Australia–Germany relations are foreign relations between Australia and Germany. Germany has an embassy in Canberra and a consulate general in Sydney, as well as a number of honorary consulates throughout Australia. Australia has an embassy in Berlin and a consulate general in Frankfurt.
An early collision of Australian and German interests dates to the early 1880s, as both the German Empire and the elites of Britain's Australian colonies were interested in exploiting the resources of the island of New Guinea. Eventually, the north-eastern quarter of the island became a German protectorate in 1884 (German New Guinea), while Queensland annexed the southeastern quarter of the island to the British Empire in 1883. In 1902-1905, soon after the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia, this Territory of Papua was formally transferred under the Australian administration. Thus a land border between German and Australian colonial possessions came into existence, at least as a line on world maps. In practice, however, there was little if any colonial presence in the interior of the island, and the border remained mostly unsurveyed.
The two wars
As a member of the British Empire, Australia found itself at war with Germany in both World War I and World War II. Although the two countries are widely geographically separated, both wars involved some direct encounters between the two countries' militaries. Although Australians' best-remembered operation in WWI, the Gallipoli Campaign, was fought against the Turks, many Australian units faced Germans on the Western Front, while the small Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force fought Germans in the Pacific. At the conclusion of the war, an Australian delegation participated in the negotiating of the Treaty of Versailles, codifying the partitioning of the former German Empire among the winners. The Treaty of Versailles became the first international treaty signed by Australian representatives. Pursuant to the treaty, the former German New Guinea became Territory of New Guinea, administered by Australia under a League of Nations mandate. The remote isolated island of Nauru, which formerly had been administratively part of the German New Guinea, became a separate mandate territory - theoretically, under jointly administration of Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, but de facto run primarily by Australians.
In WWII, the Battle between HMAS Sydney and German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran in November 1941 resulted in the sinking of both ships; the Western Desert Campaign, including the Siege of Tobruk was an important land campaign with major German and Australian participation.
During both wars, German enemy aliens found in Australia at the outbreak of the war, were interned. Internee and PoW camps throughout Australia also housed a number of German sailors (from both the merchant marine and the navy), as well as German prisoners of wars brought from other theaters (primarily, north Africa).
German Empire has a consulate in Sydney since the late 19th century. The German consul, Carl Ludwig Sahl (1840-1897), who spent most of his life in the South Pacific region, received his acceptance by British authorities on October 18, 1872; he served in Sydney until his death in 1897, and was buried there.
Diplomatic relations between Australia and the Federal Republic of Germany started soon after the creation of the latter. In 1949, an Australian mission was established in Bonn, accredited to the Allied High Commission (the occupation government). In 1952, the mission was converted to an Australian embassy accredited to the FRG government.
Germany was a founding member of the European Union (EU). The EU and Australia have solid relations and increasingly see eye-to-eye on international issues. The EU-Australian relations are founded on a Partnership Framework, first agreed in 2008. It covers not just economic relations, but broader political issues and cooperation.
Trade between the 2 countries is sizable but heavily weighted to imports from Germany. In 2008, total two-way merchandise trade was valued at over A$13.4 billion, of which A$11.4 billion (85 per cent) were imports from Germany.
Australia and Germany share a number of other peace-time treaties. Prior to the EU, these included extradition treaties, joint aid, postal agreements, visa fees, assisted migration, taxation cooperation etc. In addition:
- In 1975, Germany and Australia agreed to launch a Skylark rocket from Woomera Test Range for scientific purposes. Three more were launched on 22 February, 13 March 1979, and 24 August 1987.
- In 1976, Australia and Germany agreed on terms for Scientific and Technological Cooperation.
- In 1979 Australia and Germany agreed to safeguard classified material to enable increased sharing of restricted information.
- German missions in Australia
- Treaty of Versailles 1919 (including Covenant of the League of Nations)
- Wartime internment camps in Australia
- The late German consul, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 April 1897
- The foreign officer list and diplomatic and consular hand book. January 1877, p. 290
- New German consul. Arrival in Sydney, The West Australian (Perth, WA), Wednesday 19 March 1924
- Statement by the Minister for External Affairs, the Rt Hon RG Casey, 28 January 1952
- Australia and Germany celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations in 2012
- Germany country brief
- “Exchange of Notes constituting an Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany concerning the Launching of a Skylark Vehicle and Payload at Woomera for Scientific Purposes. ATS 6 of 1975”. Australasian Legal Information Institute, Australian Treaties Library. Retrieved on 15 April 2017.
- “Exchange of Notes constituting an Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany concerning the Launching of Two Scientific Payloads from Woomera for Scientific Purposes. ATS 3 of 1979”. Australasian Legal Information Institute, Australian Treaties Library. Retrieved on 15 April 2017.
- “Exchange of Notes constituting an Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on the Launching of Sounding Rockets. ATS 12 of 1987”. Australasian Legal Information Institute, Australian Treaties Library. Retrieved on 15 April 2017.
- "Germany". www.astronautix.com. nautica. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
- "Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany on Scientific and Technological Cooperation ATS 28 of 1976 ". Australasian Legal Information Institute, Australian Treaties Library. Retrieved on 15 April 2017.
- "Exchange of Notes constituting an Agreement between the Government of Australia and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Reciprocal Safeguarding of Classified Material ATS 20 of 1979 ". Australasian Legal Information Institute, Australian Treaties Library. Retrieved on 15 April 2017.