The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Victoria State Office (DFAT-VSO), led by its new director Tim Kane, organized on 24-25 May 2023 the 2023 Consular Corps Tour to regional Victoria, with a focus on the City of Greater Bendigo, some 150 km northwest of Melbourne.

The diverse economy of Bendigo consists of a strong manufacturing and mining, a growing retail sector, professional services, finance and education.

Bendigo flourished during the gold rush from 1851 when alluvial gold was discovered by two women in a nearby stream. Between 1851 and 1954, Bendigo produced over 700,000 kg of gold estimated at AUD65 billion in today’s price.

Members of the Consular Corps with Bendigo Mayor Andrea Metcalf (fourth from left) and members of the City Council at the historic Mackenzie Quarters.

The participating members of the Consular Corps visited Seascape, a world-leading manufacturer of mining safety equipment; Thales, a subsidiary of the French defence technology conglomerate producing armoured vehicles; MSD Animal Health, a global research-driven company into veterinary medicines and services; Bendigo Airport; The Mill in Castlemaine, a large food and artisan manufacturing precinct; Heathcote wine region; Bendigo Art Gallery and Djuwima First Nations Gallery.

During a lunch at the historic Mackenzie Quarters, Greater Bendigo Mayor Andrea Metcalf affirmed the contribution of Bendigo to Australian economy, estimated at an AUD18.6 billion annually, with the value of exports at AUD5.89 billion.

DFAT-VSO’s annual regional tour is part of its Economic Diplomacy Program.

Top photo shows the Consular Corps visiting the Seascape. Below: At the Djuwima First Nations Gallery.


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