The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), and Lady Cosgrove will lead Australia’s representation at the centenary memorial service for the Battle of Hamel during a visit to France on 4 July.
Lasting only 93 minutes, the 1918 battle led by the then Lieutenant General John Monash was a decisive success for the Australian and Allied forces in a war previously defined by incremental advances.
The Governor-General will deliver the commemorative address and lay a wreath in remembrance of the 1200 Australian casualties. His Excellency will also meet Australian families of descendants who fought at Hamel and later visit the new Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux.
As part of a wider bilateral visit to Europe, the Governor-General, at the invitation of the European Australian Business Council (EABC) and with the support of the Government, will lead a business mission of Australian corporate leaders to France, Spain and Portugal between 2 to 6 July.
The business mission is the second-ever led by an Australian Governor-General.
The EABC mission will promote closer trade and investment relations with European Union nations and occurs as Australia and the European Union start negotiations toward a comprehensive and high-quality Free Trade Agreement with the EU. As a bloc, the EU is Australia’s second largest services export market, valued at $11.6 billion in 2016-2017.
The Governor-General will join EABC business roundtable meetings in Paris, Madrid and Lisbon. His Excellency will also meet with His Majesty Felipe VI, King of Spain; the President of Portugal, His Excellency Professor Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa; the Prime Minister of France, His Excellency Mr Edouard Philippe; and Members of the European Parliament.
Whilst in Europe, the Governor-General will undertake an Official Visit to Italy and the Vatican City from 25 to 27 June, and will call on His Holiness Pope Francis and the President of the Italian Republic, His Excellency Mr Sergio Mattarella. At the invitation of His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the Governor-General will also undertake a State Visit to Belgium acknowledging a centenary of service and friendship with Australia from 27 to 29 June.
Details of the Governor-General’s program will be made available at www.gg.gov.au.