Following the Estonian National Anthem and a commemoration of the events of 1989 - the Singing Revolution, excitement reigned when we heard that Tõnis M was going to address the gathering. While it would have been good to welcome Tõnis Mägi and have a rendition of Palve or Koit we were equally pleased to have the esteemed and well regarded Tartu University Professor Tõnis Mets provide an interesting account on entrepreneurship in Estonia today.
Tõnis is a Marie Curie Research Fellow currently working at the Queensland University of Technology and has an impressive list of credentials, qualifications and experience. He has been the Head of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Tartu, a Director of Technology Centre VEMO 1989-1991 during the singing revolution, an Electronics Engineer, an inventor and a businessman to list just a few of his accomplishments. He provided useful insights into facts and fallacies regarding Estonian business performance and entrepreneurial accomplishments. Utilising statistics and using examples of Estonian Global Startups such as "Mobisolutions", "Defendec" and "Click& Grow" he demonstrated that the growing intensity of such Estonian businesses indicate the maturity of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Estonia. In contrast to the pessimism offered in some quarters his talk suggests very much an optimistic outlook for Estonia and its economy. Really one could only say Eesti edasi and echo President Ilves – elagu Eesti.
Following the serious overtones of the learned Professor the Estonian band "First Take" made an encore performance. Mait Seger and Ave Teeääre are talented performers and first impressed with their recent appearance at the jaanipäeva celebrations here in Brisbane. Singing and providing an animated and comical routine with their puppets the "First Take" enthralled young and old alike. If you haven't seen their performance you have certainly missed a couple of very talented Estonian performers.
Traditional coffee, cake and of course kringel followed. It is always a treat to see our beloved Kertu Ehala walk in the door with one of her mouth watering sensations.
In September we look forward to an afternoon of traditional Baltic Music at 2 pm on Saturday 13th at the Latvian House. Our Baltic Choir comprises members of all three Baltic Nations and songs from all three countries including the Estonian songs – "Palve" and "Eesti Lipp" will be performed. The next day, Sunday the 14th sees the Scandinavian Festival of Brisbane welcome not only another performance from this choir but Estonia's inaugural foray into the celebration of all things Scandinavian. Estonia will feature along with Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland in a celebration of all things which make our Northern European Homelands so dear to us all. Food, fashion, design, art entertainment and shopping will feature and we look forward to the day. A special feature will be a re-enactment of the Baltic Chain as the choir sings "Palve". We certainly do pray during these days of uncertainty in the Ukraine - "Et looja hoiaks Maarjamaad".