Australian Ambassador to Vietnam Hugh Borrowman launched Australia ’s programme to mark the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Australia and Vietnam at a ceremony on February 26.

“We hope this programme will further enhance links and create a platform for further exchanges between the two countries,” said Ambassador Borrowman.

The celebration programme will see a variety of cultural and educational events, including dance, music, visual arts, food, science and sports that feature Australia ’s creativity, innovation and its multicultural society.

It will begin with a performance by Bangarra Dance Theatre , Australia ’s leading Indigenous dance theatre group at the Hanoi Opera House on March 2. The 22-member group will also perform in Ho Chi Minh City on March 6 before taking part in workshops with Vietnamese dancers and underprivileged youth.

Other highlights of the programme include an interactive science and education exhibition from Australia’s National Science and Technology Centre, – Questacon, and performances by award winning jazz trio Elixir, the Indigenous visual art exhibition, and a week-long competition for children in HCM City.

The programme is supported by Australia International Cultural Council (AICC), an initiative of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Vietnam is AICC’s focus country for 2013.

In reviewing the two countries’ wide-ranging cooperation achievements, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said the outcomes recorded over the past 40 years provide a firm foundation for the two countries’ friendly and all-faceted cooperation relationship to grow into a strategic partnership.

Celebratory activities marking the 40 th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries will create a momentum for furthering their multi-dimensional relationship in the coming time, Son said.

Vietnamese agencies will coordinate with the Australian embassy in Vietnam to organise meetings, a get-together for Vietnamese alumni in Australia , and a seminar on the 40 years of Vietnam-Australia relations in Vietnam .

Meanwhile, Vietnamese missions posted in Australia will hold a Vietnamese cultural and tourism festival, and seminars to promote Vietnamese trade, investment and tourism in Sydney .

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations on February 26, 1973, the relationship between Vietnam and Australia has broadened in cooperation, including political exchanges, trade, investment, aid, education and defence.

In 2009, the two countries established a comprehensive partnership, paving the way for deeper and increasingly diversified relations.

“This year is a major milestone,” Ambassador Borrowman said, expressing his hope that it will mark the start of a new chapter in the partnership between the two countries.-VNA