Europe Day Public Lecture
Europe Day (9 May 2017) is an annual celebration symbolising the peace and unity of Europe.
In recognition of this occasion, the Hawke EU Centre for Mobilities, Migrations and Cultural Transformations presents Slovenia in Europe Now – Is there an Alternative?, a public lecture by the Slovenian Ambassador to Australia, H.E. Ms Helena Drnovšek Zorko.
Forming part of the Hawke EU Centre Ambassador Lecture Series, the Ambassador will explore Slovenia’s place within the European community, and the many challenges the country has faced since gaining independence 26 years ago.
A cocktail reception will follow the lecture of which all guests are invited to attend. We will also use this occasion to announce the winners of some of our recent postgraduate fellowships overseas.
Slovenia - Land in Between, a recent history book, concisely and intelligently describes the country which has always been at the crossroads of migration, foreign political rules, different religions, languages, and landscapes. In the lack of its own statehood, language became the most important unifying political feature, and Culture has been highly valued among Slovenians.
Culture has, indeed, reflected the zeitgeist - and not always with a capital C. Neue Slowenische Kunst, NSK, in the final era of Tito's regime put the mirror to its soft totalitarianism. From the beginning of the nineties the virtual NSK State in Time - with its insignia of a real state, passports, flag, army, its anthem, and its Culture - continues to trespass the boundaries of reality.
Twenty six years ago Slovenians overwhelmingly voted for independence, and it was the vision of a united and peaceful Europe that the country again approved by almost 90 percent in the 2003 referendum on EU membership. In 2017, 26 year after its independence and 25 years after the start of diplomatic relations with Australia, Slovenia has been continuously challenged with the notions of identity in turbulent times, which not only force Europe to reconsider its own path, but to confront the fact that, in an increasingly restless world, there is no alternative.
H.E. Ms Helena Drnovšek Zorko was appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia to Australia in October 2015. She previously served as Ambassador in Japan and the Republic of Korea. Prior to that (2004 – 2010) she held the position of the Head of the Division of the International Cultural Relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focusing on the intercultural dialogue and the role of culture in the external relations. Before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs she worked as an adviser for cultural affairs for Slovenians living abroad.