Today I announce the appointment of Dr Brendon Hammer as Australia's next Ambassador to Austria, with non-resident accreditation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Kosovo, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Australia enjoys warm relations with Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Kosovo, Slovakia and Slovenia. We cooperate closely on a range of multilateral issues, such as human rights, security, non-proliferation, counter-terrorism and law enforcement.
Our two-way investment with Austria was valued at over $7 billion in 2015, with Austrian investment in machinery, oil production, infrastructure, communication systems and the electrical industry. Austrian market opportunities for Australian businesses include tourism, biotech, financial services, education, research and innovation.
Vienna is a centre for multilateral activity in nuclear non-proliferation and the safe and secure application of civil nuclear technology. Dr Hammer will be Australia's Governor on the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Permanent Representative to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation Preparatory Commission (CTBTO). He will be accredited to the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Dr Hammer is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He has served overseas as Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo with an earlier posting to Washington. In DFAT, he was most recently First Assistant Secretary, Americas Division. He has also served as Assistant Secretary, Parliamentary and Media Branch and Head of the Iraq Taskforce. Dr Hammer was also Deputy Director-General at the Office of National Assessments from 2004 to 2009 and Assistant Secretary, Defence, Intelligence and Security Branch, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Dr Hammer holds a PhD in chemistry from the Australian National University. He is expected to take up his appointment in October 2016.
I thank outgoing Ambassador David Stuart for his contribution to advancing Australia's interests in the region since 2012 and in the IAEA and the UN, in particular on drug and crime issues.
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