MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
25 October 1999
Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to New Zealand
I have today announced the appointment of Mr Robert Cotton as Australia's High Commissioner to New Zealand.
Mr Cotton will replace Mr Geoff Miller AO who has been High Commissioner since January 1996. Mr Miller will be retiring at the end of this appointment after a long and distinguished career in the public service.
Australia's relationship with New Zealand is of the first order of importance. The two countries share a common heritage and links between Australian and New Zealand societies continue to deepen and broaden. These links are reflected in well-developed inter-governmental cooperation and consultation across a full range of issues, a process which the 1983 Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement and associated arrangements has greatly strengthened. New Zealand is now Australia's sixth largest trading partner and fourth largest export market. Both countries work closely together in pursuit of their shared interests in the Asia-Pacific region and more broadly internationally.
Mr Cotton is an experienced career diplomat whose background and previous experience makes his appointment as High Commissioner to New Zealand particularly appropriate.
Mr Cotton, currently High Commissioner in Kuala Lumpur, joined the Department in 1967. He served as Second Secretary, Pretoria (1968-71), First Secretary/Counsellor, Tokyo (1973-76), Deputy High Commissioner, Kuala Lumpur (1983-85), High Commissioner, Colombo (1985-88) and Ambassador to Fiji (1988-91). In Canberra he was Head of United States Section (1980), Director of Staffing, Language Training and Head of Mission Section (1981-82), Assistant Secretary, International Organisations Branch (1991-92) and First Assistant Secretary, Corporate Management Division (1993-97). He commenced his current assignment in April 1997.
Mr Cotton has an economics degree from the University of Sydney and a Masters degree from the University of Colorado. He was born in 1943 in Broken Hill and is married with three daughters. He is a Fellow of the Society of Certified Practising Accountants.
Mr Cotton is expected to take up his appointment in February
Ministerial - Innes Willox (02) 6277 7500
Departmental - Matt Francis (02) 6261 1555
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