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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Anthology of Slovenian Australian Musicians by Katarina Vrisk



Slovenian Australian community is richer for another valuable record of creativity of its people. Katarina Vrisk spent six years researching, conducting interviews and writing Anthology of Slovenian Australian Musicians which brings an excellent overview of the rich musical activity in the community in the last sixty years and recognises the achievement of a few outstanding musicians of Slovenian background. 

The book launch will be in Club Triglav in Sydney on Sunday, 20 March.



Details:  664 pages, over 1300 photographs
Th book includes seven chapters (Soloists - Vocal and Instrumental, Small Ensembles - Vocal and Instrumental, Choirs, Bands, Notable Musicians & Others) and five 'Special Features' (The Accordion, Early Slovenian Cultural Evenings, Slovenian Youth Concerts, Lojze Slak Tour 1972, Slovenian Bands Play for Other Ethnic Groups).

In addition, there is a CD pack (2 disks) with 70 excerpts of artists from within the book also available for purchase.

Price: Book $95, CD Pack $30 Postage within Australia: $20 (1 book OR 1 book and CD pack)


To order, you can contact Katarina Vrisk by email or you can write to her postal address: 

PO Box 2031
Oakleigh VIC 3166.

Order form is also available here. You can fill it in, follow payment instructions and wait for your book to appear in your mail box within seven working days.






Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Art Exhibition: Andrew Potočnik in Bolin Bolin Gallery, Melbourne, 24 March - 24 April 2016

There are many creative people in the Slovenian Australian community. Some of them have gained international recognition yet the community often remains  unaware of the extent of their achievement. Andrew (Andrej) Potočnik is one of them: his works in wood awe and inspire many woodworkers as well as art lovers in Australia and overseas. While he is well known to the readers of magazines such as the Australian Wood Review, Woodturning and American Woodturner, we as a community should perhaps get to know him better too.

Every enthusiastic woodworker knows how hard it is to turn a piece of wood into something useful, such as a bowl or a jewellery box. It requires a lot of skill to turn it into a high quality finished product. It takes, however, an artist to turn it into a piece of art.

Andrew Potočnik is an accomplished and highly skilled artist. His CV lists twenty-two exhibitions in Australia and the USA; his works are owned by art museums and galleries worldwide (e.g., Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Contemporary Museum of Hawaii, Minneapolis Institute of Art to name just three from a much longer list) and his works appeared in many publications, such as The Art of Turned Bowls by Richard Raffan or Sacred Vessels published by the National Jewish Centre for Learning and Leadership in New York.

Here is what he says himself about his involvement with the amazing world of wood:

Ever since childhood, whenever I wanted, or needed, to make something, I found wood to be the first material I turned to. It wasn’t always the best choice, but it was a material I felt comfortable with, and one that I could convert into whatever I needed.

At high school, I met a teacher who encouraged creative use of wood, setting convention aside in order to encourage aspects that were radical at that time. He encouraged me to salvage and recycle wood, and even worse, he taught me to appreciate wood for its colour, smell, feel, grain and any other intrinsic quality it may have.
With an introduction like this, where else could I go, but continue to explore all those wonderful qualities every piece of wood conceals, just needing a sympathetic cut to expose it to those who see it as nothing more than a renewable resource, ready to be exploited, rather than appreciated!

Now, I gain enormous enjoyment from seeing how people from other cultures explore their wood, how they expose and celebrate its beauty, and how it’s integrated into their culture and general existence.
As an artist, I continually find inspiration to explore new directions in creating objects from wood.
As a teacher, I try to pass information on to my students, hoping that they too will be inspired to explore wood. Celebrating it as a living material that grows around us, as a material that can give voice to ideas conjured in our minds, as a material that says something about our culture and world.


You can enjoy Andrew Potočnik's work at Bolin Bolin Art Gallery in Bulleen, Victoria where he shares the exhibition space with another well-known artist Lene Kuhl Jakobsen. The exhibition "Things of Wood and Clay" opens on Wednesday, 23 March, and will remain open to general public from 24 March to 24 April 2016.



Thursday, 18 February 2016

How to make 'butarce'

by Franciska and Irene Sajn

Slovenia is a predominantly Catholic country with various customs and traditions.  One marvelous tradition celebrated (the Sunday before Easter) Palm Sunday is the making of the colourful palm known as 'butarca'.  Basically it involves tying together greenery and coloured ribbons into a hand held bouquet.  These bunches of greenery differ regionally in appearance (size, shape, colour).  But all are taken to church for blessing on Palm Sunday and are then kept within the home for good luck/ protection till the following year.

Traditionally as palm branches were not available within Slovenia the locals would take olive branches instead for blessings. In my home village of Knežak as a family we would all attend the Palm Sunday service taking olive branches for blessings.  The boys in the village would race around and it would become a competition on who had the biggest branch and they would poke/ hit each other (for fun) with them.  The church 'mežnar' (man that was in charge of the church) was forever looking out for the boys during the church service, keeping them still.  It was amazing they still had branches to take home.  The blessed palms were then kept all year, with the old palm branches burned and used to bless our home.

Attending the Slovenian Church: The Mission of Ss Cyril and Methodius, in A’Beckett Street, Kew, I joined the mother group along with many others under the guidance of the late father Bazilij Valentine OFM and the first group of Slovenian sisters.  All had a great enthusiasm in developing, sharing and keeping alive our Slovenian traditions.  It was here in Melbourne I learnt to make the colourful 'butarce' that I take to church each year.

The first group of sisters arrived in Melbourne on Palm Sunday acquiring a home a few streets away from the church called Slomšek House.  Mrs Draga Gelt spoke to Sister Silvestra and brought up the idea of teaching us 'how to make a butarca'.   Mrs Lucija Srnec invited the church's mother group along with Sister Silvestra back to her house and along with Mrs Draga Gelt we were shown this tradition from their region in Slovenia.  We were told to bring an open mind and it was here we were first given instructions.   We were all very excited.  From there the following year we were invited back to Slomšek House.  The sisters provided the greenery and ribbons and we had a very interesting and enjoyable afternoon.  Some of our attempts not so successful, but Sister Silvestra was very encouraging and had something nice to say about all the butarce made that afternoon.  These were taken to the church on Palm Sunday and for a small donation the money raised always went towards a good cause.

Later years as our group grew we started to make butarce on the church grounds in the room used as a class room, the Saturday before Palm Sunday.  Everyone was welcomed, young/old and everyone was found a task even it it involved cutting up branches or ribbons which was very helpful.

Each year as I attend mass I am stopped by neighbours admiring and asking about the butarca I carry.  I am always happy to promote Slovenia and share our customs.  These days the butarca that I have kept from the previous year I sprinkle the greenery onto my garden bed (as it has been blessed).

In 2014 I was proud and honoured that we could share our passion of the Slovenian tradition of the butarca with our local parish church Sacred Heart, Kew.  Archpriest Michael Kalka invited the Archbishop of Melbourne to join in the mass service for that year’s Palm Sunday celebrations and together they both carried one.  

This year under Very Rev Ciril Bozic OFM OAM EV we will be making butarce at The Mission of Ss Cyril and Methodius, in A’Beckett Street, Kew on the 19 March 2016 and everyone is welcomed to attend (from beginners to the experienced).  As our group is now not as large as it once was we hope that the younger generation will keep this tradition alive.  Even today for a small donation the money rasied on Palm Sunday still goes towards a good cause.  For those that are unable to attend but would still like to learn how to make a butarca, please have a look at the pdf file belowWonderful to have the Slovenian tradition preserved with our family/ friends.

The butarca does not only represent preserving our rich Slovenian cultural tradition but also  commemorating the memory of the coming of Christ into Jerusalem. 



Saturday, 9 January 2016

Slovenians in Geelong and their Association

by Joe Ramuta 

The Australian Slovenian Association Ïvan Cankar” Inc. is located in Geelong, a city of approximately 260.000 population in the State of Victoria, Australia. The city lies on the shores of Corio Bay and is located about 80 kilometres south west of Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria. The Association was established in 1955, after a small number of Slovenian immigrants met in 1954 and decided to establish a club which was officially registered the following year. As the first Slovenians started arriving to Australia only after the Second World War, there were not many members. Most were employed by the Ford Motor Company, International Harvester and a few smaller companies. Soon they bought a house allotment for a club building but decided it was too small and sold it.

The present land of 5 acres was acquired in 1969 and a hall was built in 1974-75. During 1983 -85, it was extended to accommodate up to 300 people. Then in 1992 we added a sports pavilion with 6 bocce lanes which are also used for inter-club bocce competitions.

