One Year On – Reflecting on my Service for Zambia in Canberra

By Dr Elias Munshya

Today marks a significant milestone – precisely one year since I arrived in Canberra, Australia, to assume the role of leading the Zambia High Commission. Reflecting on this journey, my heart is filled with gratitude and a resolute sense of humility. I extend my heartfelt appreciation to His Excellency, President Dr Hakainde Hichilema, and the people of Zambia for bestowing this child from Chiwempala the esteemed opportunity to serve in this office. My unwavering commitment to my role here in Canberra remains as steadfast as it was on that first day.

Over the past year, we have made significant progress with God’s help, and I am entirely devoted to further advancing these accomplishments. Our focal points have encompassed inspiring and connecting with the Zambian community in Australia and New Zealand and beyond, fostering robust economic and cultural ties, and fortifying diplomatic relations.

Throughout this journey, we have been privileged to engage with business leaders, Zambian and non-Zambian, keenly interested in investing in Zambia. Our interactions span mining firms, agricultural enterprises, manufacturing, healthcare, import and export, education, and more. Our endeavours have aimed to spotlight Zambia’s stability and the allure of our nation as an appealing investment hub.

Revitalising the Australia-Zambia Business Council has been a considered move to invigorate economic ties and enhance collaboration. I pay a great tribute to the interim board of the Council for making progress this past year. The future can only be brighter.

A profound source of pride lies in the authentic connections we’ve cultivated within our community. We’ve engaged with individuals spanning different age groups – children, youth, and adults – across six Australian states and territories. While we anticipate connecting with Zambians in the Northern Territory and Tasmania, our virtual engagement with Zambians in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands has also been significant. We have embraced the opportunity to attend church events organised by Zambians in Auckland, Sydney, or Perth. Addressing the concerns of our fellow citizens has remained paramount.

We’ve proactively discussed and tackled passports, dual nationality, and national registration card challenges. Our commitment to transparent and timely responses underscores our unwavering dedication to the well-being of our people. Witnessing the passion that Zambians have for our country has been truly inspiring. This passion fuels my service and motivates me to strive for excellence continually. Though only a year has passed, much more will come. Our outreach transcends the boundaries of Zambia.

We’ve actively participated in events within the broader African community, solidifying our role as not just representatives of Zambia but also as advocates for all Africans in Australia and New Zealand. Our efforts have brought our contributions to Australia and New Zealand to the forefront.

Notwithstanding our geographical distance, hosting high-level government delegations (including the Speaker of the National Assembly and cabinet ministers), representing Zambia at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, and nurturing partnerships with Zambian associations have collectively elevated awareness of our nation’s presence and contributions to this pacific and Oceania region. Zambians in Aotearoa rose to the occasion and organised historical support for our Copper Queens, a feat that will be appreciated for years.

Engaging with Australian and New Zealand government officials has allowed us to share the vibrant story of Zambia and highlight the potential for collaboration and mutual growth. During this time, we have promoted Zambian culture with great pride. Personally, the motto of One Zambia One Nation has come alive for me through my deliberate choice to wear and promote the siziba, a truly Zambian outfit. This act symbolises our commitment to representing our nation’s culture globally.

Our diplomatic network has expanded as we have connected with fellow ambassadors in Canberra and received visits from other envoys at the chancery. The collective effort of collaboration enriches our ability to serve our respective nations better.

None of these achievements would have materialised without the dedication and relentless efforts of the remarkable team I have the privilege to work alongside here in Canberra. I extend my profound gratitude to them for their unwavering support. Additionally, our work as diplomats is due to the many other team members in Lusaka who ensure that we receive the support and the necessary approvals to do our work – the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the two Permanent Secretaries, the directors and assistant directors, and the countless network of fellow ministry of foreign affairs colleagues around the world. Challenges are many but are manageable.

As we look ahead, the future of our country is undoubtedly bright. Our commitment to service remains unwavering, and I look forward to continuing this journey with the same enthusiasm and dedication.  


Dr Elias Munshya is Zambia’s High Commissioner to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands.


  1. Congratulations your Excellency, Ambassador Dr. Elias Munshya on this important milestone… thank you for the work you are doing for Zambia and thank you for showing gratitude. God continue showering you with more wisdom!

  2. Congratulations ambassador. Remaining connected as a community of people and nations has always given birth to greater achievements. It was fulfilling particularly to see how the Zambian community supported the copper queens. All the best.

Leave a Reply