FA127 - 5 September 2002
Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Ireland
I have today announced the appointment of Senator the Hon. Dr John
Herron as Australia's Ambassador to Ireland with concurrent accreditation
to the Holy See.
Senator Herron will replace the Hon Robert Halverson, OBE who has
been Ambassador since January 1999 and is expected to take up his
appointment in January 2003.
Australia enjoys long-standing, friendly relations with Ireland based
on extensive historical and cultural ties. The relationship has been
further reinforced in recent years by regular, high-level visits including
Sir William Deane's visit to Ireland in April 1999, the first by an
Australian Governor General; the Irish President Mary McAleese's visit
to Australia in September 1998, her first State visit after becoming
President; and visits to Australia since 2000 by the Irish Prime Minister
Mr Bertie Ahern, Deputy Prime Minister Mary Harney and Foreign Minister,
Mr Brian Cowen.
Irish influences in Australian society are evident in art, literature,
and in many other areas of public life. Historically, the Irish have
made up one of the largest group of migrants to Australia with approximately
30% of Australians claiming Irish ancestry in the 1986 census. The
rapid growth in the number of young Irish people taking up working
holiday visas under the reciprocal scheme with Australia is helping
both to boost tourism and maintain these traditional people-to-people
Australia and Ireland are close friends and like-minded allies on
many issues of international importance. Australia's trade with Ireland
is modest but growing rapidly. Australia's development of an important
niche market in Ireland for wine is a pointer to the potential for
further deepening of the economic relationship.
Senator Herron entered Federal Parliament in 1990 and served as Minister
for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs (1996-01). He was
also Chairman of the Senate Community Affairs Committee and Parliamentary
Secretary to the Shadow Minister for Health (1994-96).
Senator Herron has also served as President of the Queensland Liberal
Party (1980-83 and 2001-02). He was Queensland Branch President of
the Australian Medical Association (1989) and served as Queensland
Chairman of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian
