’s creativity, culture and diversity to our Malaysian friends. This success would not have been possible without our sponsors, whom I would like to thank for their generous support.
In February, the High Commission collaborated with the KL Performing Arts Centre (klpac) to bring Ruby Moon to Malaysia. Ruby Moon is a theatre piece written by Australian award-winning playwright and screenwriter Matt Cameron. The piece was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, and was performed by the Sydney Theatre Company in 2011. In Malaysia, the play premiered at klpac, and due to its success, was subsequently run for another week at the Performing Arts Centre of Penang.
The High Commission, in conjunction with Shalini Ganendra Fine Art, has also embarked on its second instalment of the Vision Culture lecture series. The series featured a presentation by the Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Kelly Gellatly, on Curating Contemporary Art in the 21st Century Museum. The High Commission will be undertaking a number of exciting and innovative projects in the coming months. Please continue to watch this space for further developments.
Finally, if you are travelling to destinations other than Australia, I once again encourage you to refer to the travel advisories at www.smartraveller.gov.au and to register your presence in Malaysia and any short-term travel plans with the Online Register of Australians Overseas at www.orao.dfat.gov.au
Links to the register, travel advisories and a range of other relevant information are also available at the High Commission’s website, www.malaysia.embassy.gov.au
Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia