Today I announce the appointment of Mr Roderick Brazier as Australia's next High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.

Australia's warm relationship with Solomon Islands is based on shared values, common regional interests and enduring links.  Australia is Solomon Islands' largest development partner with our assistance valued at $170 million in 2015-16. Our assistance is focused on maintaining stability, boosting economic growth, health and education. Solomon Islands is Australia's third largest bilateral aid program worldwide.

We also share strong commercial links that have seen steady growth in our two-way trade over the past five years. Australian companies are strong investors in Solomon Islands' banking, agriculture, mining, tourism and insurance industries.

The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) has been led by Australia since 2003, in partnership with 15 Pacific neighbours. RAMSI has brought stability to Solomon Islands and is recognised internationally as a model of strong multi-country security collaboration. Next year, Australia will transition to a new phase of support as RAMSI draws down, while continuing to work in partnership with Solomon Islands to promote peace and security.

Mr Brazier is a career public servant and was most recently seconded as Deputy Director-General to the Office of National Assessments (ONA), a position he held since 2014. In Canberra he has served as First Assistant Secretary, East Asia Division (DFAT); Assistant Director General, Indonesia and East Timor Branch, AusAID; and Senior Adviser, International Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He previously spent 10 years working for the Asia Foundation in Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Mr Brazier holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Asian Studies from Griffith University and a Masters of Arts from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He is expected to take up his position in December 2016.

I thank outgoing High Commissioner Andrew Byrne for his significant contribution to advancing Australia's relationship with Solomon Islands since 2013.

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