Ambassador celebrates Australia Day with 200 house guests

Australian Ambassador to Italy, Greg French, with Italian President, Sergio Mattarella

 ROME -- The Australian Ambassador to Italy, H.E. Greg French, and partner Bianca received 200 guests at their residence in Parioli to celebrate Australia Day, the national holiday which remembers the landing of the First Fleet in the Bay of Sydney in 1788.

 The event Thursday was the perfect occasion to recognise and reinforce rapport between Italy and sunny Australia, welcoming in important representatives of the business, industry and culture communities, as well as significant figures of the diplomatic world.

 It was the ambassador himself to underline the success of the relations between the two countries in his welcoming speech, immediately following on from the Australian and Italian national anthems sung by all present, accompanied by a Jazz quartet which played throughout the evening.

 Mr. French then invited his party of high-class guests to admire fascinating examples of aboriginal art which are always in high demand from art collectors and gallery owners across the globe.

 Pieces were on proud display from renowned painters such as Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, Gloria Petyarre and Korun Warun, who draw on inspiration from aboriginal heritage and ancestry to create often abstract and contemporary masterpieces.

 The cocktail mixer on the terrace, overlooking the swimming pool, hosted a range of important figures including Ambassador Catherine Colonna of France, Ambassador Trevor Matheson of New Zealand and Melissa Hitchman, Ambassador of Australia to the Holy See.