Lithuanians in the News
8th January 2017
Australian Lithuanian Community Federal Council Makes Important Decisions
The Australian Lithuanian Community (ALC) Federal Council met for its biennial meeting at the Melbourne Lithuanian House in Melbourne, 29-31 December, 2016. It was part of the 29th Australian Lithuanian Days (Australijos Lietuvių Dienos - ALD) Festival, a biennial event this year admirably hosted by ALC Melbourne. During the ALD the Australian Lithuanian Community comes together to debate the community’s affairs and to celebrate their Australian Lithuanian heritage in a festival of cultural and sports activities.

The Australian Lithuanian Community Federal Council

The ALD 2016 was honoured with the attendance of Dalia Henke, president of the Lithuanian World Community (LWC) Council (Pasaulio Lietuvių Bendruomenės (PLB) Valdyba). She attended the Federal Council meeting and made a number of presentations during the ALD. Another distinguished visitor was the director of Lithuania’s National Culture Centre, Saulius Liausa, who also spoke at a number of functions about the forthcoming celebrations in 2018 relating to the 100 year anniversary of the declaration of Lithuania’s independence in 1918.
The ALC Federal Council is the supreme ALC decision making body. A major and very important task during this meeting was to consider and adopt a new Constitution (Statutas), which will allow the ALC to be incorporated. Wide community consultations had taken place before the presentation of the proposed new Constitution to the Federal Council and in the end it was adopted unanimously. To produce this document a tremendous amount of work was required to be done by the outgoing Federal Executive, with outstanding work by Antanas Čibiras, whose legal
Outgoing ALC Federal Executive with LWC president Dalia Henke.
(L-R) Ramutis Zakarevičius, Eglė Garrick, Dalia Henke, Monika Čyplienė,
Antanas Čibiras
expertise was indispensible. The Federal Executive members for 2015-2016 were Ramutis Zakarevičius (president), Eglė Garrick (vice-president), Monika Čyplienė (secretary), Laurie Cox (treasurer) with Antanas Čibiras and Kęstutis Protas as members.
The ALC Federal Council voted for the 2017–2018 ALC Federal Executive to reside in Melbourne. Elected to the new Federal Executive were Dennis Gaylard, Eugenijus Klimas, Gaila Muceniekaitė, Zita Prašmutaitė and Andrius Vaitiekūnas, together with Andy Mašanauskas ex-officio (as president of the Australian Lithuanian Youth Association). The elected members included two outgoing Federal Executive members, who were re-elected to help with continuity and strategic planning. They were Ramutis Zakarevičius and Antanas Čibiras, whose legal know-how will again be required to implement the new Constitution.
The Federal Council for 2017-2018 has Romas Cibas as president, with Henrikas Antanaitis and Irena Stumbras as vice-presidents. Elected to the Federal Audit Committee were Algis Šimkus and Bronė Staugaitienė, while Rasa Mauragienė, Eglė Garrick and Irena Stumbras were elected to the Disputes Resolution Committee. Secretaries for Federal Council meeting werre Danutė Baltutienė, Aurelia Sadauskienė and Ieva Arienė.
The delegates elected to the next LWC Congress (PLB Seimas) were Girius Anatanaitis, Monika Čyplienė, Rasa Mauragienė, Irena Stumbras and Algis Milvydas. Eglė Garrick will continue to be a delegate to the LWC Congress as a current member of the LWC Council. Henrikas Antanaitis will continue as Australia’s representative on the LR Seimas and PLB Commission, with Eglė Garrick as his deputy.


Lithuanians in the Community
11th December 2016
Lithuanian Community Elections in Sydney
In Sydney on November 20, 2016, two elections were held for Australian Lithuanian community organisations, both elections taking place at the Sydney Lithuanian Club in Bankstown.
On that day the Lithuanian Community Publishing Society, which publishes the weekly “Mūsų Pastogė”, held its Annual General Meeting. Re-elected as directors were: Romas Cibas (President), Jurgita Bieri (Vicepresident), Alis Migus (Secretary) and Petras Vegys (Treasurer).

