Today I announce the appointment of Ms Jenny Da Rin as Australia's next High Commissioner to Vanuatu.
Australia's relationship with Vanuatu is close and longstanding, built on strong people-to-people and business links. More than 200,000 Australian tourists visit Vanuatu each year and Australia is one of the largest sources of foreign investment ($112 million in 2015).
Over 2,700 ni-Vanuatu have been employed in Australia through the Seasonal Worker Programme – the second highest contributor to the programme. We enjoy two-way educational exchange, with more than 40 Australian undergraduate students studying and working in Vanuatu since 2015 and 15 ni-Vanuatu to study in Australia and the region with an Australia Award in 2017.
Our countries work closely on a range of regional and international issues, including through our memberships of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Commonwealth and the United Nations. Key areas of engagement include promoting regional stability and economic prosperity, action on climate change, and disaster risk reduction in the Pacific.
Australia is Vanuatu's largest bilateral aid donor, providing $61 million in official development assistance in 2015-16 to support infrastructure, economic governance, education, health, and law and justice. We also committed an additional $50 million in 2014-15 to help Vanuatu recover from Tropical Cyclone Pam.
Ms Da Rin is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Assistant Secretary, Pacific Bilateral & New Zealand Branch. She also served as Senior Adviser to the Minister for Defence (2010) and Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs (2009-10).
Ms Da Rin holds a Master of Laws from the Australian National University and is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is expected to take up her appointment in January 2017.
I thank outgoing High Commissioner Mr Jeremy Bruer for his significant contribution to advancing Australia's interests in Vanuatu since 2012.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555