Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Port Lincoln, Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, 12 August 2017

STATE VISIT TO AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA KOLINDA GRABAR-KITAROVIĆ

During her ten-days state visit to Australia and New Zealand the President of the Republic of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović had a number of high-level meetings with leading state officials as well as with the business community and university and science representatives. She also took part in respective protocol activities. The visit was an opportunity to meet with the Croatian community in both countries, too. All meetings, official and community ones equally, were marked by an atmosphere of friendship, respect and cooperation.

Australian host, H.E. Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor-General organised a ceremonial welcome followed by a meeting and a state lunch in honour of the esteemed guest with participation of respectable society members, especially those of Croatian origin. The same kind of welcome was organised as well by H.E. Dame Patsy Reddy, Governor-General of New Zealand. In both countries official meetings took place with their Prime Ministers – Malcolm Turnbull and Bill English. In Australia there was also the opportunity for the President and the delegation to meet with the leader and representatives of the opposition Labour Party, as well as with the Presiding Parliamentary Officers. In each of the Australian federal states visited the President had official meetings with their Governors – David Hurley (New South Wales), Linda Dessau (Victoria), Hieu Van Le (South Australia) as well as Premiers Daniel Andrews (Victoria) and Jay Weatherhill (South Australia). 

Together with the President of the Croatian Chamber of Economy the President Grabar-Kitarović took part in the working lunch and business forum organised in Sydney by the European-Australian Business Council and the Parliament of the New South Wales with participation of leading Australian businessmen. She also sighted signing of cooperation agreements between the Croatian Chamber of Economy and 4 Australian-Croatian Chambers of Commerce. In Port Lincoln she was acquainted with the economic potential of this small South-Australian town renowned for its tuna farms and fishing.  In New Zealand she visited Ngatamariki, the biggest geothermal power plant in the world and also the biggest New-Zealand olive grove owned by the Simunovich family of Croatian descent. 

Part of the President's visit also involved universities and scientific community - namely Macquarie University in Sydney, where Croatian studies are taught for a number of years. The President had a lecture for students and teaching staff and opened the exhibition dedicated to the archaeological project Bribirska Glavica involving Australian students and experts, too. At the Melbourne University the President sighted signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Zagreb and visited very respected scientific and research Institute Bio21. In Canberra she had a lecture on Croatian Foreign Policy at the Australian Institute for International Affairs. 

In all cities President Grabar-Kitarović was most warmly welcomed by respective Croatian communities on masses, lunches, dinners or receptions organised in her honour.

In Canberra the President also took part in usual state-level visit protocol activities. She laid a wreath at the War Memorial and paid respect to Australian soldiers died in various wars and military missions and planted a tree at the National Arboretum as a sign of mutual friendship between our two countries.

In New Zealand, in Rotorua she was acquainted with an exemplary project of preserving natural and cultural heritage including traditional Maori customs and crafts and in the National Library in Wellington she visited the exhibition dedicated to the founding documents of the contemporary New Zealand state and society.