The Australian Embassy in Kathmandu, in conjunction with freelance journalist Miriam Fisher, has released a book to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Nepal.

The book, Celebrating 50 Years of Australian Mountaineering Feats and Friendships in Nepal, tells the stories of nine notable Australians whose achievements on the mountains are matched by their achievements as friends of Nepal.

Australian Ambassador to Nepal, Her Excellency Ms Susan Grace, said: "This book honours a special group of Australians who have made their mark through mountaineering achievements, as well as the special friendships forged with the people of Nepal through philanthropic works."

Australians have had a longstanding fascination with Nepal, and last year over 15,000 visited the Himalayan nation, many making a return trip to experience more of the country's fascinating landscape, its culture and people.

One of the great contributions noted in the book is that of Foundation Ambassador and dearly departed friend, mountaineer Sue Fear.

Sue, who died in May 2006 after summiting Mount Manaslu, was a passionate fundraiser and never relented in her work to bring the people of Nepal and Australia closer together.

Another friend and long term supporter of The Foundation, Tim Macartney-Snape, also features in the book, which includes a moving forward by the amazing Dr Sanduk Ruit.

Dr Ruit heads up The Foundation's partner organisation, the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, and has personally performed over 100,000 sight saving operations.

>Find out more about The Foundation's work in Nepal.