MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA148

3 December 1997

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: AMBASSADOR TO THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Tony Hely as Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (ROK).

As reflected in the recent White Paper, the Australian Government places a high priority on relations with the ROK, our second largest export market and fourth largest trading partner, with two way trade last financial year of A$9.7 billion, including Australian exports of $7.1 billion.

Building on this solid foundation, the bilateral relationship has reached new levels of maturity and dynamism. As a result, the ROK is a valuable partner for Australia in a variety of regional and international fora, including in the United Nations, APEC, OECD and WTO. Korea has also given strong support for Australia's positions on Climate Change and participation in Asia European Meetings (ASEM).

The Government is confident of Korea's long-term economic future and committed to strengthening and further diversifying bilateral political, cultural and strategic ties, including through enhanced business, scientific, media and other people-to-people links.

Mr Hely is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He joined the then Department of Trade in the mid 1970s. He served as First Secretary in Geneva from 1977 to 1980,Counsellor (Commercial) in Tokyo from 1984 to 1987 and Minister, Deputy Head of Mission in Jakarta from 1991 to1993.

In Canberra, Mr Hely has held a wide range of positions covering multilateral, regional and bilateral aspects of the Department's activities, with particular focus on Asia. This included a period as Assistant Secretary of the North Asia Branch. More recently he has been Assistant Secretary (1993) and Principal Adviser (1995) in the Economic and Trade Development Division. He was appointed to the position of First Assistant Secretary, Economic and Trade Development Division in July 1996.

Mr Hely is a graduate of Sydney University. Mr Hely was born in 1949 and is married.