Media Release

12 March 2008

Rebuilding Afghanistan exhibition

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, in cooperation with the Canadian High Commission, is proud to host the compelling photographic exhibition, Rebuilding Afghanistan. The exhibition illustrates clearly why Australia, alongside its international partners, is committed to help the people of Afghanistan.

The 39 photographs capture the hope and determination of ordinary Afghan citizens. From men digging canals with basic tools to young girls attending school outdoors, the photos depict people eager to build the foundations of a better life. The photos also show how Australia and Canada are helping realise these dreams by working alongside Afghans to build hospitals, install water tanks, mentor Afghan workers and more.

Australia is making a substantial contribution to international efforts to stabilise Afghanistan. Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor to the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and a major aid donor. Approximately 1,000 Australian Defence Personnel are serving in Afghanistan including as part of the Netherlands-led Provincial Reconstruction Team in Oruzgan Province in southern Afghanistan. Since 2001, Australia has committed $450 million in aid and reconstruction to Afghanistan.

The exhibition will be opened officially on Thursday 13 March by Mr Michael L’Estrange, AO, Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and His Excellency Mr Michael Leir, High Commissioner for Canada.

The exhibition will be on display in the R G Casey Building and open to the public from 13 March until 9 April, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.