Since the beginning, there have been 22 presidents leading the club of whom 11 are no longer alive and many older members have also already passed away. In their memory, we erected a Triglav lookalike monument and a typical Slovenian chapel.  Most of the members are actively involved with every-day activities, including Slovenian language classes and cultural activities.

On the weekend of 7th and 8th of November 2015, we celebrated 60th anniversary of its inception. There were many invited dignitaries, including the Ambassador Helena Drnovšek Zorko, members of the state Parliament and the local government. The Association is also affiliated with the Council of Slovenian Organizations of Victoria, trough which we maintain close links with Slovenia and organize visits by Slovenian artists and musicians. Trough this Council we also participate in Slovenian festivals which are held biannually and hosted each time by another of four Victorian member clubs.

As the original immigrants are slowly getting older and the number is diminishing, it is now hoped that the younger, Australian-born members and the new immigrants from Slovenia will continue to uphold the Slovenian culture and tradition. Many of them are married to partners of other nationality; however, so far it looks pretty promising that the club will survive for generations to come and the sound of Slovenian music will continue to echo within the walls and the polka will be danced by the young and the old alike.  

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Referendum on Marriage and Family Relations Act - Only one day left to notify Državna volilna komisija of your intention to vote by mail!

Slovenia will hold a referendum on the amendment to the Marriage and Family Relations Act on 20 December 2015. The amendment proposes some major changes to the way family relations are regulated.

Please note that if you are a citizen of the Republic of Slovenia who does not reside in Slovenia and are unable to come and vote at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Canberra on 20 December, you can vote by mail only if you notify Državna volilna komisija by tomorrow, 4 December 12.00am  (5 December 10am Australian Eastern Standard Time) that you wish to do so.

You can notify Državna volilna komisija of your intention to vote by filling in the relevant form available here:

The completed form should be:
 - faxed to: + 386 1 43 31 269, or
 - scanned and sent by email to: gp.dvk@dvk-rs.si
-  sent by mail to: Državna volilna komisija,
Slovenska cesta 54, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija, 


This is how you fill in the form:


Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Postcards from Slovenia

 Photos by Alan Zakrajšek
Šuštarski most, Ljubljana

Along the Ljubljanica river

Vogel

Vogel

Triglav

Lake Bohinj
Planica

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Postcard from Slovenia

There are lots of people enjoying a warm Friday afternoon in Ljubljana square next to the main food market. Locals and tourists enjoy ‘Odprta kuhinja’ event offering foods from different parts of the world, including Chinese noodles, Indian curry, Lebanese falafel and lots of locally brewed beers. It is busy and noisy and everyone seems to have fun.

Living far away from Slovenia and following Slovenian news we tend to think that the political situation in our homeland is all wrong and hope that some day better times will come. The daily life in Slovenia, however, informs me that the population is not hoping for better times, they are already enjoying them. My old friends and acquaintances with secure jobs are not lacking anything. They grumble of course: about the lack of jobs for their grown up kids with university degrees; about the health care if they happen to have met an obnoxiously aloof doctor; or about the complicated rules and regulations that now require you hold on your docket as you leave 'gostilna' as means of ensuring that there is no grey economy. Things could be better, most would agree, but the way it is it’s not too bad.

Politics is generally not on people’s minds. They worry about having their holidays on the coast in summer, about getting food from Mercator before rush hour or about meeting friends on Saturday afternoon. Not unlike people in Australia, or any other country in the world, they have their daily concerns which they meet as they arise.

Politicians may have the running of the country in their hands. They may be good or bad, corrupt or honest. They may be feathering their own nests. But Slovenians have a long tradition of being ruled by unfriendly governments in their genes. They are so used to being used and abused by their rulers that they hardly notice when they are burdened by even more rules and regulations. No matter what the government throws at them they always find a way to survive and get around whatever makes their life hard.

However, in addition to burdens that keep coming they also enjoy a bewildering range of perks and benefits they are most certainly not willing to let go: they are still enraged that the retirement age has moved to 60 and are horrified to learn that in Australia it is progressively set at 70; they enjoy cheap hot meals in their places of study or work and most of them don’t cook at home during the week; students enjoy free university courses and even receive free food vouchers!

As long as their daily lives are still manageable, they try to enjoy early autumn days and make the most of it. Life is too short to worry about politics!

Yet they all discuss politics quite seriously. There are two distinct sides who passionately hate each other. Their hatred is real and runs along the ideological line that defines their friends, choice of media and beliefs. One truth only, seems to be the message from both sides. 

