Praznovanje dneva državnosti in podelitev visokih državnih priznanj
Republike Slovenije v Canberri



Naslovna stran HomeZakon o odnosih Republike Slovenije s Slovenci zunaj njenih meja Novice v arhivu Društva organizacije Slovenian clubs, associations and other organisations in Australia Diplomatska predstavništvaVerska središča Slovenian religious centres in Australia Misli Glas Slovenije Historical Archives for Slovenian in Australians HASA – NSWMediji Slovenija, Slovenci po svetu, zanimive povezave E-uprava SlovenijePišite nam Prispevki objavljeni na straneh Stičišča avstralskih Slovencev ne izražajo vedno mnenja uredništva. Avtorji posameznih prispevkov odgovarjajo za svoja mnenja in objave. Prosimo, da nas v kolikor najdete napake, spremembe v naslovih ipd., obvestite. Stičišče avstralskih Slovencev je redno arhivirano v Pandora arhivu v Canberricanberra


Praznovanje dneva državnosti v Canberri

Govor veleposlanika RS dr. Milana Balažica

dr Milan Balažic



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Dear ladies and gentleman,
Your Excellencies,
Fellow Slovenians,
Esteemed Australians,
Distinguished guests,
Welcome to the Slovenian-Australian Association in Canberra, for a long time the gathering place for Slovenians living in the capital and their Australian friends. I hope you’ll enjoy this little piece of my homeland, our culture, music, food and drink.

First of all, I would like to thank our major sponsors, Harvey Norman and Emona Instruments, who kindly supported this event – the Slovenian National Day, the twenty-second anniversary of independence of the Republic of Slovenia.

Slovenia experienced its first days of statehood more than thousand years ago, when our ancestors settled in the Central-European area between Alps and Adriatic sea and founded the principality of Carantania. Historians claim that this was one of the most democratic and avant-garde states of its time. It was no surprise, then, that in Thomas Jefferson’s times, the writers of the American Constitution drew from principles in the Carantanian state. After Austrian Habsburg rule and Yugoslavia again entirely new period in Slovenian history began – independent Slovenia.

The 80’s of the previous century saw the rise of strong democratic movements and in 1990 Slovenia got the first democratically elected parliament and government.  The communist regime in Belgrade refused the Slovenian proposal for democratic confederation in Yugoslavia. I remember as yesterday that warm evening on 25 June 1991 when all Slovenians, including me – as a very young Member of the Parliament, were on our feet. The day started - not with pomp and a marching band, but with a meeting in a convention room full of politicians and press. We unanimously declared and signed the Fundamental Charter of Independence.
With this constitutional act we legally established a single supreme authority on the territory of Slovenia. Diplomats received instructions to convince foreign powers to recognize Slovenia as a sovereign nation and a declaration of independence was sent to Belgrade. From Belgrade came a declaration of war. Ten days later, we won the war for Slovenia and surprised the world. We defended our freedom, tore down a few hundred kilometers of the Iron Curtain for ourselves and for Europe. We liberated our part of Europe.

In historic terms, Slovenia made brave decisions at the time of independence and took great risks. We needed wisdom and courage for independence. We had both. We lived in heroic times and faced serious threat with violence. We had to take up arms in self defence – in defence of human rights, democracy and our nation’s wilsonian self-determination. Twenty-two years ago, in circumstances of great peril, we understood and accepted the necessity for change and this ultimately directed us towards our great common objective – our independence and prosperity.

As you know, Slovenia geographically is not a big country - Australia is little bit bigger and Sydney alone is more than twice this size of Slovenian population. But – as they say - Slovenia is boxing in the heavy league. If I use the words from (Australian) Lonely Planet about my country: Slovenia is a mice that roars. To translate this into athletic terms: Slovenia has a long history of medals won at Olympic Games and as an Alpine country, our specialty is winter sports with its current queen Tina Maze.

Today, Slovenia is among the thirty most developed countries in the world. This is a good achievement, containing many built-in efforts from our past. Certainly, we can do better. Today, just like other crucial periods in our history, we need change. Our export orientated economy hasn’t escaped the European financial crisis, but we are now already on the way to recovery.
So, yes, “Houston, we have a problem”. But I am an optimist. Perhaps there’s an impression that the EU is in terrible crisis, especially by what is occasionally presented in the media.
But the EU is doing well, it is alive and kicking. The EU is so much more than bureaucracy in Brussels. The EU is not just a blue flag with 12 stars, and the beautiful Beethoven’s anthem. Europe has a common European identification.

We share the ideas of equality, democracy and human rights. We share our history and our future: at this point let me congratulate our neighbour the Republic of Croatia on joining the EU in a few days. As a Slovenian I am an unconditional defender of the EU. Maybe true fidelity is only possible in the form of resurrection: our common European return to “more Europe” looks like Hollywood comedies of re-marriage – the only true marriage is probably the second marriage (to the same person).

Thank you!


I would like to invite Mr. Mark Donovan, Acting Chief of Protocol, to the stage to propose a toast.

To the Queen and to the People of Australia!

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As I said, independence in the case of Slovenia was gained only twenty-two short years ago but allowed my country to join the company of other free nations and countries of the world. Slovenia remains grateful to Australia for joining the group of countries who were the first to recognise Slovenia as an independent state in 1991 and thus paved the way to Slovenia's world-wide recognition.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia Mr. Borut Pahor decided to recognise the achievements of four distinguished Australian statesman, who – in cooperation with the representatives of the Slovenian community in Australia and in particular our great Honorary Consul General in Sydney Mr. Alfred Brežnik - profoundly contributed to the early Australian recognition of independent Slovenia.
I would like to invite them to the stage:


Former Senator and Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Prof. Gareth Evans

Member of the Australian Parliament and former Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Mr. Philip Ruddock

Member of the Parliament of the New South Wales Mr. John J. Aquilina

(Member of the Australian Parliament Mr. Paul Filing, who is not able to attend, will receive The Order latter.)  

Gerath Evans

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Former Senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. GARETH EVANS showed a great deal of understanding for the situation in Slovenia in 1991, which then evolved very quickly. He maintained frequent contacts with the representatives of the Slovenian community in Australia. He advocated  peaceful solution of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and showed respect for the Slovenian efforts to join the community of free and democratic countries. He recognised the struggle of the Slovenian nation for independence. After the Yugoslav attack on Slovenia, he sent a warning statement to the Yugoslav Presidency and notified the representatives of the Republic of Slovenia that the situation in their country was closely monitored by the Australian Government. Mr. Gareth Evans played a very important role in the forming of the Australian Government’s decision to officially recognise the new sovereign state of Slovenia on 16 January 1992. In so doing, he joined the ranks of those statesman who enabled Slovenia to have democratic development, an established position and open access to international integration.
Mr. Gareth Evans, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Slovenia please allow the Dr. Milan Balažic to present you with The Order of Services.

Phillip Rudock

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Member of the Australian Parliament and former Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Mr. PHILIP RUDDOCK, in 1991 and 1992, as a parliamentary opposition member significantly influenced his political party, and as a result, the Australian Parliament to support the Slovenian efforts for independence. This made it easier for Australia to adopt the decision on the recognition of the Republic of Slovenia. In accordance with his political open-mindedness and horizons, Mr. Philip Ruddock listened to the reasoning of his political colleagues from Slovenia. In the challenging times of Slovenian efforts for international recognition he met with the then leader of the first democratic government coalition Jože Pučnik and then Slovenian Minister of Defence Janez Janša. Through his approach he enabled Slovenia to have open access to the international integration of democratic countries.
Mr. Philip Ruddock, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Slovenia please allow the Dr. Milan Balažic to present you with The Order of Services.  

John Aquilina

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JOHN AQUILINA, a long-term member of the Parliament of the New South Wales, has proven himself to be a true friend of the Slovenian community in Australia as well as of the community’s second homeland, Slovenia. As a high government official, he has proved this in word and deed over many years. Though he is of Maltese origin, the Slovenian community of the New South Wales has recognised him to be a valuable member for decades. To honour Slovenia, Mr. John Aquilina together with the Slovenians in Australia regularly celebrated Slovenian Statehood Day and, as the keynote speaker, showed his sound knowledge of the Slovenia’s efforts to gain independence and his knowledge of the Slovenian culture and history. He was warmly welcomed high representatives of the Republic of Slovenia on their visits to Australia. He actively participated in the Slovenian EU Council Presidency during the first half of 2008, when he provided technical and other assistance to Slovenia, in particular at the beginning and conclusion of the presidency.
Mr. John Aquilina, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Slovenia please allow the Dr. Milan Balažic to present you with The Order of Services.    



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