Embassy of Finland, Canberra

The Embassy of Finland to the Commonwealth of Australia is Finland's diplomatic mission in Canberra, Australia. The mission is also accredited to New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. As it is the only Finnish Embassy in the Southern Pacific region (Oceania) in practice the Embassy also represents Finland in its relations with other Pacific island states in the region (Nauru, Tuvalu as well as the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau).

Embassy of Finland, Canberra The Embassy of Finland and Estonia to Australia May 2016.jpg
LocationYarralumla, Canberra
Address12 Darwin Avenue, Yarralumla ACT 2600, Australia
Coordinates35°18'10.3"S 149°06'56.2"E
AmbassadorLars Backström
WebsiteOfficial website

HistoryEdit

Finland first established a consulate in Sydney in 1918. In these early years, the consulate, apart from providing consular services, also played the role of a social club for the Australian Finnish community. After relations become tense between Finland and Great Britain in 1941, as a result of the Continuation War between the Soviet Union and Finland, representatives of the Finnish government returned to their home country.

In 1949, Finland and Australia began diplomatic relations. The relationship between the two countries was quickly established after the war and ties between Australia and Finland became stronger and deeper. In the 1950s, Finnish exports doubled from the previous decade. The Consulate of Finland remained in Sydney until 1966 when it was moved to the capital city of Canberra, and in 1968 the first Finnish ambassador was appointed. The Finnish embassy was built in Yarralumla in 1978, adjacent to the Singaporean and Indonesian missions. Finland continued to maintain a separate consulate in the Sydney suburb of Double Bay until 2012.[1]

 
Flag at the Finnish embassy, Canberra.

ArchitectureEdit

In 2002 a distinctively built annex was built, designed by Finnish architect Vesa Huttunen of Hirvonen and Huttunen who won the commission in a 1997 competition. The annex houses the chancery, a residence for the Counsellor and a Finnish sauna. The 1978 building now serves as the Ambassadorial residence.

The building appears as a long, sleek box of stainless steel and glass, neatly complemented by the overhang of indigenous eucalyptus trees. Named Ilmarinen after the Finnish armoured naval vessel (in turn named after the blacksmith hero in the Finnish national epic Kalevala), the building has the spatial feel of a ship. Offices sit like cabins lined up along the side of the building, connected by walkways overlooking an atrium. The facade of the chancery building is made entirely of glass. Interior steel I-beams and stainless steel padding is used alongside recycled Jarrah timber external decks and stair treads which look as if they came from a disused wharf (actually they originate from Australian sheep stations). The design received an award at the annual architectural competition held in the Australian Capital Territory in the summer of 2003.[2][3]

The Embassy of Estonia to Australia has been located in the Embassy of Finland building since August 2015.[4]

Finnish Ambassadors to AustraliaEdit

Representative[5] Years Sttus
Paavo Simelius (Sydney) 1949–1958 Charge d'affaires
Toivo Kala (Sydney) 1958–1963
Olavi Wanne (Sydney) 1963–1968
Tuure Mentula 1969–1975 Ambassador
Åke Backström 1975–1980
Veikko Huttunen 1980–1983
Osmo Lares 1983–1987
Ulf-Erik Slotte 1987–1991
Charles Murto 1991–1996
Esko Hamilo 1996–2001
Anneli Puura-Märkälä 2001–2005
Glen Lindholm 2005–2009
Maija Lähteenmäki 2010–2012
Pasi Patokallio 2013–2016
Lars Backström 2016–

Honorary ConsulatesEdit

In addition to the Embassy in Canberra, there are eight honorary consulates in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and Cairns. Honorary consuls are also based in New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga. Within his or her jurisdiction, an honorary consul provides advice and guidance for distressed Finnish citizens and foreigners permanently residing in Finland who are temporarily abroad, assisting them in their contacts with local authorities or the nearest Finnish embassy. Certain types of notarized certificates can be acquired through an honorary consul. Honorary consuls do not accept passport applications nor do they handle matters pertaining to visas or residence permits.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ http://www.finland.org.au/public/default.aspx?contentid=257002&culture=en-US
  2. ^ Yarralumla Diplomatic Estate Tour, National Capital Authority
  3. ^ http://www.archmedia.com.au/aa/aaissue.php?issueid=200201&article=10&typeon=2 Frith, John, Canberra's New Finnish Embassy, Architecture Australia, January/February 2002
  4. ^ "Embassy in Canberra". Estonian Embassy in Canberra. Estonian Embassy in Canberra. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  5. ^ "Suomen Australian diplomaattiset Edustajat ja asiainhoitajat" (in Finnish). Suomen ulkoasiainministeriö.

Coordinates: 35°18′11″S 149°06′57″E / 35.30294°S 149.11571°E / -35.30294; 149.11571