Today I announce the appointment of five new board members to the Council on Australia Latin America Relations (COALAR).

Australia enjoys productive and warm relations across Latin America. COALAR was established under the Howard Government in 2001 and works to enhance engagement and understanding between Australia and Latin America. It plays a key role in enhancing Australia’s economic, political, sporting, scientific and cultural relations with Latin America, including through a competitive grants program.

The new members - Ms Natalie Collard, Dr Robyn Eversole, Mr David McLoughlin, Mr Nigel Warren and Mr Rob Whiddon - bring a range of skills and experience to COALAR to assist in strengthening and consolidating Australia’s relationships with Latin America. These prominent Australians will join current Chair Chris Gale, and board members Jane McKeon and Giovanna Webb.

Ms Collard’s experience in rural and agricultural business and innovation will support COALAR’s work in rural development, leadership and innovation. Dr Eversole, Director of the Institute for Regional Development at the University of Tasmania, brings extensive experience working with industry, government and community organisations across regional Australia and Latin America.

Mr McLoughlin, Senior Vice President People and Global Capability, Woodside, has valuable mining and energy experience, including on the ground in South America. Mr Warren, General Manager Global, CSIRO and Mr Whiddon, former Managing Director of Trade and Investment Queensland, bring extensive expertise in government, trade and investment to the Australia-Latin America commercial relationship.

I thank outgoing members Robyn Archer AO, Christian Bennett, Dr Anna Ciccarelli, Victor Perton and Tim McLennan for their service.

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