MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA30

20 March 1998

DIPLOMATIC APPOINTMENT: HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Philip Flood as Australia's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Mr Flood will take up duty in late May and will replace Dr Neal Blewett, who has been High Commissioner since April 1994.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Mr Flood's long and distinguished career of public service and to the excellent role he has performed as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The appointment of Mr Flood reflects the high priority the Government places on continuing to develop the long, deep and diverse relationship between Australia and the United Kingdom.

The UK is the second-largest foreign investor in Australia after the United States and is Australia's third largest overall (merchandise plus services) trading partner. It is our second largest source of migration and is the third largest source of tourism to this country. Australia is the third biggest investor in the United Kingdom. Our cultural, media, defence and academic connections continue to grow and both countries benefit from the regular exchange of ideas and collaboration in science and technology.

A joint program of activities run throughout 1997 in both countries under the banner of newIMAGES highlighted the contemporary and diverse nature of the relationship as we approach the new millennium.

I pay tribute to Dr Blewett's role in representing Australia in the United Kingdom.

Mr Flood was appointed Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in March 1996. Prior to this he was Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Director General of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and Director General of the Office of National Assessments.

Previous appointments have also included Chief Executive Officer for Special Trade Negotiations, Minister in the Australian Embassy to the United States and High Commissioner to Bangladesh. He has served in Australia's Embassies in Paris and Mission to the OECD, Brussels and Mission to the European Community.

In 1992 Mr Flood was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). He is a member of the Council of the Asia-Australia Institute, the Council of the AustralAsia Centre of the Asia Society, the Board of the Australian Trade Commission, the Trade Policy Advisory Council and the Australia Indonesia Institute.

Mr Flood is married to Carole and has three children. He holds a B.Ec. (Hons) from the University of Sydney.


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