The President of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus, accompanied by Mrs. Alma Adamkus, will be making a State Visit to Australia
February 24 -27, 2006. He will visit Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. In Sydney a lunch to honour President Adamkus and
Mrs. Adamkus will be held on Saturday, February 25 (For details please refer to Calendar).This is the third visit of
Mr. Adamkus to Australia. He visited Australia for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Earlier still he came to Australia in
1966 with the American Lithuanian basket ball team, a time when interest in basketball in Australia was still in its
infancy and the visit helped to lift the profile of basketball in Australia.
President Valdas Adamkus with
Mrs. Alma Adamkus
President Adamkus was born in Lithuania in 1926, but had to leave Lithuania towards the end of World War II, when
Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union. After some years in Germany as a Displaced Person, he emigrated to the United
States in 1949. Having graduated as civil engineer from the Illinois University of Technology in 1960, Adamkus began a
distinguished career with the United States Environmental Protection agency in 1970, becoming in 1981 the regional
administrator for the Mid-West Region, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, a position he held until his retirement in
1997. He is credited with saving enviromentally the Great Lakes of North America and in 1985 he received the highest
honour that can be bestowed upon a civil servant in the United States - the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank
Award. In 1988 he was also granted an international environmental award.
President Valdas Adamkus reviewing troops
Adamkus was always very active in the Lithuanian community in United States. After Lithuania regained its independence
in 1990, he became active in Lithuanian politics. After campaigning for Stays Lozoraitis in the presidential elections
of 1992 as Lozoraitisí campaign manager, he himself successfully stood for the presidency in the 1997 and was inaugurated
as President of Lithuania on February 28, 1998. He failed to get re-elected in the elections of 2002, but after President
Paksas was impeached and removed from office, President Adamkus was re-elected in 2004 for a second term.
In recognition of his international achievements President Adamkus has been designated the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for
the Construction of Knowledge Societies. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the University of Indiana, University
of Illinois and Vilnius University.