Australia’s relationship with Indonesia is strong and continues to grow. A key focus for DFAT this year will be concluding a deal to increase trade and investment opportunities between our two countries. We are also fostering research collaboration to find solutions to shared problems.

“The minute I stepped off the plane in Paro, an airport in the middle of a steep mountain range with prayer flags lining the single runway, I felt that sense of coming home.”

State Visits are usually very formal affairs, with lots of gilt and glitter.  But, with a relationship as close as Australia and New Zealand’s, you’d be forgiven for asking whether any of that is really necessary. We’re such great mates; wouldn’t it be possible to just get together for a barbecue? Why do we bother with all of the formalities? 

While fresh and enticing seafood may spring to mind when thinking about the Pacific, what many people may not realise is the extensive efforts that are being undertaken to help ensure the sustainability of fish stocks.

The Shangri-La dialogue has grown to be one of the biggest strategic gatherings in the world. Attending such a large conference was exciting – the energy and buzz in the room was palpable and it was amazing being part of the journey of the conference as it built a shared understanding of key themes and regional challenges.

In 2015, thousands of fishermen from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos were found on islands in Maluku province in Indonesia. These men had been trafficked into servitude, worked in inhumane conditions on fishing boats, and were then left stranded, without the means to care for themselves or return home.

On a rainy day in May, a delegation of Latin American Ministers, diplomats and journalists exchanged the cool climes of Perth’s CBD for the expansive, blue skies and iconic red dirt of the Pilbara region. The new WA Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Bill Johnston MLA, joined them, as did our Ambassadors to Latin America and DFAT officers from Canberra and the WA State Office.