STA, 5 November 2019 - Minister for Slovenians Abroad Peter Jožef Česnik is starting a ten-day visit to Australia on Tuesday. Travelling across the continent, he will make stops in Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Melbourne and several other smaller towns to meet members of the community he belonged to for nearly four decades.
On route to Australia, Česnik made a stop in Singapore, where Slovenians are building a new community, the government Office for Slovenians Abroad said before the trip.
Česnik will start his tour in Brisbane and then travel to Sydney, where he will visit the Slovenian-Australian chamber of commerce, as well as the two Slovenian associations based there and a church. He will also meet Tanya Pliberšek, the years long Labour deputy president and former cabinet minister.
He will visit the community in Wollongong before heading to Canberra, where he will meet the Slovenian community and Ambassador Jurij Rifelj, and lay a wreath at the War Memorial dedicated to Australian soldiers who lost their lives in combat.
Česnik will also visit the community in Geelong and meet community representatives of greater Melbourne, as well as Honorary Consul Eddy Kontelj.
He will then travel to Adelaide, where he will be welcomed by South Australia Governor Hieu Van Le and visit the National Wine Centre of Australia.
The minister will end his tour in Perth, where the small Slovenian community is gaining new momentum, as local Marjana Kaker is to be named honorary consul for Western Australia.
The government Office for Slovenians Abroad estimates that Australia is home to between 20,000 and 25,000 people of Slovenian descent. Minister Česnik himself moved to Australia in 1967 and lived there for 36 years before returning to Slovenia after retiring.