The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
 FORMER MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA

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Media Release

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer
25 May 2001

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Stuart Hume as Australian Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic, with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Bulgaria.  Mr Hume will succeed Mr Ross Burns, who has been Ambassador since March 1998.

Australia and Greece share extensive historical and ethnic links and Australia has maintained a diplomatic presence in Athens since 1955.  The people-to-people links between Australia and Greece have been strengthened and expanded by the approximately 600,000 Australians of Greek origin.  The Embassy in Athens provides comprehensive consular services to the estimated 100,000 Australians in Greece during the European summer.

Mr Hume takes up his appointment at a time of expanding commercial interests in Greece with a particular focus on developing projects to assist with the staging of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.  Australian expertise is already assisting Greek preparations for the Games.  Australian exports to Greece totalled A$202 million in 2000. (including two fast ferries).  Australian investment in Greece is in such diverse areas as mining, multiplex cinema complexes and construction.  Australia and Greece also share a number of multilateral objectives, particularly in the United Nations and on disarmament and environmental matters.

Mr Hume is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and most recently served as Australia's Ambassador to Iran.  He has also served as Ambassador in Rangoon (1993-97), Ambassador in Lisbon (1989-92), Minister and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva (1986-89), Consul-General in Noumea (1983-86), Counsellor in Tokyo (1976-79), Second and First Secretary in Washington (1970-73) and Third and Second Secretary in Rangoon (1967-70).

In Canberra, Mr Hume's appointments have included Assistant Secretary, Workplace Bargaining Unit (1992-93) and Head, Parliamentary Liaison Section (1980-82).

Mr Hume is a graduate of the University of Sydney and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours.  He is expected to take up his appointment in July 2001.

Media inquiries:
Matt Francis (Ministerial) 02 62777 500/
Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 2534/

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