MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA117

28 August 1998

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner To Vanuatu

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Perry Head as Australian High Commissioner to Vanuatu.

Mr Head will replace Mr Alan Edwards, who has been High Commissioner since February 1996.

As the first nation to establish a resident foreign mission in Port Vila (in 1978), Australia values highly the close relationship which has developed between the two countries.

Australia has contributed to Vanuatu's economic development through assistance focusing on public sector and financial management reform, natural resource management, education and health. Defence Cooperation activities are also an important part of the relationship, with Australia assisting Vanuatu maintain its Pacific patrol boat in order to protect its fisheries resource as well as assisting Vanuatu undertake national infrastructure tasks. Another strong bond in the relationship is the assistance Australia's South Pacific 2000 program has provided towards preserving Vanuatu's rich cultural heritage and developing youth sports and athletics participation.

Mr Head joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1984 and has been Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia, with accreditation to Palau, Marshall Islands, Guam and the Northern Marianas since October 1995. From 1991 to 1994 Mr Head was Deputy Chief of Mission in Ankara, Turkey. Mr Head has also served perviously in the Pacific region in New Zealand (1985), Solomon Islands (1986-88) and Honolulu (1995). In addition, he has undertaken attachments with the South Pacific Forum Secretariat in Suva and the Forum Fisheries Agency in Honiara. In Canberra, Mr Head has broad experience as an adviser on Pacific and strategic issues.

For further information: 

Innes Willox: (02) 6277 7500 or
Tony Melville:(02) 6261 1555


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