18 November 1998

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador For The Environment

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Ralph Hillman as Ambassador for the Environment.

Mr Hillman will replace Ms Meg McDonald, who has been Ambassador since September 1997.

The principal functions of the Ambassador for the Environment include promoting Australia's national interests and policies on global environment issues overseas and in Australia, representing the Government at international conferences and negotiations on the environment and providing policy advice to Government on international environment issues. Reflecting these responsibilities, Mr Hillman will report to the Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio Ministers and the Minister for the Environment.

Mr Hillman's appointment reflects the Government's commitment to ensuring that within the international effort to address global environmental issues Australia's national interests would be protected.

Mr Hillman is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1970. From 1994 to 1995 Mr Hillman was Chief Economist in the Department. From 1992 to 1993 he was Assistant Secretary of the Trade Analysis Branch and from 1988 to 1990, Director of OECD and International Financial Institutions Section and alternative Executive Director at the Asian Development Bank in Manila from 1985 to 1988. Prior to that he served at overseas missions in Brussels, Brasilia and Paris OECD. Mr Hillman was most recently the Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Australia to the OECD at Paris from 1995 to June 1998.

Mr Hillman is expected to take up his appointment in November 1998.

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