I have today announced the appointment of Patrick Lawless as Australian
Ambassador to the Republic of Poland. Mr Lawless will replace Margaret
Adamson who has been Ambassador since September 1998.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between
Australia and Poland. Relations between our two countries have
developed rapidly over the past 10 years following the enormous
changes in Poland. Australia now counts Poland as a close friend
and like-minded ally on many international issues of common interest.
Australia and Poland have enjoyed strong people-to-people links
for many years and Polish Australians have made valuable contributions
to Australia's cultural, political, social and economic development. The large and active Australian Polish community remains a major
and very important element in our bilateral relations.
Poland's strategic location at the heart of Europe makes it a natural
and attractive partner for Australia. Already a member of NATO
and the OECD, Poland's impending accession to the European Union
will further strengthen the links between our countries. In particular,
I believe EU membership will enhance what is already a strong basis
for the future development of our trade and investment relations.
Mr Lawless is a graduate of the University of NSW and the London
School of Economics. After graduation, he worked for the Aboriginal
Land Commissioner in Darwin and then as a lawyer in Sydney. He
joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1985 and has completed
postings in France, South Africa and Russia. His most recent positions
have been as head of the Trade Development Branch and Trade and
Economic Analysis Branch. He is married with three children.
Mr Lawless is expected to take up his appointment in September
Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / Julie
McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555