Today I will open Australia’s first Consulate-General in Makassar, South Sulawesi.

Australia is committed to building our trade and investment partnership with Indonesia and expanding our people-to-people links. The Consulate-General will deepen our business, education and cultural links with the provinces of eastern Indonesia.

Eastern Indonesia is an increasingly popular destination for Australian trade and investment, particularly in the resources, agribusiness and food processing sectors. Urbanisation and a growing middle class in the region’s cities are generating new opportunities for economic partnership between Australia and Indonesia, including in infrastructure, investment, tourism and education.

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Richard Mathews as Australia's first Consul-General in Makassar.

Mr Mathews is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently the Director of the Nuclear Policy Section. He has previously served overseas as Deputy Representative, Australian Commerce and Industry Office, Taipei; Deputy Head of Mission in Athens; and as Second Secretary in Bandar Seri Begawan. In Canberra, Mr Mathews has worked in the India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Europe sections.

He has also worked as a Director at the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies; Indonesia Director in the Northern Territory Government; and as a Visiting Fellow and Indonesia Merdeka Fellow at ANU.

Mr Mathews holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Diploma of Education from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from the Australian National University, and is fluent in Indonesian.

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