MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA 63

8 June 1999

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Fiji

I have today announced the appointment of Ms Susan Boyd, as Australia's next High Commissioner to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, with concurrent accreditation to Tuvalu as High Commissioner and the South Pacific Forum Secretariat as Permanent Representative.

Ms Boyd will replace Mr Greg Urwin. She is expected to take up her appointment in July 1999.

Australia has strong and long-standing ties with Fiji. The relationship is wide ranging and embraces trade, investment, defence, development assistance, tourism, education, sport as well as people to people links. Australia and Fiji work together closely as members of the Cairns Group, the South Pacific Forum, the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations.

The bilateral relationship was enhanced with the signing of the Australia-Fiji Trade and Economic Relations Agreement (AFTERA) on 11 March this year. Australia welcomed the successful conduct of the recent elections in Fiji, which were a significant milestone in Fiji's history, and looks forward to working closely with the new government of Fiji.

Ms Boyd was until recently Australia's Consul-General in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China. After joining the Department in 1970 she served in Lisbon, Berlin, as Counsellor with the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York (1981-84) and as High Commissioner in Dhaka (1986-89). She was Director of the NSW State DFAT Office from 1991-94 and served as Ambassador in Hanoi from 1994-98.

Ms Boyd was born in India in 1946. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Diploma of Education from the University of Western Australia. From 1964-65 she taught in Zambia with the British Voluntary Service Overseas Scheme.



For further information:  Minister - Innes Willox 02 6277 7500
Department - Tony Melville 02 6261 1555

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