Lithuanians in the News
9th April 2022
Lithuanian-Heritage Peter Malinauskas Elected Premier of South Australia
Peter Malinauskas with healthcare workers just before the election.
Photo courtesy ABC News/ Lincoln Rothall
The recent South Australian elections on March 19, 2022, saw the election of Peter Malinauskas as the new Premier of South Australia. Peter Malinauskas is of Lithuanian heritage on his father’s side and he has become the first Lithuanian-heritage person to achieve such a high political post in Australia.
Peter Malinauskas achieved an outstanding win against an incumbent premier, making his opponent a one-term premier, which is challenging task in Australian politics. The 41-year-old Peter Malinauskas has been involved in the trade union movement since his teens and has been a member of the South Australian Parliament since 2015, representing the Australian Labor Party.
He has graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Adelaide. In his personal life, Malinauskas is married to lawyer Annabel West and they have two daughters and a son.

Congratulations, Peter Malinauskas!

Further information:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-19/who-is-sa-premier-peter-malinauskas/100924176
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Malinauskas

Lithuania in the News
12th March 2022
Important Visit to Australia by Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis
During the formal opening of Lithuania’s Embassy,
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister & Honorary Consuls.
Photo courtesy Ginta Viliűnas
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis made an important overseas visit February 6-10, 2022, visiting Singapore and Australia. The focus of these visits was to increase the opportunities for Lithuania in Australia, South East Asia and Oceania in business and scientific cooperation, taking note of the current geopolitical situation.
In Australia February 7-10, Mr. Landsbergis met many Australian political and business leaders, to open up business opportunities and scientific cooperation between Australia and Lithuania. He met Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne, Defence Minister Peter Dutton and other political leaders. He spoke at Australia’s Strategic Policy Institute and delivered a notable and very well received address to the National Press Club in Canberra on Thursday, 10 February 2022. His presentation was entitled “The Rules-based World Order Under Attack: The Cases of Ukraine and Taiwan” (Please refer to www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2IdwbetbrY).
Lithuania’s and Australia’s concerns with cyber security led Mr. Landsbergis to Melbourne on February 8, to RMIT University, for the launch of a joint cyber security initiative between Australia and Lithuania – the Australian–Lithuanian Cyber Research Network (ALCRN), which will be an important milestone in the scientific cooperation between Lithuania and Australia and will be the first such initiative in the world. In Australia the ALCRN will be led by RMIT University’s Centre for Cyber Security Research & Innovation, one of Australia’s leading multi-disciplinary Cyber Security Research Centres, while in Lithuania work for ALCRN will be undertaken by Mykolas Romeris University, one of Lithuania’s leading universities specialising in law, public security and public administration. (Please refer to youtu.be/GRpEp-z5bd8).
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis
speaking at he National Press Club in Canberra.
Photo courtesy National Press Club
Lithuania had appointed Darius Degutis as its first Ambassador to Australia, resident in Australia, towards the end of 2021. Mr. Landsbergis formally opened Lithuania’s Embassy in Canberra on Wednesday, February 9, with all four of Lithuania’s Honorary Consuls in Australia in attendance. In the photo taken during the opening of the Embassy, we have (L-R) Christine Jankus - Lithuania’s Honorary Consul for SA & WA, Danutë Levickis - Lithuania’s Honorary Consul-General for Vic & Tas, Gabrielius Landsbergis - Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, Ginta Viliűnas - Lithuania’s Honorary Consul-General for NSW, ACT & Qld, Eglë Garrick - Lithuania’s Honorary Consul for NT and Darius Degutis - Lithuania’s Ambassador to Australia. The establishment and formal opening of the Embassy in Canberra has been a momentous event for Australian Lithuanians.
Further information:
1. https://urm.lt/default/lt/naujienos/ministras-g-landsbergis-tikiu-kad-lietuva-ir-australija-pradeda-nauja-glaudaus-bendradarbiavimo-etapa
2. Press Conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2IdwbetbrY
3. ALCRN: https://youtu.be/GRpEp-z5bd8
4. https://www.techbusinessnews.com.au/news/rmit-university-launches-international-cyber-security-network-between-australia-and-lithuania/
5. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/lithuanian-foreign-minister-gabrielius-landsbergis-hails-australian-stance-on-bully-china/news-story/73d541bd638520608cf0741db65ce955
6. https://www.delfi.lt/verslas/verslas/landsbergis-butina-greiciau-siekti-es-ir-australijos-laisvosios-prekybos-susitarimo.d?id=89408799
7. https://www.delfi.lt/verslas/verslas/landsbergis-singapura-matome-kaip-patikima-tarpininka-zengiant-i-kitas-pietryciu-azijos-rinkas.d?id=89397403


Lithuanians in the News
21st November 2021
Vaclovas Ratas, Distinguished Australian Lithuanian Artist, Honoured by Exhibitions in Lithuania
The placard in front of the Vytautas Kasiulis Museum of Art
advertising the Ratas’ exhibition. Photo courtesy Violeta Điurkienë
The distinguished Australian Lithuanian artist Vaclovas Ratas (1910 -1973) is being honoured by exhibitions in Lithuania at two major museums of the Lithuanian National Museum of Art (Lietuvos Nacionalinis Dailës Muziejus (LNDM), in Lithuanian) - at the Vytautas Kasiulis Museum of Art in Vilnius from June 11, 2021 to September 5, 2021 and then at the Pranas Domđaitis Gallery in Klaipëda from October 28, 2021 to January 23, 2022. The very successful exhibition at the Kasiulis Museum was extended for a month beyond the original closing date of September 5.
The honouring of Vaclovas Ratas was originally meant for his 110-year anniversary in 2020, but had to be delayed until 2021 due to problems caused by the worldwide Covid pandemic. “Vaclovas Ratas. Beyond the equator” is the name of the exhibition, as can be seen on the placard advertising the exhibition outside the Kasiulis Museum. Over 60 works have been collected for the exhibition. The curators of the exhibition are Regina Urbonienë, Dr.Tojana Račiűnaitë and Ilona Maţeikienë.
The exhibition is complemented by two publications, also by the LNDM. One of them is a facsimile edition of the book, “The Twelve Ravens”, originally published by Ratas in 1949, telling the story of a famous Lithuanian fairy tale and illustrated with 9 original Ratas’ woodcuts. The other publication is a 200-page comprehensive album, in Lithuanian and English, on the life and times of the artist.
A view of Ratas’ works in the Kasiulis Museum. Photo courtesy LNDM
Vaclovas Ratas arrived in Australia in 1949, together with his wife Regina and daughter Ramona. He had already had a notable art career in Europe and in the 23 years in Australia until his death in 1973 he made a name for himself in the graphics art scene as a creative innovator. He had a major role in the establishment of Sydney Printmakers society in order to promote graphic art, which until then had been largely overlooked in Australia. He belonged to Australia’s Contemporary Art Society and participated in many graphic art exhibitions. His works are represented at all major state art galleries in Australia.
He was also very active in the Australian Lithuanian Community. The album "Eleven Lithuanian Artists in Australia", edited by Ratas in 1967, became the first professional book on Australian Lithuanian artists.
The exhibitions in Lithuania forcefully illustrate the impact on graphic art that his works have had. His works have not dated. Nearly 50 years on after his death his works are being highly and widely appreciated.

For more information:
https://www.lndm.lt/vaclovas-ratas-anapus-pusiaujo/
https://klaipeda.diena.lt/naujienos/klaipeda/menas-ir-pramogos/p-domsaicio-galerijoje-klaipedoje-dvi-naujos-meno-parodos-1048324
https://www.atviraklaipeda.lt/2021/10/28/prano-domsaicio-galerijoje-zymaus-australijos-lietuvio-kurybos-paroda/
https://pasauliolietuvis.lt/prano-domsaicio-galerijoje-nauja-paroda-vaclovas-ratas-anapus-pusiaujo/
Vaclovas Ratas „Dvylika juodvarniř“ (The Twelve Ravens) | Lietuvos nacionalinis dailës muziejus (lndm.lt)


Lithuania in the News
18th September 2021
Lithuania’s Ambassador to Australia Ready to Take up Post
Ambassador Darius Degutis. Photo courtesy lrytas.lt, by J.Stacevičius
Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nausëda has appointed Darius Degutis to be Lithuania’s Ambassador to Australia, residing in Canberra. Until this appointment of Darius Degutis, Lithuania’s Ambassador to Japan, Gediminas Varvuolis, residing in Tokyo, was also accredited as Ambassador to Australia. Ambassador Degutis is to take up his posting to Canberra on October 1, 2021.
Ambassador Degutis will be continuing a distinguished diplomatic career. He was Lithuania’s Ambassador to Poland 2001 – 2004 and to Israel 2009 – 2014. Born in 1963, he graduated from Vilnius University in 1986 and joined Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry in 1991, soon after Lithuania had re-established its independence. His other diplomatic postings abroad have included as advisor to Lithuania’s Embassy in Denmark (1992) and as Minister-advisor in Lithuania’s Embassy in Washington (1998 - 2001).
On presenting Ambassador Degutis’ credentials, President Nausëda emphasised Australia’s regional significance and hopes for more economic cooperation between Australia and Lithuania, especially in life sciences, biotechnologies, information technologies. He also emphasised the need to enhance the relations with the Lithuanian diaspora in Australia.

For more information:
https://www.lrytas.lt/lietuvosdiena/aktualijos/2021/08/15/news/ambasadoriumi-australijoje-paskirtas-d-degutis-prie-unesco-j-balciuniene-20434218
https://www.lrp.lt/en/news/credentials-presented-to-lithuanias-ambassadors-to-the-permanent-representation-at-unesco-and-to-australia/36525
https://lt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darius_Degutis

Lithuania in the News
23rd May 2021
LOGIN 2021, the Most Significant IT and Innovation Conference in the Baltics to be Held Online This Year
Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, has been hosting the LOGIN conferences since 2007. LOGIN has become the most significant IT and Innovation conference in the Baltic States. The number of delegates to LOGIN had reached 5,000, but this year, due to the pandemic, LOGIN 2021 will be held entirely online over five days May 24 -28, 2021, focusing on innovation and progress.
LOGIN 2021 will be completely free of charge and registration will not be necessary. It will be broadcast live during the conference on the portals Delfi.lt and 15min.lt. and it will also be possible to view all the saved presentations after the event on the Delfi Plius platform.
A scene at LOGIN 2020. Photo courtesy login.lt
There will be more than 150 presentations, among 20 sessions, by many international and Lithuanian experts. Among the world-famous experts there will be the renowned virus researcher and vaccine developer Professor Jeffrey Almond of Oxford, Amazon start-up manager Rob De Feo, Lithuania’s former Foreign Minister and former EU Ambassador to Afghanistan and Russia, Vygaudas Uđackas, and many others.
Among the famous presenters will be Australia’s own celebrated science commentator and journalist, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. His presentation “Great Moments in Australian Science” will be first “off the rank” in the session “Save the Planet” on Monday, May 24, at 12:00 noon Vilnius time (7:00 pm Sydney time).

For more information:
www.login.lt
https://www.delfi.lt/mokslas/login/jau-netrukus-didziausias-inovaciju-festivalis-login-isskirtinius-pranesejus-isgirskite-visiskai-nemokamai.d?id=87208065

Lithuania in the News
16th May 2021
Kaunas to take on the role of European Capital of Culture in 2022
A view of Kaunas from Aleksotas Hill.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia/ by David Iliff
Lithuania’s second city Kaunas has been chosen by the European Union (EU) to be a European Capital of Culture in 2022. For this role Kaunas now follows Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, which was European Capital of Culture in 2009. Located at the confluence of Lithuania’s largest rivers, Nemunas and Neris, Kaunas has always been a strategically important city. Between the two World Wars it served as Lithuania’s temporary capital. Hence the motto for Kaunas in 2022 - “From Temporary to Contemporary”, also emphasising its contemporary cultural significance.
In 2015 Kaunas was designated as a UNESCO City of Design and for its modern structures now has been nominated for the UNESCO World Heritage List. As stated in ref.5: “Kaunas is renowned for its unique school of architecture. In the swirl of European events, the city’s “golden age” (1918–1940) was marked by the interwar modernism architecture: its dense concentration in the city centre, a distinctive Lithuanian style of interior, exterior and furniture design, which is a unique phenomenon not only in Lithuania, but also in Europe.”
Vilnius St. in Kaunas Old Town.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia/ by Adam Jones
With a population of just near 400,000 in Kaunas and its district, Kaunas boasts 60 museums and galleries, more than 10 professional theatres, as well as many other cultural facilities. In 2022 over 300 cultural events are planned. Among the outstanding cultural events for 2022 will be the International Day of Happiness, European Capital of Culture Forum, European Youth Festival, ConTempo international performing arts festival and Fluxus Festival. Also to be mentioned is Kaunas Literature Week, Japan Days, contemporary electronic music festival, and many others. Litvak artists Philip Miller and Jenny Kagan are composing a choral cantata about Kaunas. Visual art exhibitions by world-renowned artists William Kentridge, Yoko Ono, and Marina Abramoviă will be part of 13th Kaunas Biennial.
With such a rich cultural presence, Kaunas has been described as “The Crown Jewel of Europe’s Contemporary Culture”, an accolade well deserved! Together with Kaunas there will be two other cities as European Capitals of Culture in 2022 - in Luxembourg there will be Esch-sur-Alzette and in Serbia Novi Sad. There were no new European Capitals of Culture as such in 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis, so Ireland’s Galway and Croatia’s Rijeka, who had that role in 2020, had their roles extended until April 2021.

For more information:
1. https://kaunas2022.eu/en 2. https://kaunas2022.eu/en/2021/04/26/kaunas-2022-the-crown-jewel-of-europes-contemporary-culture/
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Capital_of_Culture
4. https://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/6166/
5. https://www.designcities.net/city/kaunas/


Lithuanians in the News
18th April 2021
Famous Rugby League Player, Lithuanian Heritage Tommy Raudonikis
is Mourned by the Australian Sporting World
The late Tommy Raudonikis. Photo courtesy NRL.com
Tributes have flown in after the passing of the legendary Australian Rugby League (ARL) star, Tommy Raudonikis, who died on 7 April 2021 on the Gold Coast, Queensland, just a few days short of his 70th birthday. He was born in a migrant camp in Bathurst, New South Wales, to a Lithuanian father and a Swiss mother.
During an outstanding and controversial playing career, he played in Sydney with the Western Suburbs Magpies 1969-1979 and the Newtown Jets 1980-1982, moving to Queensland in 1983. In 1980 he played as captain of the New South Wales team in the inaugural State of Origin game.
Many achievement awards followed him. In 2004 he was included in Western Suburbs Magpies team of the century. In February 2008, he was included in the list of 100 Greatest Players in Australia in the century (1908-2007), to celebrate rugby league’s centenary in Australia. The Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) was awarded to him in 1982.
According to ARL Commission chairman Peter V'Landys, "Tommy was one of a kind. There will never be another Tommy Raudonikis. ... Tommy was everything that makes rugby league the greatest game of all.”

For more information:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-07/rugby-league-legend-tommy-raudonikis-dies-aged-70/100052450
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/the-nappy-needle-had-gone-right-through-my-skin-the-birth-of-the-raudonikis-legend-20210407-p57h56.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Raudonikis


Lithuanians in the News
17th January 2021
Lidija Đimkutë Represents Lithuania at the European Literature Festival in Japan
Lidija Đimkutë. Photo courtesy Lithuanian Embassy in Japan
Australian Lithuanian poet Lidija Đimkutë had the honour to represent Lithuania at the European Literature Festival in Japan (https://eulitfest.jp) on November 26, 2020. She is a bilingual peot writing in Lithuanian and English. She is well known in Japan as six of her poetry collections have already been translated into Japanese by Koichi Yakushigawa.
At this European Literature Festival Lidija was in very distinguished company, which included the Polish Nobel poet laureate Olga Tokarczuk among the eighteen European authors taking part. For more information please see this link to the information given by the Lithuanian Embassy to Australia, resident in Japan.
It was also pleasant to note that Lidija’s poetry was included in YouTube poetry readings in Japan on Christmas day ( https://youtu.be/FcPBiCa1JDo )
Also just before Christmas on December 15, 2020, the Online Magazine for Lithuanian Literature “Vilnius Review” ( www.vilniusreview.com ) , has included Lidija’s poetry works( http://vilniusreview.com/poetry/452-lidija-simkute ) with a forward by the noted Lithuanian poet Tomas Venclova.


Congratulations, Lidija!

Lithuanians in the News
7th November 2020
New book “A shared hope” by Daina Pocius


Lithuanians in the News
10th October 2020
Innovative Performance of The Dying Swan by Lithuanian Ballet Star
The Dying Swan solo performed on the roof of LNOBT.
Photo courtesy LNOBT/ Martynas Aleksa
The Dying Swan has always been a favourite solo ballet for ballet enthusiasts. The graceful solo, based on the music by the French composer Camille Saint-Sa?ns and choreographed by M. Fokine, was originally created for the world famous ballerina Anna Pavlova in 1907.
With Covid-19 crisis delaying live performances at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (LNOBT) in Vilnius, the LNOBT roof became the scene for a performance of The Dying Swan by Lithuanian Ballet star Olesia Shaitanova. The beautiful performance on the roof, with Vilnius famous landmarks visible in the background, uploaded to YouTube, has become a world favourite.
The concept was choreographed by Martynas Rimeikis, the newly appointed artistic director of Lithuanian Ballet. Australian Lithuanian ballet enthusiasts will remember Martynas Rimeikis, when he partnered Lithuanian prima ballerina Eglë Đpokaitë during the Australian Lithuanian Days in Melbourne at the end of 2010.
Live music for the roof performance was performed by cellist Auđra Gedţiűtë-Petraitienë and harpist Aistë Baliunaitë-Dailidienë.

Further Information:
https://www.opera.lt/-bravissimo/interviu-c4/bravisimo140/popup
Click here for YouTube Video


Lithuania in the News
23rd August 2020
2020 Elections to Lithuanian Parliament
Australian Lithuanians and all Lithuanians in the Lithuanian diaspora around the world are strongly urged to vote in the forthcoming elections to the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas).
The elections will be held on October 11, 2020 and the deadline for registering to vote is September 11, 2020.
After many years of lobbying, Lithuanians living abroad have succeeded to have a seat in parliament reserved for representation of all the Lithuanians abroad. So this is the first election that there will be Member of Parliament (Seimas) elected by Lithuanians living abroad. Participation by Australian Lithuanians in this election is very important as a strong participation will strengthen the plans to establish a Lithuanian Embassy in Canberra. More generally it will strengthen the relationship of Lithuania with the Lithuanian diaspora and will help to ensure that there continues to be a Seimas member representing the diaspora.
For more information please see the Announcements on this website.