Ambassador to Brazil

Media release

12 February 2014

Mr Patrick Lawless
Mr Patrick Lawless

Today I announce the appointment of Mr Patrick Lawless as Australia's next Ambassador to Brazil.

Mr Lawless is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has previously served as Ambassador to Portugal and as Ambassador to Poland, with earlier postings to Moscow, Pretoria and Paris. He was most recently Head of the Department's Resources, Competitiveness and Trade Analysis Branch.

Mr Lawless speaks Portuguese and is a graduate of the University of New South Wales and London School of Economics.

The Australia-Brazil diplomatic relationship was established in 1945 and has been further strengthened by the announcement of a strategic partnership in June 2012. Over 100 Australian companies now operate in Brazil, making it a key regional focus for the Government's economic diplomacy.

Brazil is the largest source of foreign students from Latin America, with more than 15,000 Brazilians studying in Australia in 2012. Over 3,800 Brazilian students have been placed in Australian universities under Brazil's Science without Borders programme. Two-way merchandise trade in 2012 was A$1.6 billion.

Australian and Brazilian foreign and trade policy interests coincide in a number of important areas, such as agricultural trade liberalisation, global governance and international security. We cooperate closely in the World Trade Organisation and G20 as well as at the United Nations.

He is expected to take up his appointment this month, replacing Mr Brett Hackett.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555