MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA 102

20 August 1997

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: AMBASSADOR TO THAILAND

I have today announced the appointment of Mr William Norman Fisher as Australian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand.

Mr Fisher will replace Mr Cavan Hogue, who has been Ambassador since August 1994 and who will leave Thailand early in December.

Australia and Thailand have a long-standing and close relationship, spanning trade and investment, education, parliamentary links, defence cooperation, tourism and development assistance. Thailand is Australia’s twelfth largest export destination, with two-way trade valued at approximately $2.7 billion. Thailand is a key member of ASEAN, and has been supportive of Australia’s regional interests. It was a co-founder, with Australia, of the Cairns Group of countries.

Mr Fisher is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He joined the then Department of External Affairs in 1968 and subsequently served in Geneva as Third Secretary, Vientiane as Second Secretary, New Caledonia as Consul-General, New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) as Consul-General, Tehran as Charge d’Affaires, Honolulu as Consul-General and as Ambassador to Israel from 1990 to 1993. Mr Fisher was First Assistant Secretary, Defence Branch, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1987 to 1988. In 1988 Mr Fisher returned to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Assistant Secretary, Executive Branch, from 1989 to 1990 he was Principal Adviser, Americas and Europe Branch. From 1994 to 1995 Mr Fisher was First Assistant Secretary, International Organisations and Legal Division, from 1995 to 1996 he was First Assistant Secretary, Consular Programs and Security Division and from 1996 to 1997 he was First Assistant Secretary, Public Affairs & Consular Division.

Mr Fisher holds a Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University. He was born in Canberra in 1946 and is married with one child.

Mr Fisher is expected to take up his appointment in December 1997.

SUVA