Miguel Palomino de la Gala has lived in Canberra since December 2015, with his wife Teresita, and, after four years, feels like a true Canberran. Since his arrival, he has worked hard to strengthen relations between Australia and Peru: in 2018 the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement was signed in Canberra and came into effect on 11 February 2020. He is a career diplomat and lawyer and holds a Bachelor of Laws and Political Science and a Bachelor Degree in Arts and International Relations. His particular field of experience is multilateral policy, sustainable development and energy. He has worked in a variety of roles in the USA, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Russia and Spain, as President of the Bureau of the Adelboden Group on Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in Mountains, at the United Nations as Chairman of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, and as the Minister of Energy and Mines in Peru.
Peru and its history have often intertwined with Australia, and has been a vital part of exploring the relationship between the two countries. I love Machu Picchu; it symbolises the excellent technical skill and productivity of the Inca Empire in its apogee. It is surrounded by beautiful and impressive mountain peaks and words fall short when trying to describe this place.
My dog Charles was born in Sydney on the day my wife and I arrived in Australia. A Jack Russell-Chihuahua cross, he understands English and Spanish, and his beauty and age are a testament to the time that we have spent here in Australia.
FREE TRADE WITH AUSTRALIA
Australia’s first silver coins, the ‘holey dollar’, were created from a Spanish silver dollar minted in Mexico in 1805 and Peru in 1810. This signifies Australia’s prosperous trade relations with Peru. Since 2018, the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and Peru has provided greater access to goods, resources and services.
One of the most varied and exquisite in the world, Peruvian cuisine is the result of fusion of Peruvian and Spanish cuisine, and customs brought from the Atlantic coast of sub-Saharan Africa and France. My favourite is ceviche made by Sharon Ruiz, chef of the Residence of the Embassy of Peru.
Pisco is an important part Peru’s identity and culture. Not only is it a delicious and refreshing alcoholic beverage, but the diverse array of aromas and flavours of its grapes mirror the diversity and richness of Peruvian culture. The Pisco Sour is my favourite cocktail, especially when made by my wife Teresita.
More my favourite things: