Paul Madden » High Commissioner, Canberra

Australia, we’re all riding with you today

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The eyes of the world focused on a small chocolate cafe in Sydney’s Martin Place this week as the tragic events of the hostage-taking played out. This was front page news in the media in Britain and all around the world. Such events strike a particular chord because everyone thinks “if it’s happening to ordinary people in an ordinary place like that, it could happen to any of us anywhere”. … Read more »Australia, we’re all riding with you today

A Town Like Alice

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“The Alice”, Alice Springs – the very name evokes our image of the “real” Australia. In fact the average Australian lives in a suburb in Sydney or Melbourne: it’s one of the most urbanized societies in the world. But the Outback certainly lives up to its image: searing heat, deep red ochre soil, and vast distances. I was visiting Peter Saville, our Honorary Consul in the Alice: I had already … Read more »A Town Like Alice

Helping British business in Australia

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I was invited to address the British Business Lunch Group in Sydney for their end of year event. It was an opportunity to set out the range of things we do to support business here. In my speech here I explained that this is a top priority for all of our ambassadors. Of the nearly 100 staff in our 5 posts around Australia, 36 work for UK Trade & Investment. UKTI … Read more »Helping British business in Australia

UK and Australia – a reinvigorated relationship

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                    I was invited to give the Christmas lecture to the distinguished Australian Institute of International Affairs Victoria in Melbourne last week. It was an opportunity to reflect on the reinvigorated bilateral relationship, in which I have been privileged to play a small part over the last four years. You can read my speech here. I identified a number of reasons … Read more »UK and Australia – a reinvigorated relationship

Easier airport entry for regular Australian travellers to UK

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Coming through immigration at Heathrow and Gatwick just got easier for regular Australian travellers. When PM David Cameron was here last month he announced that the Registered Traveller scheme was being extended to Australia and a handful of other countries. What this means is that Australians who have visited the UK more than four times in the last twelve months are eligible to apply to become Registered Travellers. This will … Read more »Easier airport entry for regular Australian travellers to UK

Successful Australian UNSC Presidency in November

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Australia has just completed its second period as UN Security Council Presidency, in November. It’s up to each member how much they want to make of their month of rotating Presidency. So it was good to see Australia being both ambitious and effective. It enabled strategic consideration of some important thematic issues, alongside dealing with regular Council business and responding to external developments.               … Read more »Successful Australian UNSC Presidency in November

World Dementia Envoy visits Australia

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330,000 Australians, 900,000 Britons and 44 million people around the world are living with dementia. These numbers are set to at least double over the next 30 years. It’s not only a human tragedy for those who suffer, but there are big economic and social costs for society. For 70% of Australians in their fifties, it is the disease they most fear. So dementia is becoming an increasing priority for governments … Read more »World Dementia Envoy visits Australia

HMAS Canberra: Australia’s new amphibious capability

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Up close, warships look enormous. As we approached Woolloomooloo Wharf in Sydney for the commissioning ceremony, HMAS Canberra, Australia’s newest – and largest ever – naval vessel loomed over the invited guests. Navies do these things in style. The Governor General, Prime Minister and senior naval officers all spoke, Padres blessed the ship, the band played. Best of all was when the new ship’s crew marched on, looking very proud to … Read more »HMAS Canberra: Australia’s new amphibious capability

Saluting St Andrew’s Day in Australia

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We’re flying the Scottish Saltire at the High Commission today for St Andrew’s Day, as we do with the flags of the other nations that comprise the rich tapestry of the United Kingdom on their national days. Around Australia my colleagues are attending various events hosted by local Scottish societies at this time. Last week our Consul General in Melbourne – which has particularly strong Scottish connections in its history … Read more »Saluting St Andrew’s Day in Australia

British Literary Societies in Sydney

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British literature is alive and flourishing in New South Wales. I hosted the annual reception for the Dylan Thomas Society at the Consul General’s Residence in Sydney on Friday. It is a special year for them as it is the Centenary of the Welsh poet’s birth. There are many events taking place in Wales and elsewhere in the UK. I felt sufficiently emboldened to try my hand at a pastiche … Read more »British Literary Societies in Sydney