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

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Media Release

FA85 / 30 May 2002

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Poland

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 2002.

Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555


 

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