This year is the 52nd Anniversary of the Invasion of Warsaw Pact troops into former Czechoslovakia.
On this occasion the Embassy of the Czech Republic, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Slovak Republic, organised a commemorative event and exhibition opening tracing the reaction to the events of 1968 in distant Australia.
Guests included representatives of the diplomatic corps, neighbouring countries of former Czechoslovakia and representatives from Australian institutions and the media.
Upon arrival, guests listened to a spine-chilling recording of the first radio announcement after the occupation of Czechoslovakia which was followed by speeches by the Ambassador of the Czech Republic, Tomáš Dub, and the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic, Tomáš Ferko, representing both nations that were affected by the
When the news of the invasion of Warsaw Pact troops reached Australia, it caused an unprecedented wave of sympathy for the Czech and Slovak peoples. People from all different walks of life condemned the approach and military solution enacted by the Soviet Union – from government representatives of Australia, to students and even members of the Communist Party of Australia. There were several public protests in various Australian cities. We have chosen to present the reaction of the Australian public in the form of an extraordinarily interesting exhibition consisting of period photographs.
As a result of Soviet occupation, there was a huge wave of Czechoslovak emigrants who found a new home here in Australia. The reaction of the Australian public was a contributing factor to the enormous amount of our countrymen that were welcomed by Australia after 1968.
The exhibition opening itself marked the beginning of a wider commemorative event which was published online on the 21st August 2020. The virtual exhibition can also be viewed on the main page of Czechia in Australia, both in its original form as a panel exhibition, and as a 3D exhibition that can be walked through online.