The re-elected Lithuanian Community Publishing Society directors - (L-R) Alis Migus, Romas Cibas, Jurgita Bieri, Petras Vegys.

Later that same day the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney held its Annual General Meeting. Elected to the new Committee were: Monika Čyplys (President), Aida Abromas (Vicepresident), Jurgita Bieri (Secretary), Audrius Čyplys (Treasurer), Raimonda Kniūkštė and Alfonsas Stonys. Onto the Auditor’s Committee re-elected were Laurie Cox and Kastytis Stašionis.

The new Sydney Australian Lithuanian Community Committee, from left in second row - Aida Abromas, Raimonda Kniūkštė, Monika Čyplys, Audrius Čyplys, Alfonsas Stonis, Jurgita Bieri (absent). In first row from left - former Committee members Kristina Dičiūnienė, Jadvyga Burokienė and chairman of the meeting Romas Cibas.
Photo courtesy “Mūsų Pastogė”

Three weeks later at its Annual General Meeting on December 11, 2016, Sydney Lithuanian Club members elected a new Board of Directors: Romas Cibas (President), Jonas Penkaitis (Secretary), Monika Čirbienė (Treasurer), Maritsa Cibas, Jurgita Černiauskaitė, Emilis Lenkauskas.

The newly elected Sydney Lithuanian Club directors - (L-R) Monika Čirbienė, Romas Cibas, Jurgita Černiauskaitė, Jonas Penkaitis. Absent - Maritsa Cibas, Emilis Lenkauskas.

Further information: “Mūsų Pastogė” 2016.12.07 No. 46

Lithuanians in the News
13th November 2016
Latest Poetry by Lidija Šimkutė
The noted Australian Lithuanian poet Lidija Šimkutė, who often publishes in both Lithuanian and English, has seen two of her poetry books published just recently.
Her latest bilingual book of poetry - "Baltos vaivorykštės - White rainbows" has just been published by Lithuanian Writers Union in Vilnius, Lithuania. In Jan Owen’s foreword to "White Rainbows", her poetry is described as "highly original. There’s a cool reality appraisal, a certain distance, yet an intimate tone. The poetry is poised and assured, yet vulnerable. The unsaid and the unsayable are present within and around the poems, white space on the page equating to silence and the passing of time."
Also Lidija’s earlier bilingual poetry collection "Kažkas pasakyta - Something is said", originally published by the Lithuanian Writers Union Publishers in 2013, has now been translated into Japanse by Kōichi Yakushigawa and published in Japan. (Publisher - CHIKURINKAN, Osaka, Japan, 2016). A review of the Japanese translation stated: "These poems touch the heart and tenderly bruise the soul. They don't require a detailed explanation and nor are they difficult to understand. While the poems themselves are not complex in nature, their meaning and emotion are clearly felt."

Congratulatiions, Lidija!

For more information please see Šimkutė's pages on this website:
Culture/ Literature/ Lidija Šimkutė

Lithuania in the News
16th October 2016
A Change of Government Predicted After the 2016 Lithuanian Parliamentary Elections
Gabrielius Landsbergis with a greetings message as TS-LKP President
on the occasion of Lithuania’s Independence Day , February 16, 2016.
Photo courtesy tsajunga.lt
The first round of the 2016 Lithuanian parliamentary elections took place last Sunday, October 9, with the second round to follow two weeks later, on October 23. The first round produced an upset for the current coalition government, led by the Social Democratic Party of Lithuania (“Lietuvos Socialdemokratų Partija” – LSDP). The largest number of seats were won by the Homeland Union - Lithuanian Christian Democrats (“Tėvynės Sąjunga - Lietuvos Krikščionys Demokratai” – TS-LKD), with the Lithuanian Peasants and Greens Party (“Lietuvos Valstiečių ir Žaliųjų Sąjunga” - LVŽS) close behind.
In Lithuanian Parliament (“Seimas”) there are 141 seats to be filled. Slightly more than half of the seats (71 seats) are elected in single-seat constituencies elected by majority vote. For the other 70 seats there is a nationwide constituency, in which seats are allocated on a proportional basis.
In only a few of the single-member seats a majority was achieved by any candidate. The remainder of these seats will be decided in the second round, when the candidates with the largest number of votes in the first round will compete against each other. On the other hand, in the nationwide constituency TS-LKD won largest number of seats (20) and LVŽS won 19. With the TS-LKD also doing well in the single seat constituencies, it is on track to be the leading party in any coalition government to be formed.
The leader of TS-LDK is Gabrielius Landsbergis, who also won the largest number of votes by any candidate, is on track to become next Prime Minister. Aged 34 years, he would then become the youngest Prime Minister in the EU. He is currently an active member the EU Parliament. His grandfather, Vytautas Landsbergis, was the de-facto first President of Lithuania after Lithuania re-established its independence in 1990. He is also the grand-nephew of Gabrielius Žemkalnis, an Australian Lithuanian from Melbourne, who in 2013-2014 was the President of the Federal Executive of Australian Lithuanian Community.

