MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA 110

22 September 1997

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: AMBASSADOR FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

I have today announced the appointment of Ms Meg McDonald as Ambassador for the Environment.

Ms McDonald will replace Mr Howard Bamsey, who has been Ambassador since May 1995.

The principal functions of the Ambassador for the Environment include promoting Australia's national interests and policies on global environment issues overseas and in Australia, representing the Government at international conferences and negotiations on the environment and providing policy advice to Government on international environment issues. Reflecting these responsibilities, Ms McDonald will report to the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio Ministers and the Minister for the Environment.

Ms McDonald's appointment reflects the Government's commitment to ensuring that within the international effort to address global environmental issues Australia's national interests would be protected.

Ms McDonald is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She joined the Commonwealth Public Service in 1978. Ms McDonald has served overseas as First Secretary, later Counsellor in the Australian Permanent Mission in Geneva from 1987 to 1990. During 1992 to 1994 Ms McDonald was Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade on trade, aid and environment matters and subsequently Trade Policy Adviser to the Minister for Trade on Uruguay Round issues, APEC and other areas of trade strategy. From 1995 to 1996 Ms McDonald was the Assistant Secretary, Environment and Antarctic Branch and most recently has been Assistant Secretary, Climate Change Task Force, International Organisations and Legal Division.

Ms McDonald is a graduate of the University of New South Wales.

Ms McDonald is expected to take up her appointment in September 1997.