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Building on the Strategic Partnership between Australia and Germany signed in Berlin in January 2013, the Leichhardt bicentenary year underscores that our strong bilateral ties are deeply rooted in the past but also hold great promise for the future.This is particularly true of our collaboration in science, research and innovation, where Leichhardt’s name occupies a special place. 

The inaugural “Leichhardt Symposium on Biodiversity and Conservation” will be held at the University of Queensland to mark the famous explorer’s 200th birthday in October 2013. A follow-on conference is already being planned for Munich in October 2014, thus demonstrating that Leichhardt’s story remains relevant and inspirational beyond this jubilee year.

I trust that this website, together with its German counterpart, will become a portal through which visitors will learn more about this extraordinary figure and, inspired by his legacy, help contribute to the further development of Australia-Germany ties.

Peter Tesch
Australian Ambassador to Germany
Berlin

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The still unexplained disappearance of the fascinating Prussian scientist and naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt remains one of Australia’s most enduring mysteries. The bicentenary of Leichhardt's birth in 2013 is being marked by a whole range of events in Australia and Germany that commemorate his achievements in science, research, and the European exploration of the vast Australian continent.

However, he is only one example of how Germans contributed to study Australia’s unknown botany, fauna und geology. Another famous German-Australian was Sir Ferdinand Jakob Heinrich von Müller, the first director of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, who described a medical plant identified and collected by Ludwig Leichhardt, naming it Duboisia leichhardtii.

Today's excellent scientific relations between Australia and Germany are built on the achievements of these forerunners. They have evolved into close cooperation between Australian and German research organisations and multiple exchanges of Australian and German scientists.

Dr Christoph Müller

Ambassador
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Canberra

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