Further information:
http://www.delfi.lt/projektai/archive/print.php?id=72510294
http://www.delfi.lt/archive/print.php?id=72519512
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithuanian_parliamentary_election,_2016


Lithuania in the News
24th July 2016
Lithuania Welcomes Important NATO Security Decisions
At the NATO Summit. Front row (L-R): President Dalia Grybauskaitė, NATO Summit
host Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg,
US President Barrack Obama. Photo courtesy lrp.lt, by Robertas Dačkus.
“We can call this day historic for the security of Lithuania” declared Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė after the NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, July 8-9 2016. This historic day came after intense lobbying over recent years by Lithuania for NATO to take the threat from Russia seriously.
The NATO summit concluded that Russia is the main threat to NATO members on the eastern Baltic seaboard and in the Black Sea region and took concrete steps to counter this threat. Among the measures agreed to was the permanent deployment battalion-size NATO troops in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. This was one, among a whole range of concrete decisions, that NATO took in response to Russia’s aggressive actions.
No wonder Lithuania’s leaders were pleased. President Grybauskaitė continued:
“From today, our people can really feel calmer and more secure as a whole arsenal of specific military measures to deter threats and ensure peace has been approved. We will be able to use full allied assistance and reinforcements if necessary. For the first time since we joined NATO we have guaranteed sophisticated, long-term military capabilities”.

Further information:
https://www.lrp.lt/en/press-centre/press-releases/nato-summit-a-historic-day-for-the-security-of-lithuania-and-the-baltic-region/25642

Lithuania in the News
17th July 2016
President Dalia Grybauskaitė Meets Lithuanian World Community Council
President Dalia Grybauskaitė meeting Lithuanian World Community Council.
Photo courtesy lrp.lt, by Robertas Dačkus.
President Dalia Grybauskaitė last Wednesday, 13 July 2016, met the Lithuanian World Community (LWC) Council (Pasaulio Lieuvių Bendruomenės (PLB) Valdybą) at the Presidential Palace in Vilnius. This was ahead of the meeting of the presidents of the various Lithuanian communities in the world on July 14-17, 2016, in Ukmergė. Australia was represented by the Vice-president of the Federal Executive of the Australian Lithuanian Community, Eglė Garrick. She heads the LWC Council Finances & Fund Raising Commission. In the photograph she is third from left, front row.
During her meeting with LWC President Grybauskaitė emphasised that Lithuanian communities around the world have a strong role not only in maintaining a connection to Lithuania, but also in helping solve distressing social problems. She called on all Lithuanians to take part in the campaign “For a safe Lithuania”, to help deal with the problems of violence, bullying, suicides and drug dependencies.
The President also discussed ways of strengthening and safeguarding Lithuanian heritage and how the active participation of the Lithuanians in the world can help present Lithuania’s position on important political questions and counteract hostile propaganda against Lithuania and its history.

