The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP


Media Release

FA86 / 3 June 2002

Diplomatic Appointment: Consul-General in Los Angeles

I have today announced the appointment of Hon John Wayne Olsen as Consul-General of Australia in Los Angeles. Mr Olsen will replace Allan Rocher who has been Consul-General since November 1999.

Taking in southern California and the south-west of the United States, the Los Angeles post encompasses some of Australia's most dynamic interests in America. A large proportion of American trade and investment in Australia comes from California which is also a major market for Australian firms, especially in the areas of information and high technology. Opportunities abound to further enhance the United States' awareness of Australia's strengths in these and other areas, to promote market development for Australian products and services and to assist in building strategic partnerships between American and Australian businesses.

The Californian economy is the fifth largest in the world. California is politically influential with the nation's largest congressional representation. It is also the centre of the world's entertainment industry, with increasing Australian involvement. Given the diverse nature of the American political and economic system, the post has a major role to play in advancing Australian interests across these activities.

Mr Olsen was Premier of South Australia, Minister for State Development and Minister for Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs from November 1996 to October 2001 and was South Australia's Minister for Infrastructure from 1993 to 1996. From 1990 to 1992, Mr Olsen was appointed to the Federal Senate. Prior to that, Mr Olsen was Leader of the Opposition in South Australia from 1982 to 1990 and Chief Secretary and Minister for Police, Correctional Services and Fisheries from in 1982. He joined the South Australian Parliament in 1979.

Mr Olsen has vast experience in conducting successful negotiations with international corporations such as General Motors, CKI, Thames, SAAB and Mitsubishi. As Premier he ushered in a period of sustained export growth in South Australia, when that State outstripped national growth. He is highly credentialled to continue Australia's push for export growth.

Mr Olsen is expected to take up his appointment in November 2002.

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


Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:29:42 EST


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