If only life could be that simple. But for those who think that ideology is a reason enough to justify killing, sack or deeply dislike, it apparently is. Perhaps one day they will be able to transcend all this and start thinking that people, with all their imperfections, rather than ideology are the greatest value. In the mean time, we can still try and enjoy the company of friendly Slovenian people and the beautiful country they inhabit. 

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Update on the Slovenian Lawn Extension at Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney

Letter by Mark Stariha

Dear fellow Slovenians,

It is with great pleasure that your Rookwood committee comprising of p.Darko Žnidaršič, Mr. Mark Stariha, Mr. Alfred Brežnik, Mr Joe Zele, Mrs. Olga Lah and Mr Antony Tomazin can announce successful completion of negotiations for the extension to the Slovenian Lawn cemetery area at Rookwood.

Slovenian Lawn Extension Agreement Signed

The agreement was signed on 5 June 2015, Lauren Hardgrove signing for Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, and p.Darko Znidarsic and HC Anthony Tomazin signing for the Slovenian community.  There are 2 original signed copies, one being retained by Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, the other being held by p.Darko at St Raphaels Slovenian Mission. 

Importantly, in the agreement, ‘Scope’ is written as follows, “This agreement outlines the landscape design and associated works CMCT will undertake for the extension of the existing Slovenian Lawn 2 and allocation of approximately 480 additional graves for the sole use and benefit of the Slovenian Community.”, and ‘Costs’ as
“All works outlined in this agreement, will be undertaken by CMCT at no cost to the Slovenian Community.”



Work on Slovenian Lawn Extension area

Work on the extension area commenced on Monday 15/6.  When the extension area is completed, they will then level and returf all of the existing Slovenian Lawn 2.  Significant work has already been undertaken in the new extension area, with a border of trees and 2 concrete beams installed.  The garden around the small chapel has also been replanted. All work will be completed well before All Saints day.


New Plot plan for existing Slovenian Lawn 2

I attach a NEW plot plan of the existing Slovenian Lawn 2 with the new plots on the new beam extensions numbered, along with colour key. 
All yellow plots are available for immediate purchase.  The new plot plan for the new extension area will be available around November.
·        Yellow – means vacant
·        Black  - means the grave is full (you cannot put any bodies in the grave but you can still have cremated remains interred )
·        Dark green  - means that there is someone in the grave but there is space for more.
·        White and / – grave contains cremated remains
·        Light Green - Pre-purchased means that the grave has been purchased but nobody has been buried in it yet.
·        Light blue - Reserved means that someone has put a deposit to reserve the grave but it has not been fully paid for yet (so nobody is buried in it).
·        Red - Unusable



I take this opportunity to thank, in particular, Lauren Hardgrove from Catholic Cemeteries Rookwood, who was very focused on giving us a satisfactory solution.

Mark Stariha,
on behalf of the Slovenian Rookwood Committee

Monday, 31 August 2015

Interview with Ms Nevenka Clarke-Golc, Honorary Consul of RS to Queensland

When and why did you migrate to Australia? Where did you settle initially? When did you move to Queensland?

I arrived in Australia in April 1988 as a permanent resident. It is hard for me to explain why I applied for a migration visa but I did. It has certainly changed my life. After arrival I first travelled a bit around Victoria - Philip island, Twelve Apostoles etc.. then to Sydney. I returned to Melbourne where I met my future husband and after a few years we decided to move to Queensland in 1992.

You are running a successful pocket book business and were quite active at the time of Slovenia's fight for independence by publishing a book about Slovenia. Can you tell us more about your involvement in this project?

The declaration of independence signaled a turbulent period. I worked at International Trucks in IT department at that time. I could see that some people could not understand why Slovenia would want to be independent. Too small, they said. Can't exist on its own at that size. They had no answer when I said that there were some 50 countries smaller than Slovenia. We were portrayed in media as rebels, especially due to cleverly designed Serbian Milosevic's propaganda machinery. Americans were backing Yugoslavia at that time. Europe was silent. Something had to be done. Slovenian National Council (SNS) in Victoria organised a rally in support of Slovenia’s independence. I joined the SNS at that first gathering at the City Square in Melbourne on 29.6.1991. I had a short speech and from then on I was asked to represent the Slovenian cause at many other meetings, especially meetings of other ex-Yugoslav republics and Kosovars who also strived for their own independence. I was very happy to do that. But I felt more had to be done.

There was very little understanding among Australians about the situation. I felt a need to explain that the Yugoslav constitution allowed each state to vote to leave the federation. Slovenian, as we know, voted overwhelmingly in support of independence.

After the independence declaration there were question of whether the new fledgling country satisfied the requirement of statehood by international laws. The Montevideo convention 1933 defines a state as an entity with a defined territory, permanent population, government and capacity to enter into relations with other states. Slovenia satisfied the first three conditions but the last one depended on international recognition.

I also felt I needed to present Slovenians to Australians as a nation of its own, with its own language and culture. The notion of federation in Australia was in stark contrast to the notion of federation in Yugoslavia. Those two types of federations had virtually nothing in common and I wished to explain that.

For this reason I put together an article about the legal rights for Slovenian independence, a short presentation of the Slovenian nation as such and added a bit of spiritual and moral flair to it - and 120 pages of the "Republic of Slovenia" was born. After the first issue I was asked to make about 50 more copies. It was all quite simple, just photocopies and do-it-your-own binding. We worked fast and low-tech and cost-effective. The purpose was to inform the Australian government and society about Slovenia, its rights and desires, and to lobby for its recognition and acceptance in the wider international community.

Almost a year ago you were appointed to the position of the first Honorary Consul of the Republic of Slovenia for Queensland. How do you see your new role? In what ways can the Slovenian community in Queensland expect to be served by you?

Indeed, this happened quite unexpectedly. It was an honour to be offered this position. Slovenia is close to my heart and to be given an opportunity to work on a diplomatic level for Slovenia and Queensland is very special. I am still learning a lot of course. I see my work as a three-fold engagement - working with Slovenia and the Slovenian government in any area pertinent to my role; working on matters pertinent to the relationship between Slovenia and Queensland, and working with the Slovenian community in Queensland. I find that the Slovenian community has embraced the idea of having a Queensland consulate with great warmth. As a consul I will work as dedicated as I can for Slovenia, Slovenians and the Slovenian community.

Do you feel that the office of Honorary Consul should function as a community leader? How do you see your position in relation to the existing Slovenian organisations in Queensland and Australia?

Let's put this into perspective. Slovenian clubs and community existed well before the consulate was established. Club Planinka, for example, was established about sixty years ago and club Lipa around twenty years ago. They are the true leaders of the community. I take myself more as a link for something that was perhaps missing in the past - a connection between the Slovenian government, the clubs, individuals and community as such. I see my role as to assist, rather than, as suggested, to lead. Together with the community we need to make Slovenia better known to Australians.

There was a Consulate General in Sydney operating successfully for many years by Honorary Consul General Mr Alfred Breznik but it was physically impossible for Mr Breznik alone to cover the whole of Australia adequately. The Slovenian government eventually established the Embassy and in my view it was the right decision to also establish local consulates in each state. This will ensure a much greater connectedness between the Embassy and the Slovenian community in each of the states and will serve the community better. One great advantage of this has already become apparent: people now no longer need to travel to Canberra to obtain a passport. The passports are still processed by the Embassy but now the Embassy staff comes to each of the states at set times to process the passports. This saves hundreds of dollars to people who need to renew or obtain Slovenian passports.

There is a growing group of new migrants from Slovenia who settled in Queensland in recent years. Do you have any contacts with this group? 

Yes, indeed. Migration now is very different. After the Second World War most Slovenians arrived either to Melbourne or Sydney. Some of those later moved to Queensland, which has a more pleasant climate than 'four-seasons-in-a-day' Melbourne. Not surprisingly, quite a few people originating from Primorska, the warm, coastal part of Slovenia, opted to live in Queensland.

These days Slovenian migrants often move directly to Queensland, the state often perceived as exotic. I am not aware of any organised group of these new migrants but I do have contacts with quite a few of them.

While a cluster of Slovenians is denser around Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast, Slovenians have found their home also in Townsville, Hervey Bay and other areas of Queensland. I wish to connect with all of them. Everybody is welcome to get in touch with me or come to the office for a chat.

What projects have you set in motion in the first year in office? What other projects are you planning to realise in the future?

There are regular consular tasks to be performed, such as answering enquiries and assisting with forms and information mainly about passports and citizenship. In addition to these there are certain activities that are either initiated by the Embassy or by us, the Consuls.
For example, in the first year the Embassy and the Consuls established a Slovenian Australian Chamber of Commerce. We expect that the foundation of this organisation will play an important role in the future economic relationship between Slovenia and Australia. One of the main aims of the Chamber is to join forces of interested parties in lobbying both governments for legislative changes in order to increase trade and investments between Australia and Slovenia.

