Australia's links with Portugal dating back 500 years were celebrated over the weekend though song, dance, feast and a history lesson.
The return of the bi-annual Portuguese Festival to Warrnambool signalled what mayor Richard Ziegeler said was the return of events to the city after the pandemic lockdowns and summer Omicron wave.
"It is starting to feel like we're opening up," he said.
Ambassador of Portugal in Australia Antonio Pedro Rodrigues de Silva said he had been in Australia for three years but this was his first trip to Warrnambool and the festival.
"It's even emotional, after two years," he said.
"You really could feel this positive energy because people were finally about to be together."
On Saturday, the festival kicked off with a talk at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum by Dr Carlos Pereira de Lemos followed by a dinner.
Sunday's festivities began with a mass at the Portuguese monument at Cannon Hill, followed by lunch and dancing at a community event at Lake Pertobe.
"Warrnambool is, of course, a celebration of the Portuguese community but also it's symbolic value," Mr de Silva said.
He said it built bridges between cultures and civilisations represented by the navigators of 500 years ago.
"We don't really need definitive proof of the evidence on the arrival of this particular navigator, Cristovao de Mendonca, and eventually others," he said.
"Historians agree that in those days, and the particular geopolitics of the 16th century, discoveries of new territories was a matter of state and state secret.
"So we don't really need to wait for the definitive evidence that this was the case.
"For us, this quest to prove 'this' or 'that'. We leave it to the historians to decide, although, of course we are absolutely convinced that that was the case."
He said he was not a specialist of historian, but the Portuguese were mapping the unknown world and new lands in the 1500s.
"It was quite obvious that they would have been aware of the big island continent of Australia," he said.
Mr de Silva said there were about 60,000 people of Portuguese descent in Australia and there were festivals usually held in Sydney and Perth - two of the largest communities.
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