MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER






FA30

28 April 1997

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: HIGH COMMISSIONER TO SOLOMON ISLANDS

I have today announced the appointment of Mr James Batley as Australian High Commissioner to Solomon Islands.

Mr Batley will replace Mr Robert Flynn, who has been High Commissioner since June 1994.

Australia has a valuable relationship with the Solomon Islands, which is a close regional neighbour and a partner in regional activities. It is based on wide-ranging links in trade, investment, education, development assistance and defence co-operation. Australia hopes to develop further these and other aspects of the relationship.

Mr Batley joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1984. He has served in Australian overseas missions in Port Vila, Port Moresby and Jakarta. In the Department in Canberra his assignments have included the South Pacific Bilateral Section (1988-1989) and the Papua New Guinea Section (1992-1994) where he was promoted to Director (1994-1995). His most recent position was Counsellor in the Australian Embassy, Jakarta (1995-1997).

Mr Batley is a graduate of the University of Sydney. He is expected to take up his appointment in June.