Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Austria
I have today announced the appointment of
Mr Max William Hughes as Australia's Ambassador to the Republic
of Austria and Permanent Representative to international organisations
with headquarters in Vienna. He will have concurrent accreditation
as Ambassador to Slovenia, Slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and
replaces Mr Lance Joseph who has been Ambassador since December
Mr Hughes will be accredited to the International
Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the United Nations office in
Vienna which includes, inter alia, the UN Drug Control Program
(UNDCP). Mr Hughes will also be Australia's Governor on the IAEA
Board of Governors and Permanent Representative to the Comprehensive
Test Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO).
Relations between Australia and Austria are
strong and characterised by cooperation on a range of European
and multilateral issues. As the location of several international
organisations, Vienna is a hub of multilateral activity with
respect to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, the safe
management of the civil nuclear industry and nuclear disarmament.
Vienna also hosts several export-control regimes, the UN Drug
Control Program and organisations related to crime prevention,
trade law, industrial development, the management of outer space,
European security and global oil production. Australia takes
an active interest in all these organisations.
Australia's relations with Slovenia, Slovakia
and Bosnia-Herzegovina are supported by strong community links
in Australia. Mr Hughes will continue to develop relations with
these countries at the political, economic and cultural levels.
Australia has been a long-standing supporter
of the IAEA, particularly in its pursuit of non-proliferation
objectives and in its promotion of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
One of Mr Hughes' key tasks will be to contribute to the Agency's
efforts to strengthen the international nuclear safeguards system.
As Australia's representative accredited to the CTBTO, he will
also work on the political and practical aspects of bringing
the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty into force. Mr Hughes will be working
closely too with the UNDCP in seeking to reduce the production,
trafficking and consumption of illicit narcotics.
Mr Hughes, a senior career officer of the
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, joined the Department
in 1965. Following overseas assignments at Australian diplomatic
missions in Bonn (1966-69), Washington (1971-74), Kuala Lumpur
(1977-79) and Port Moresby (1979-82), Mr Hughes served as Australian
Ambassador to Poland (1985-87), as Minister at the Embassy in
Washington (1987-90) and Ambassador to Germany (1995-99). Mr
Hughes has also occupied a number of senior positions in the
Department including in corporate management and the handling
of relations with the US, Europe and the UN.
Mr Hughes has a Bachelor of Arts degree from
the University of New South Wales. He was born in Sydney in 1939
and is married with three daughters.