Lithuanians in the News
16th July 2024
Australian Lithuanian Domantas Kuzinkovas Wins the Prestigious Sir John Monah Scholarship For Doctoral Studies at Imperial College in London
At the Sir John Monash Scholarship award ceremony -
Domantas with Australia’s Governor-General His Excellency
General The Honourable David Hurley and Mrs. Linda Hurley.
Photo courtesy Kuzinkovas family.
Domantas Kuzinkovas is now carrying out research for his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the Imperial College in London, England, having won the prestigious Sir John Monash scholarship in Australia. Becoming the Chairman's Circle John Monash Scholar and being admitted to do a PhD at the world-leading Imperial College are both very high accomplishments for Domantas.

The Imperial College in 2024 has been rated as the best university in Europe, according to the QS World University Rankings, and in the world it is second only to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in America.

The General Sir John Monash Foundation provides postgraduate John Monash Scholarships to outstanding Australians with leadership potential who wish to study overseas. In 2024 there are only 16 successful Scholarship winners, rigorously selected from a field of 287 candidates. Domantas has become a Chairman's Circle John Monash Scholar. Chairman’s Circle Members include University Chancellors, business and community leaders and the Chairman’s Circle supports the award of one or two John Monash Scholars each year.

Domantas’ interest in Biomedical Engineering dates from his undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney in Australia. Biomedical Engineering is a very rapidly evolving field of engineering and, as Domantas says, it allows him “to study a perfect mix of his two interests: medicine and technology”. Domantas completed his Master of Biomedical Engineering in 2022 and then started work at Cochlear, Australia’s world-leading biggest neurotechnology company, famous for pioneering developments in cochlear implants for deaf people. This work experience will now be very valuable to him in his PhD research, in tackling the problems of interfacing neurotechnology devices with signal processing electronics.

An interesting interview with Domantas can be found in the Australian Lithuanian weekly “Mūsų Pastogė” (please see below).

Congratulations, Domantai! We wish you great achievements in your PhD research!

Further information:
“Mūsų Pastogė”, issue 2024.07.03, pp. 3 & 5
https://www.johnmonash.com/about-us/foundation-purpose.
https://www.johnmonash.com/donate/chairmans-circle.


Domantas with his parents Dr. Vytauras Kuzinkovas and
Dr. Daiva Kuzinkovienė at award ceremony.
Photo courtesy Kuzinkovas family.
Domantas at work at the Imperial College, London.
Photo courtesy Kuzinkovas family
Lithuanians in the News
14th June 2024
Lithuanian Heritage Artist, Renata Daina, Presents her First Solo Exhibition in Los Angeles
Renata Daina is an artist with Lithuanian heritage and a strong connection to Australia. The first solo exhibition of her works is being presented by the Keystone Gallery in Los Angeles June 8 -17, 2024. It presents handwoven tapestries, sculpture, and works on paper, as illustrated in the Keystone Gallery Announcement and the example of her work.

Renata was born in the U.S, and spent her youth in Sydney in Australia, where she was an active artistic member of the Sydney Lithuanian Community. She learned traditional Lithuanian textile crafts from her Lithuanian grandmother, Martina Reisgys, who was an expert in the weaving and spinning of traditional Lithuanian materials. (Please see Martina’s work described on this website in Community/ Organisations/ Traditional/ Ratelis). Undoubtedly a strong influence has also been from her Lithuanian mother Dr. Luda Popenhagen and her American father Dr. Ron Popenhagen, both of whom have had strong artistic backgrounds.

Keystone Gallery describes Renata’s work as “exploring the precious terrain between ancestral traditions and personal memories. Textiles handwoven by herself, her grandmother, and found fabrics made by unknown weavers are punctuated by painted and embroidered mark making. Intertwining natural fibres, such as raw linen, and synthetic threads emphasize symbiotic rather than dualistic notions. These soft talismans conjure earthly and otherworldly desires that are informed by new materialist theories and pre-Christian cosmologies.” Daina studied Fashion & Textile Design at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in Sydney and has graduated BFA with Honors Cum Laude from the University of Southern California.

Congratulations, Renata!

An example of Renata’s work.
Lithuanians in the Community
16th December 2023
Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney AGM
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney was held on December 3, 2023, at the Latvian House in Strathfield.
A new Committee for the Australian Lithuanian Community - Sydney Inc. was elected, with its members as follows:
The new Committee of the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney.
(L-R) Jurgita Černauskaitė, Ernesta Vytienė, Venta Protaitė-Thompson,
Akvilė Ciplijauskaitė, Irena Dana Stumbras, Rūta Peleckienė.
(Absent) Daumantas Azarinskas. Photo courtesy Saulius Stepulis.

Jurgita Černauskaitė – President
Ernesta Vytienė – Vice-President
Venta Protaitė-Thompson – Public Officer
Akvilė Ciplijauskaitė – Youth representative
Irena Dana Stumbras – Teasurer
Rūta Peleckienė – Secretary
Daumantas Azarinskas – Projects
Jonas Penkaitis and Dan Bieri were re-elected as auditors.

Lithuanians in the Community
2nd December 2023
Sydney Lithuanian Club Board Elections
The 61st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Sydney Lithuanian Club was held on November 12, 2023, at the Latvian House in Strathfield. This was the second AGM after the sale of the Club’s premises in Bankstown and the Club relocating its activities to the Latvian House in Strathfield.
It was also the first AGM after a very long time that the Club, even after its support for various Sydney Lithuanian community activities, managed to finish its financial year with a small profit, to the obvious delight of the Club’s members on hearing this.
The current Board of seven directors was re-elected for another year. After the conclusion of the AGM, the re-elected Board members decided who the Club’s office bearers will be.
The re-elected office bearers are:
Romas Cibas – President
Dr. Ramutis Zakarevičius – Vice-President
Maritsa Cibas – Secretary
Jonas Penkaitis – Treasurer
Jurgita Černauskaitė – Director
Gita Gilvydis – Director
Gediminas Sauka - Director
The re-elected Club Board. First row:
(L-R) Dr. Ramutis Zakarevičius, Romas Cibas, Second row:
(L-R) Jurgita Černauskaitė, Jonas Penkaitis, Maritsa Cibas.
Absent: Gita Gilvydis, Gediminas Sauka.
Photo courtesy Saulius Stepulis
Club members attending the Club’s AGM.
Photo courtesy Saulius Stepulis.


Lithuania in the News
7th October 2023
Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nausėda due to Visit Australia
In the photo Prime Minister Albanese and President Nausėda in Vilnius.
(Photo courtesy Lietuvos Respublikos Prezidento kanceliarija / Robertas Dačkus)
Lithuania’s President Gitanas Nausėda will be visiting Australia this month, October 2023, with a trade delegation to Canberra and Melbourne. He will meet up with Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. On October 18, President Nausėda and First Lady Diana Nausėdienė will attend a reception at Melbourne Lithuanian House, hosted by Lithuania’s Honorary Consul-General (Vic.,Tas.), Melbourne Australian Lithuanian Community & Directors of Melbourne Lithuanian Club.
It will not be the first time that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and President Gitanas Nausėda have met each other. They met during the recent 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius, July 11-12, 2023, when Prime Minister Albanese visited Vilnius to take part in the NATO Summit.

Further information:
“Mūsų Pastogė” No. 34, 2023.09.06 p.7 & No. 38, 2023.10.04 p.8

Lithuanians in the News
18th July 2023
World Attention Focussed on Vilnius During the NATO 2023 Summit
Presidents Joe Biden and Gitanas Nausėda at the NATO Summit.
Photo courtesy ELTA/Andrius Ufartas
Last week the eyes of the world were focussed on Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, during 2023 NATO Summit in Vilnius, July 11-12, 2023. This NATO Summit was one of the most important and significant in NATO’s 75-year history. With near 40 presidents or heads of government, together with their delegations, in attendance, Vilnius hosted just about all of who’s-who in Western political leadership. As well there was a huge contingent of the world’s press and media in attendance.
Among the distinguished world leaders there present was US President Joe Biden, Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. The most important topic of decision making at this NATO Summit was the war in Ukraine and NATO’s support for Ukraine. On the evening of the second day of the Summit President Bident made an important public address at Vilnius University (https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lithuania/lietuviams-svarbiausia-bideno-zinute.d?id=93916935&jwsource=em).
It was fitting that this most significant NATO Summit was held in Vilnius in the 700th Jubilee Year of Vilnius’ foundation by King Gediminas (ca.1275 – 1341). An ancient legend about Vilnius’ founding involves a howling Iron Wolf, which was dreamt by Gediminas. The huge Iron Wolf howled so loudly that it shook everything around. The significance of the dream, as explained to Gediminas, was that Gediminas was to found his capital Vilnius at the place of his dreaming and that Vilnius’ fame and “the glory of the deeds of Lithuania’s rulers shall echo throughout the world" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Wolf_%28character%29).

So, on the 700th anniversary of Vilnius’ founding, Gediminas dream seems to have been fulfilled!
Further information:
https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lithuania/prezidenturoje-nato-vadovu-priemimas-suplanuota-vakariene-ir-muzikine-programa.d?id=93902249#!dgs=dgslt-357611:10496613
https://www.delfi.lt/news/daily/lithuania/nauseda-jav-prezidento-vizitas-artimu-dvisaliu-santykiu-liudijimas.d?id=93891207#!dgs=dgslt-357529:10493597


Lithuanians in the Community
10th December 2022
A New Committee for 2023 for the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney
A New Committee for the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney
As reported on the News on July 28, 2022 on this website, the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney had held an Annual General Meeting (AGM) on July 3, 2022 for the year 2021.
This has now been followed by the AGM for 2022, held on December 4, 2022, at the Latvian House in Strathfield. A new Committee for ALC – Sydney Inc. was elected at this AGM.

In the photograph (L-R) is the new Committee of ALC – Sydney Inc.:
Daumantas Azarinskas (Vice-president),
Ernesta Vytienė (Functions organiser),
Jurgita Černauskaitė (President),
Rūta Peleckienė (Secretary),
Venta Protaitė - Thompson (Public Officer),
Absent in the photo - Irena Dana Stumbras (Treasurer)

Photo courtesy Saulius Stepulis.

Lithuanians in the News
3rd December 2022
Lidija Šimkutė’s Poetry Overview at “Baltic Studies at Crossroads" Conference at the University of Washington
Lidija Šimkutė with Dr. Živilė Gimbutas (on the right) in Vilnius in 2016.
Photo courtesy Lidija Šimkutė
An overview of Lidija Šimkutė’s poetry was presented in a paper "A Felicitous Journey of Discovery" by Dr. Živilė Gimbutas at the AAABS (American Association for the for the Advancement of Baltic Studies) conference “Baltic Studies at Crossroads", which was held at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, on May 27-29, 2022. Sydney Lithuanian Information Centre (SLIC) is grateful to Dr. Gimbutas for the following reportage on the conference.
Dr. Gimbutas’ paper was read at the Literature and Language session titled "Writers between Nature and Humankind" on Friday, May 29. It discussed the development of Šimkutė's later bilingual "open" poetry, remarkable for spaces and silences with its possible meanings between verses that followed up from her early lyrics in Lithuanian. Selected poems from the poet’s bilingual collections were distributed as handouts.
As Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have marked 100 years of independence from Soviet rule, the aim of AAABS was to explore how the Baltic States will move forward into the next century, as a crossroads between Europe and Asia, Nordic and Eastern Europe.
The conference brought together scholars interested in Baltic studies from all over the world and fostered collaboration between Baltic and Pacific Northwest researchers. The conference included public events, keynote talks by leading Baltic scholars, film screenings, exhibit openings and tours of UW’s Baltic collections.


Lithuanians in the Community
28th July 2022
A New Committee for the Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney
The new Committee for Australian Lithuanian Community – Sydney Inc.
Photo courtesy Jurgita Černauskaitė
The Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney at its Annual General Meeting on July 3, 2022, at the Latvian House in Strathfield, elected a new Committee for ALC – Sydney Inc. This Committee at its first meeting on July 7, 2022, at the Lithuanian Retirement Village at Engadine elected their positions on the Committee.

In the photograph (L-R) is the new Committee of ALC – Sydney Inc.:

Rūta Peleckienė (Secretary),
Veronika Daukaitė (Member),
Irena Dana Stumbras (Treasurer),
Jurgita Černauskaitė (President),
Daumantas Azarinskas (Vice-president),
Venta Protaitė – Thompson (Member),
Alfonsas Stonis (Member).

Venta Protaitė – Thompson was also elected as Public Officer.

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 Viliūnas
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, Danutė Levickis - Lithuania’s Honorary Consul-General for Vic & Tas, Gabrielius Landsbergis - Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, Ginta Viliūnas - Lithuania’s Honorary Consul-General for NSW, ACT & Qld, Eglė 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 Šiurkienė
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 Dailės 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 Domšaitis Gallery in Klaipėda 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 Urbonienė, Dr.Tojana Račiūnaitė and Ilona Mažeikienė.
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 juodvarnių“ (The Twelve Ravens) | Lietuvos nacionalinis dailės 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 Nausėda 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 Nausėda 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