In his Ambassador’s Message, Amb Robilliard wrote:
Please allow me to convey heartfelt condolences on behalf of all the staff of the Australian Embassy on the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. His Majesty contributed greatly to the warm and strong relationship between Australia and Thailand.
May I also convey warmest wishes on the accession to the throne of His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun. The enduring friendship between our two countries is underscored by the years His Majesty spent studying and training in Australia in the 1970s.
Australia Day in Thailand this year is an occasion to mark the long-standing bilateral relationship which has flourished for sixty-five years.
Our two countries work closely together in regional and international forums, and on a range of important issues including defence, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, and combatting people smuggling and human trafficking. The opening of Australian Consulate-General in Phuket last year was testament to our growing relationship.
Nearly 900,000 Australians visit Thailand every year. Phuket remains one of the most popular destinations for Australian tourists. Australians continue to value the generous hospitality of Thais.
The enthusiasm of our young people to discover each other’s culture through work and educational opportunities continues to deepen and renew our bilateral engagement. The Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan, now in its third year in Thailand, will see the 500th Australian student coming to Thailand. Currently, Thailand is the fifth largest source country of international students in Australia.
The alumni community is at the heart of our bilateral relationship. We are proud to see Thai alumni become ambassadors for Australia and Thailand.
Increased linkages in science, research and technology have in the past year added ballast to our strong economic relationship. I am confident that we will continue to look to each other as partners as both our countries look to increased innovation as a pathway to sustainable economic development.
On this auspicious occasion, we would like to express sincere gratitude to our Thai colleagues and friends for your long-term commitment to Australia –Thailand friendship. We look forward to an even more extensive partnership with Thailand in 2017.
To all Australians holidaying, living and working in Phuket and across Thailand, I wish you a great Australia Day.
Australian Ambassador to Thailand