Australian High Commission

MANZA Message

Last month, the Australian High Commission hosted a visit to Malaysia by the Australian Foreign Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop MP. In addition to a series of meetings with Malaysian ministers, Ms Bishop was the guest of honour at our International Women’s Day dinner, attended by a who’s who of women leaders. In her address, the Foreign Minister acknowledged both Australia and Malaysia had a long way to go before we could say that women had the same opportunities as men to reach their full potential. Ms Bishop said that societies around the world were prospering where women had access to education and economic opportunities. When women had greater representation in politics and throughout society, we start to see decisions that reflect the needs of all – smarter decisions, smarter policies, that lead to more effective governance.  All of us, men and women, can play a part in breaking down barriers to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

Later this month we will commemorate Anzac Day, a day to remember all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in war. 

Australia and Malaysia have a long history of defence collaboration, dating back to before Malaysia’s independence. As I travel around Malaysia, I often hear touching personal stories of how ordinary Malaysians have experienced Australia’s defence presence, from Sabahan families who assisted POWs in World War II, to Penangites who grew up listening to Radio RAAF Butterworth. I am proud of what our two nations have achieved in promoting peace and security in the region, and look forward to that cooperation continuing for a long time to come. 
 
This year’s Anzac Day services will be held in Sandakan and Kuala Lumpur. The Dawn Service in Kuala Lumpur will be held at the Tugu Negara, with members of the public requested to be assembled by 6am. For information regarding the Dawn Service at the Sandakan Memorial Park, please visit the website of Department of Veterans’ Affairs at www.dva.gov.au.

Rod Smith
Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia