Australian Embassy

Australia and ASEAN Celebrate 50 Years of Partnership

Media Release

16 April 2024


Today marks 50 years since the first meeting between Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary-General and Australian officials, on 16 April 1974 in Canberra, Australia.

In the same year, Australia became ASEAN’s first formal Dialogue Partner, marking the beginning of the close partnership and cooperation between ASEAN and Australia.

To celebrate this Golden Jubilee milestone, in March 2024, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese hosted Leaders of ASEAN and Timor-Leste in Melbourne for the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.

At the Summit, Australia announced over AUD500 million in funding for a range of new and expanded initiatives to support shared priorities and add to the already extensive engagement under the ASEAN-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

A Leaders’ Vision Statement, setting out the strategic vision for the next 50 years, and a Joint Leaders’ Declaration, the Melbourne Declaration, were issued following the Summit.

“We have so many achievements to be proud of in the past 50 years of partnership between ASEAN and Australia,” said Australian Ambassador to ASEAN Tiffany McDonald.

“The Special Summit has positioned the ASEAN-Australia relationship as a partnership for the future. Throughout this anniversary year, I look forward to celebrating our cooperation and all we will achieve together in the next 50 years and beyond,” added Ambassador McDonald.

A series of activities will be held as part of the 50th anniversary year in Jakarta and the ASEAN region, including youth engagement, art collaborations, and more.

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