Additionally, I have, with a few other enthusiasts, initiated an ambitious project of establishing, or perhaps re-establishing, learning of the Slovenian language in Queensland. There was a 'Slovenian school' in 1980s for a short time, but since then there has been a huge gap. Last year some interest to rekindle the school emerged. We took it quite seriously, of course on the basis of interest among  students. A project like this certainly has a few challenges in Queensland because of the size of the state and its scattered population. We have established three core locations at the moment: Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast. Occasionally, if appropriate, we offer classes over Skype. Both clubs have been very supportive. The Gold Coast classes are held at the Lipa club. Planinka often hosts bigger events in relation to the project. Classes are more or less individualised and are held for adults and for children. They can join at any time.

How would you like to see the Slovenian community develop in the future?

To start with, I would like to see another club established on the north side of Brisbane, around Sunshine Coast. As said earlier there are enough Slovenians living in this area for this to happen.
The Slovenian community in Queensland has a core comprising migrants who arrived after the WWII. Those Slovenians have established the clubs with their heart and have played a vital role in retaining the spirit of Slovenia within the community to-date. Some of them came to Australia due to political purges, some might not have liked the then system and some simply applied for an Australian visa and got it.

The new migrants, let's say people arriving to Queensland in the last eight to ten years, have different reasons for coming. Some might have been disillusioned with the system in Slovenia. The economic situation was and still is hard. These people have different ambitions. They are often highly educated and obtain straight away very good positions in the Australian society.

But there is a gap between the two groups. I believe that with tolerance and mutual respect and understanding we can obtain better cooperation. We need this cooperation to be better heard as the Slovenian community in the Australian society. For example we could join forces to represent the community at various multicultural festivals and events or perhaps organise a Slovenian Cultural Day.

Above I mentioned the Slovenian language learning project in Queensland. For this purpose, the teachers are in the process of registering an Association of the Slovenian Language and Culture Queensland. We have specifically decided to include the word 'culture' in the name as this gives us much broader scope of work within the community and promoting Slovenia externally to the community. The first president of the new Association is Mrs Jerneja Svetičič..

Do you have any business ties with Slovenia? What are your views on the trade exchange between Slovenia and Australia? What would be your advice to a company in Slovenia that wishes to sell its products in Australia?

We do not have a subsidiary of Pocket Books in Slovenia. We looked into it many years ago. As far as I remember we found out that one firm in Slovenia obtained, at that time, the sole right for producing directories and/or publishing phone numbers. This might be different now. There would have been also a question of the double taxation if we pursued the option.

I looked into statistics of trade between Slovenia and Queensland. From what I could see, there is about AU$1 million monthly exchange trade. This is not good enough. I believe more could and should be done.

There are also opportunities with tourism. For example, I have had a few people asking me for tourist information as they were travelling to Slovenia for holiday. I was of course very happy to provide as much as I could. Slovenia generally exports more to Australia than imports from Australia. We should be active in the area of high-tech and innovation cooperation.

Companies that want to sell to Australia can ask for advice from SPIRIT in Slovenia. They can also contact the Slovenian Australian Chamber of Commerce, the Embassy or the Consuls. Of course, they should also do their own other research of the market, especially regarding the demand for and saturation of their product or services in Australia.

Thank you for the interview.


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Gorenje is back to Australia!

Yesterday I found an interesting advertisement in my email box: I was offered a $100 voucher with every purchase of Gorenje appliances (which can no longer be called white goods!). Gorenje is back to Australia!

When I first moved to Australia in the 90s, I got myself a second-hand Gorenje washing machine. It had its quirks: when spinning it ‘walked’ and if I opened the front door when it stopped working I had a flood in the laundry. It took me a while to learn that when it stopped I had to manually start the spinning cycle to complete the process. But actually it was quite a good and reliable washing machine and served me well for almost seven years when the seal needed replacing and nobody in Sydney could do it. By 2000, Gorenje no longer sold its washing machines on the Australian market.

Now Gorenje is here again. They have their Australian website and apparently their products are sold only online.

In the last twenty years, Gorenje has come a long way: their appliances look modern and some of them come in a range of colours: orange, red and black washing machines and condenser dryers definitely look different! The Australian consumers will decide whether they want their laundries painted red or not, but the news that Gorenje is back is very good.