Embassy of Finland to Australia

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Finnish Embassy in Canberra The Embassy of Finland and Estonia to Australia May 2016.jpg
Location Yarralumla, Canberra
Address 7 Darwin Avenue, Yarralumla ACT 2600, Australia
Ambassador Lars Backström
Website Official website

The Embassy of Finland to the Commonwealth of Australia is Finland's diplomatic mission to Australia. The mission is also accredited to New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. As it is the only Finnish Embassy in the Southern Pacific region (Oceania) in practice the Embassy also represents Finland in its relations with other Pacific island states in the region (Nauru, Tuvalu as well as the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau).


Finland first established a consulate in Sydney in 1918. In these early years, the consulate, apart from providing consular services, also played the role of a social club for the Australian Finnish community. After relations become tense between Finland and Great Britain in 1941, as a result of the Continuation War between the Soviet Union and Finland, representatives of the Finnish government returned to their home country.

In 1949, Finland and Australia began diplomatic relations. The relationship between the two countries was quickly established after the war and ties between Australia and Finland became stronger and deeper. In the 1950s, Finnish exports doubled from the previous decade. The Consulate of Finland remained in Sydney until 1966 when it was moved to the capital city of Canberra, and in 1968 the first Finnish ambassador was appointed. The Finnish embassy was built in Yarralumla in 1978, adjacent to the Singaporean and Indonesian missions.

Flag at the Finnish embassy, Canberra.


In 2002 a distinctively built annex was built, designed by Finnish architect Vesa Huttunen of Hirvonen and Huttunen who won the commission in a 1997 competition. The annex houses the chancery, a residence for the Counsellor and a Finnish sauna. The 1978 building now serves as the Ambassadorial residence.

The building appears as a long, sleek box of stainless steel and glass, neatly complemented by the overhang of indigenous eucalyptus trees. Named Ilmarinen after the Finnish armoured naval vessel (in turn named after the blacksmith hero in the Finnish national epic Kalevala), the building has the spatial feel of a ship. Offices sit like cabins lined up along the side of the building, connected by walkways overlooking an atrium. The facade of the chancery building is made entirely of glass. Interior steel I-beams and stainless steel padding is used alongside recycled jarrah timber external decks and stair treads which look as if they came from a disused wharf (actually they originate from Australian sheep stations). Ilmarinen was granted a special prize in the annual architectural competition held in the Australian Capital Territory in the summer of 2003.[1][2]

The Estonian embassy to Australia has been located in the Finnish embassy's building since August 2015.[3]

Finnish Ambassadors to Australia[edit]

History of Finnish Ambassadors to Australia[4]
Name Residing city Service
Tuure Mentula Canberra 1969–1975
Åke Backström Canberra 1975–1980
Veikko Huttunen Canberra 1980–1983
Osmo Lares Canberra 1983–1987
Ulf-Erik Slotte Canberra 1987–1991
Charles Murto Canberra 1991–1996
Esko Hamilo Canberra 1996–2001
Anneli Puura-Märkälä Canberra 2001–2005
Glen Lindholm Canberra 2005–2009
Maija Lähteenmäki Canberra 2009–2013
Pasi Patokallio Canberra 2013–2016
Lars Backström Canberra 2016–


The embassy is located in Darwin Avenue at Yarralumla, ACT, Australia. In addition to the Embassy, there are 8 honorary consulates in various cities around Australia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yarralumla Diplomatic Estate Tour, National Capital Authority
  2. ^ http://www.archmedia.com.au/aa/aaissue.php?issueid=200201&article=10&typeon=2 Frith, John, Canberra's New Finnish Embassy, Architecture Australia, January/February 2002
  3. ^ "Embassy in Canberra". Estonian Embassy in Canberra. Estonian Embassy in Canberra. Retrieved 22 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "History". Embassy of Finland, Canberra. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 

Coordinates: 35°18′11″S 149°06′57″E / 35.30294°S 149.11571°E / -35.30294; 149.11571