I have today announced the appointment
of Lorraine Barker as AustraliaŪs next High Commissioner to the
PeopleŪs Republic of Bangladesh.
Ms Barker will replace Robert Flynn who has been High Commissioner
since September 1999.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment
of diplomatic relations between Australia and Bangladesh.› This
is a significant milestone - Australia was the fourth country to
establish diplomatic relations with Bangladesh after it achieved
independence in 1971.› Since then, the two countries have developed
a constructive and expanding relationship both bilaterally and in
the international arena.› Bangladesh Prime Minister, Begum Khaleda
Zia, visited Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government
Meeting in March 2002.
AustraliaŪs trade with Bangladesh has grown steadily in recent
years, reflecting economic growth in Bangladesh.› From 1997 to 2001,
two-way trade rose from $303 million to $397 million.› Exports in
2001 totalled $350 million.
Bangladesh is a major recipient of Australian aid.› AustraliaŪs
aid budget for Bangladesh this financial year is $35.6 million.
Ms Barker is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade and has held a wide range of positions at home
and abroad.› She has served overseas in Sri Lanka, Hungary and China.›
In Canberra, she has held senior positions covering a range of administrative
and policy programs.› On return from her last overseas assignment
in late 1998, Ms Barker was appointed Director of the Australia-Indonesia
Institute and in early 2000, she moved to the Market Development
and Business Liaison Branch where she currently handles the GovernmentŪs
key trade policy consultative mechanisms with business and State
Governments and a range of market access initiatives.›
Ms Barker was born in Murrumburrah, New South Wales, in 1953 and
holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) degree from the University
of New South Wales.› She has a nine year old daughter.
Ms Barker is expected to take up her appointment in November 2002.
Media enquiries:› Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / Julie
McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555