An official reception was held on Thursday, October 26 at the Hellenic Club in Canberra to mark the anniversary of Cyprus’ independence and 50 years of diplomatic relations between Cyprus and Australia.

The event was organised by the High Commission of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia and saw the attendance of a number of official guests and leaders of the Greek Australian and Cypriot Australian communities.

The night began with a slideshow showcasing major events from the past 50 years of diplomatic relations between Cyprus and Australia, including official tours, Australian peace keepers in Cyprus, and events organised by the High Commission.

Toasts were then given by Geoff Bowan, Assistant Secretary – Eastern and South-East Europe Branch, and Antonis Sammoutis, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia.

The Deputy Head of Mission at the Cyprus High Commission, Stavros Nicolaou, read out a message by the President of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides.

In his message, Mr Christodoulides reaffirmed the Cypriot government’s commitment to the continuous strengthening of its ties with Australia.

High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in Australia, Antonis Sammoutis, gives a speech. Photo: Paul Andronikos.

“Undoubtedly, the large, vibrant Cypriot community living in Australia, has contributed significantly to the strengthening of these ties and has served as a bridge between our two countries,” Mr Christodoulides said.

“I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to all of you, the Cypriot diaspora, for your commitment, for preserving of our identity, for promoting our rich culture, history and traditions in Australia, as well as for cherishing and enhancing the ties of friendship between the two countries.”

Mr Sammoutis also spoke at the reception about the history of relations between Cyprus and Australia, before thanking the Cypriot Australian community for their contributions to society.

“We take pride of having fought two World Wars together, always on the right side of history and because we have a common future as a Commonwealth of values, solidarity and justice,” the Cypriot High Commissioner said.

These formal proceedings were concluded on the night with a number of Cypriot dancing performances by the Hellenic Dancers of Canberra.

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