This exclusive event celebrated three important historical anniversaries in Russian-Australian relations: 210 years since the first contact between Russia and Australia, 160 years of establishing consular relations and 75 years of establishing diplomatic relations. А cocktail reception was held at Russia House in Fitzroy, Melbourne.
Guests included, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Australia, Mr. Grigory Logvinov and Mrs Irina Logvinova, Russian Consul-General Dr. Sergey Shipilov and Mrs. T. Shipilova, Russian Honorary Consul-General Mrs. Irina Bruk, diplomats from 25 countries around the world, the Honorary Bruce Atkinson – Member of Legislative Council in Victorian Parliament, Mr. Jezdimir Djoric from the Victorian Multicultural Commission’s Regional Advisory Council and Mr. Ranko Cosic from the Yarra City Council Multicultural Advisory Committee, members of the Russian community.
Guests were presented with a traditional Russian ceremonial welcome of bread and salt that dates back to the 15th century. The official proceedings commenced with a speech given by the organiser of the event, Her Excellency Irina Bruk, who welcomed the guests.
Then an exhibition of archival documents from the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Empire and the Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation was opened. The exhibition also included three Australian sketches produced by 19th century Russian Painter Pavel Mikhailov, who accompanied the First Russian Antarctic Expedition of 1819-1821.
Following speeches by the Honorable Bruce Atkinson and Ms Elena Ilyin, guests were treated to traditional Russian songs and folk dancing. One dance, called the “mazurka”, was common at aristocratic balls in 19th century Imperial Russia and is mentioned in Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel “Anna Karenina”.
Mr. Djoric and Mr. Cosic said that they were deeply honoured and grateful to be part of this event.
“From a personal standpoint, I wish to thank Her Excellency Irina Bruk who did a magnificent job of organising this wonderful event. From a multicultural standpoint, I wish to thank all our Russian colleagues and partners for their warm hospitality and sharing their rich history, culture and traditions” said Jezdimir.
For Ranko, who lives in Fitzroy, the event had added significance.
“As a resident of Yarra City Council I am very proud this significant historical event was held in our municipality. It was also fascinating to learn more about the long-standing historical ties that exist between Russia and Australia” said Ranko.
Ranko and Jezdimir, the president and secretary, respectively of the Serbian Australian Representative Council and all their colleagues and partners do enormous and noble work to advance Russian-Serbian relations in Australia and abroad.