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
23 July 2001

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Vanuatu

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Stephen Waters as Australia's High Commissioner to the Republic of Vanuatu.  Mr Waters will replace Mr Perry Head, who has been High Commissioner since January 1999.

Australia enjoys a broad-based relationship with Vanuatu.  Australia has a large resident population and has a broad range of linkages at the government and community level.   Investment and commercial links are strong and major Australian assistance programs focus on strengthening Vanuatu's legal, health, education, security and natural resource sectors.

Mr Waters is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Deputy Consul-General in Hong Kong.  He has served in Lagos (1974-76), Islamabad (1978-81), Caracas (1983-84) and Bangkok (1990-91).

Mr Waters worked at the Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei (1993-96) and returned to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1997.  In Canberra, Mr Waters was Director, Hong Kong/Taiwan and Coordination Section (1998), and Director, North Asia Coordination and Liaison Section (1997).

Educated at the University of Melbourne, Mr Waters holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with combined honours in politics and oriental studies. Mr Waters is expected to start his posting as High Commisisoner early in the New Year.

Media inquiries:
Matt Francis (Ministerial) 02 62777 500
Lyndall Sachs (Departmental) 02 6261 2912

FA111/2001


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