Relations between. Australia and Vanuatu dates back a long way in history. But today, marks another significant historical step forward in the relations between the two countries, different in size and wealth, but one in belief for a peaceful, lasting friendship and as good neighbours.
Vanuatu’s first Resident High Commissioner to the Commonwealth of Australia, H. E. Kalfau George Kaloris presented his Letter of Credence to the Governor General of Australia, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce on Thursday 22 March 2012 in Canberra.
Mr. Kaloris arrived in Canberra on Monday 19th March 2012 to commence the setting up of the first Vanuatu Embassy in Australia. In presenting his letter of credence, High Commissioner Kalfau conveyed the greetings of the President of the Republic of Vanuatu, Iolu Johnson Abbil Kaniapnin to the Governor General and the people of Australia.
In responding to the High Commissioner’s words, the Governor General expressed her gratitude to His Excellency the President and the people of Vanuatu, stating that everywhere Vanuatu’s representative will travel in Australia, “he will be welcomed by all Australians”. This gesture of cordiality signifies the level of friendship and trust between the two states and one that the governments of the two countries should work to maintain in the years ahead.
Mr. Kaloris is one of the first cohorts of career diplomats groomed especially by the Foreign Service to undertake this highly important task in a country which remains the most significant development partner.
The 22nd of March 2012 marks a day which will be remembered, not only in the history of the Vanuatu’s Foreign Service, but by the nation as another fulfilment of the vision espoused by patriotic leaders who dreamt of seeing Vanuatu take its rightful place in the table of the sovereigns.
Now that the office is beginning to be established in Canberra, the government will need to continue to demonstrate its seriousness in allocating resources to support the operations of this mission and other foreign missions.
The conclusion of the credential ceremony on that cold morning, ended with the High Commissioner inspecting the Guard of Honour before his escorted departure on a Rolls Royce with the Sovereign Flag waving, signifying the presence of the nation, people and the government of the Republic of Vanuatu in the Australian Capital Territory, Canberra.
An evening was spent with the Vanuatu students in Canberra to commemorate this historical day. The government is yet to announce the date of the official inauguration of the office of the Vanuatu High Commission in Canberra.