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Message from the Ambassador
Australia and Thailand share long-standing ties. We have maintained a close bond of friendship since the establishment of formal diplomatic relations sixty years ago.
In April 1952, the Australian Minister for External Affairs, Mr Richard Casey, named Mr B.C. Ballard as the first Minister of the Australian Legation in Bangkok. Mr Ballard presented his credentials at Chakri Throne Hall on May 6, 1952. The first chancery was located at 124 Gottsche Lane, Bangkok.
Late in 1952 Mr Yuad Loesrit, Second Secretary, and Mr Ouer Tirabhadya arrived in Australia to establish the first Thai mission. Mr Konthi Suphamongkhon arrived in Canberra in December 1952 and presented credentials to the then Governor General of Australia, Sir William Joseph Slim, on January 9, 1953. The first chancery was established at 47 Melbourne Avenue, Forrest, Canberra.
The Australian mission in Bangkok and the Thai mission in Canberra were elevated to Embassy status in 1955 when Mr D.O. Hay, served as the first Australian Ambassador to Thailand (1955-57) and Mr Konthi Suphamongkon became the first Thai Ambassador to Australia (1956-59).
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 60 years ago, the relationship has prospered. We have large embassies in each other’s countries, supporting the breadth and depth of the bilateral relationship. The Australian Embassy in Bangkok is one of the largest in Australia's overseas network. In a range of areas, including trade and investment, defence, law enforcement, aviation, education, agriculture, migration, tourism, the arts and culture, Australia and Thailand work together and share ideas. Internationally through bodies such as EAS, APEC and the WTO, we work together in pursuit of shared interests. Both countries are committed to environmental sustainability and preserving our indigenous and cultural heritages.
Over the past 60 years, we have enjoyed reciprocal high-level visits to foster cooperation. His Majesty King Bhumibol Aduljadej visited Australia in 1962. The Thai Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Maha Vajiralongkorn, attended secondary school and then Australia’s Royal Military Academy, Duntroon, in Australia between 1972-75. Thailand has hosted a number of high-level visits from Australia. Most recently, the Governor General of Australia, Ms Quentin Bryce, visited Thailand for the ANZAC Day commemorative services in Kanchanburi in April 2011.
The foundation of Australian-Thai relations – both our friendship and our capacity to work together has rested on how well Thais and Australians understand each other. The most important investment in the future of Australian-Thai relations is the continuous nurturing of knowledge and contacts among the people of both countries.
On the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations, this Australia Day publication celebrates our bilateral achievements and showcases the breadth and depth of our bilateral relationship. Australia looks forward to the next 60 years of deep friendship with Thailand.