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A Dawn Service has been held on 26 September to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Polygon Wood: the first major battle for the Australian 5th Division in Belgium which resulted in 5,770 casualties The service took place at Buttes New British Cemetery in Zonnebeke, last resting place of more than 500 Australians. The Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), and Lady Cosgrove led Australia’s representation at the commemoration and delivered the commemorative address. Video of the Dawn Service can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/bk90L9zqwC0
Australia’s Menin Gate Lions gift strengthens friendship with Ieper
Minister for Veterans' Affairs Dan Tehan on 25 September announced that Australia would produce replicas of the famous Menin Gate Lions and gift them to Ieper/Ypres in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the service and sacrifice of Australians in Flanders during the First World War.
Australia has entered into a major international collaboration with the European Southern Observatory (ESO). At a ceremony in Canberra on 11 July, the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos AO, joined the Director-General of the ESO, Professor Tim de Zeeuw to sign the arrangement for a ten-year strategic partnership. It will give Australian astronomers access to the world’s best optical telescopes and reflects global recognition of their research excellence.
Agreement on the Australia-European Union Free Trade Agreement Scoping Exercise
Australia and the European Union (EU) have successfully concluded a joint scoping exercise on a future free trade agreement (FTA) between the two economies. This is a key step toward the launch of negotiations. Both sides will now work through their domestic processes to secure approval of a negotiating mandate. An Australia-EU FTA has the potential to drive economic growth by opening up new export opportunities, enhancing investment flows, and removing trade barriers for businesses. Collectively the EU is Australia’s second-largest trading partner and largest source of foreign investment.
From the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade