MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA 111

22 September 1997

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: HIGH COMMISSIONER TO NIGERIA

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Matthew Neuhaus as Australia's High Commissioner to Nigeria, with non-resident accreditations to Ghana and the Gambia.

Mr Neuhaus will replace Mr Howard Brown, who has been High Commissioner since July 1993.

Mr Neuhaus' appointment comes at a time of growing Australian commercial engagement in West Africa, particularly in the mining industry. This provides mutually advantageous opportunities for both Australia and West Africa, in which Australian expertise and investment can contribute to longer term development in the region.

Mr Neuhaus commenced work with the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1982, and was placed in the Central and Southern Africa Section before appointment as Third Secretary in Nairobi from 1983 to 1985. His other overseas appointments have included Second Secretary in Port Moresby from 1988 to 1989, and First Secretary, later Counsellor, at the Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York from 1991 to 1994. In Canberra Mr Neuhaus has served in the Legal Office and as Director, Staffing Policy and Practices Section from 1994 to 1995 and Director, United Nations and Commonwealth Section from 1995 to present.

Mr Neuhaus was on a Public Service Board Scholarship at the University of Cambridge, England from 1985 to 1986 and a visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, Centre of International Studies in 1994. He has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in History), a Bachelor of Law (Heydon Prize in International Law) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Philosophy in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.

Mr Neuhaus will take up his appointment in September 1997. He will be accompanied by his wife Angela and his daughter Georgina.