Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Media Release


25 July 1995

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Jordan

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Gareth Evans, today announced the appointment of Ms Merry Wickes as Australian Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with non-resident accreditation to the Republic of Tunisia.

Ms Wickes will replace Mr Jonathan Sheppard, who has been Ambassador since August 1992.

Senator Evans said Jordan was a key country in terms of the outlook for the Middle East. Under the wise and courageous leadership of His Majesty King Hussein, Jordan had concluded an historic peace treaty with Israel. The Kingdom was continuing to play an indispensable part in bringing the overall peace process towards a successful outcome. Within the region, Jordan had led by example in areas such as democratic institution-building, human rights and sound economic management.

The bilateral relationship between Australia and Jordan was characterised by warm and constructive dealings across a range of areas. Commercial ties were strong, and growing. Australia and Jordan worked closely together in the multilateral tracks of the peace process dealing with arms control and regional security, and water resources. Australian archaeologists had cooperated closely with their Jordanian counterparts for many years.

Ms Wickes is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1976 and has served in Geneva (UN), Dhaka and New York (UN). From 1982 to 1983 she was an Exchange Officer with the Department of Defence and in 1986 she attended the Joint Services Staff College. From 1991 to 1992 Ms Wickes was Regional Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Regional Office in Adelaide, and for the past two and a half years she has been the Australian Director in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat in Singapore.

Ms Wickes is expected to take up her appointment in December 1995.