19 February 2010

Australian High Commission in London celebrates 100 years of diplomatic relations

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The Australian High Commission in London celebrated 100 years of diplomatic relations between Austraia and the United Kingdom with a reception attended by the Queen.

Australia House

Australia House, London, celebrated a 100 years of diplomacy with a reception with the Queen.

Celebrity artist Rolf Harris, writer Kathy Letter, and former England cricketer Derek Underwood were among the 220 diplomats, arts and business leaders mingling at Australia House last night.

The reception celebrated a centenary of the Australian High Commission in London, Australia’s first overseas mission and the oldest diplomatic building of any country in the UK. 

Jacob's Creek and Crown Lager beer, first bottled in Australia to celebrate the Queen’s coronation in 1953, were served for the guests, who were a combination of Britons with connections to the country and leading Australians from different fields.

Australia's foreign minister Stephen Smith said the post established 100 years ago was ''not only a milestone in the Australia-United Kingdom relationship but an important first step in Australian diplomatic history.''

Commenting on the achievements of more than 20 high commissioners, he said: ''They have negotiated loans to develop the Australian economy, they have served as important conduits between our governments in peace and in war, including the fighting of two world wars, they have helped to oversee large-scale immigration programmes - the foundation of the modern Australia.''


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