Foreign Minister Julie Bishop today announced the appointment of Mr Sean Kelly as Australia's next Consul-General in Chennai.
Mr Kelly will be replacing Mr David Holly as Consul-General.
Mr Kelly is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and has previously served overseas as Australia's Consul-General in Guangzhou; Counsellor (Public Affairs and Culture), Australian Embassy, Beijing; Deputy Representative, Australian Commerce and Industry Office, Taipei; and Second Secretary in Hanoi. He was most recently Director of the India Political and Regional Section and before that the Defence, Strategy and Regional Security Section.
Mr Kelly has worked in the private sector as a trade consultant in Asia, as well as in several other government departments, including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and in Austrade.
Mr Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Modern Asian Studies from Griffith University, a Graduate Diploma in (Strategic Studies) from the Joint Services Staff College, and a Master of International Law from the Australian National University. He was also a Fellow at the East-West Center.
Mr Kelly will have responsibility for the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and the union territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Puducherry, which collectively contribute more than a quarter of India's GDP.
Engagement with South India is crucial to building Australia's Strategic Partnership with India. India is Australia's fifth largest export market, with South India being a primary export destination. Close to half of the $11 billion invested from India into Australia has come South India, mainly in resources.
Links with South India's knowledge economy are growing rapidly, particularly in the areas of education, science, space and IT. Cooperation on combatting people smuggling is strong. Indian Ocean, cultural and people-to-people linkages are also driving closer engagement with South India.
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