by Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP

Photo of Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP

I am delighted to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Australia's diplomatic presence in Malaysia with this special publication. 60 Years: Australia in Malaysia celebrates six decades of friendship between Australia and Malaysia.

The beginning of diplomatic relations between our two nations predates Malaysia's independence, with the establishment in 1955 of an Australian Commission in Kuala Lumpur in then Malaya. Two years later, Australia was among the first countries to establish formal diplomatic relations with the Federation of Malaya after independence.

Relations between our people began long before formal ties were established, tracing back to the mid-19th century when Malayan pearl divers travelled to northern Australia.

Over the years, Australians and Malaysians have built enduring partnerships across almost every field.

Our governments cooperate extensively on defence, law enforcement and national security.

This cooperation began when Australian soldiers fought in defence of Malaya in World War II and has grown over time into a mature partnership that helps deliver security and stability to the region.

The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 demonstrated our capacity to work closely together, even during national tragedies.

Trade has flourished between our economies, to the mutual benefit of both countries. Two-way trade has doubled in the past 10 years and we now rank among each other's top ten trading partners.

Our citizens have formed a genuine affection towards each other through long-standing links in education, migration and booming tourism.

60 Years: Australia in Malaysia provides a snapshot of the breadth of our connections and an insight into some of the personal stories that form the foundation of the warm relations between our two nations.

I hope readers will enjoy learning more about our shared history. I look forward to a prosperous future working together.