More information:
https://www.lrp.lt/lt/spaudos-centras/pranesimai-spaudai/pasaulio-lietuviu-bendruomene-jungiasi-prie-iniciatyvos-uz-saugia-lietuva/25693

Lithuania in the News
3rd July 2016
Prominent Lithuanians’ Input to the Brexit Debate
Vytenis Andriukaitis covering his face when
Nigel Farage was holding forth. Photo courtesy skynews.com
Statements by some Lithuanian political figures regarding the Brexit issue have achieved high prominence in the electronic social media internationally.
Much commented on was the action the Lithuanian member of European Parliament (MEP), Vytenis Andriukaitis, who is the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety. Andriukaits could not help but hide his face with his hand when the chief British Brexit proponent Nigel Farage declared during his tirade to MEPs “that some MEPs had never done a proper job in their lives”. Andriukaitis had in fact been a cardiac surgeon before he took up politics and had taken part in the first heart transplant operation in Lithuania.
Australian TV devoted significant time to comments by Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskiatė and Lithuanian MEP Antanas Guoga. The latter is actually an Australian Lithuanian, who currently resides in Lithuania, has taken up politics and had been elected to the European Parliament.
Antanas Guoga challenging Nigel Farage to a one million euro bet.
Photo courtesy Antanas Guoga Twitter
Farage had bet £1,000 that Britain would vote for Brexit. Guoga then upped the stakes by betting €1million that the Brexit vote would fail! This action again achieved international prominence in the social media. Since Farage failed to take up Guoga’s challenge, Guoga did not have to pay up when Britain voted for Brexit.

Further information:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-30/brexit-facepalm-politician-explains-'despair'-at-farage/7556008
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/29/eu-health-commissioner-explains-farage-facepalm-vytenis-andriukaitis
http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/681421/Nigel-Farage-challenged-1-million-bet-Brexit-Britain-leaving-EU

Lithuania in the News
1st May 2016
Lithuanian Electronics Continue to Stand Out Internationally
Prof. Arminas Ragauskas. Photo courtesy epo.org
News about international success of Lithuanian electronics now keep coming in thick and fast, this time in the medical electronics area.
In the latest news Lithuanian scientist Professor Arminas Ragauskas, from the Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania, has become a finalist for the European Inventor Award 2016. His recognition is for the invention of devices to measure brain pressure with ultrasound safely and easily. The invention allows safe diagnosis of traumatic brain injury, strokes, glaucoma and brain tumours. Ragauskas’ co-workers at the Health Telematics Science Institute at Kaunas University of Technology were Gediminas Daubaris and Algis Dziugys.
Prof. Arminas Ragauskas demonstrating
the device for measuring brain pressure.
Photo courtesy epo.org
The European Inventor Award, instigated in 2006 by the European Patent Office (EPO), is a very prestigious honour, bestowed on inventors who, to quote EPO, “use their technical, scientific and intellectual skills to make a real contribution to technological progress and economic growth and so improve people's daily lives”. Ragauskas’ invention looks like becoming an important medical diagnostic tool, contributing to the saving of many lives. It is already being launched in Europe, Australia and US.

Further information:
https://www.epo.org/learning-events/european-inventor/finalists/2016/ragauskas.html

Lithuania in the News
24th April 2016
Lithuanian Consumer Electronics' Success in Australia
The FoodSniffer in action. Photo courtesy Ars Lab
Lithuanian consumer electronics is in the news again in Australia. Last Tuesday, 19 April 2016, on Channel 7 TV evening news there was presented the ‘FoodSniffer’ device, which allows easily and quickly to determine whether food is spoiled or not. The ‘FoodSniffer’ device was invented and developed in Lithuania by the Lithuanian company UAB ARS Lab in Vilnius, headed by Augustas Alešiūnas as CEO. It has won important awards in Europe and now being distributed worldwide including Australia.
Augustas Alešiūnas the CEO of UAB ARS Lab.
Photo courtesy Ars Lab
The ‘FoodSniffer’ is just another example of the international success of Lithuanian consumer electronics. It follows on the heels of the ‘Deeper Fishfinder’ making the Australian TV news in January this year and already finding success in Australia (please see on this website News - 17 January 2016).

Further information:
https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/sme/4104/uab-ars-lab
http://www.businessawardseurope.com/RDH/2014
www.slic.org.au - News/ 17 January 2016