26 JANUARY 2023– Australia Day is a day to reflect on what it means to be Australian, to celebrate modern and diverse Australia, and to acknowledge our history. The date, 26 January was originally chosen to mark the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British ships in Sydney. It has since evolved into what is now a celebration of Australia that reflects the nation’s diverse people.

Our national day is a time to reflect on and acknowledge our nation’s past, to learn about our national journey, including the ongoing history, traditions, and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples – a culture which began over 60,000 years ago.

Australia Day is a chance to reflect on the past, present and future – to think about where we have been and where we are going as a nation. On this day we’d also like to reflect on some of the key moments in Palau during 2022, the third year since the opening of the Australian Embassy, with highlights including:

  • The high-level bipartisan visit to Palau by Australia’s Foreign Minister and Shadow Foreign Minister;
  • Bringing Pacific Leaders and their delegations to Palau to participate in  Our Oceans Conference 2022;
  • The launch of Project Olangch, at the Belau National Hospital, an e-health information management system;
  • Supporting the National Security Coordination Office, with the deployment of an adviser;
  • Two  Palauan women awarded an Australian Award Scholarship, now studying at Australian Universities;
  • Continued support for Norwegian People’s Aid to identify and remove UXO across Palau in coordination with the Palau National Safety Office;
  • Prepositioning funds for emergencies to support the setup of emergency shelters and damage assessments;
  • Numerous sporting events and an equipment donation under PacificAusSports sports diplomacy funds;
  • Supporting three Australian volunteers who have completed successful assignments with the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Health and Human Services;
  • As a financier, supporting construction of the utility size Solar Project
  • The Evolution: Torres Strait Masks exhibition that brought Indigenous Australian culture to the Belau National Museum;
  • Announcing a weekly flight between Australia and Palau, with Air Niugini
  • And much more.

Looking to the years ahead, Australia will continue our bilateral and regional work and cooperation in priority sectors for Palau, including in health, security, renewable energy, emergency response, and scholarships. Australia’s support will also ensure Palau continues to benefit from regional initiatives, such as Pacific Women Lead, and regional support for maritime security and fisheries.

Happy Australia Day to everyone in Palau! For further information, please contact the Australian Embassy, Palau on 488-4628 or koror.embassy@dfat.gov.au

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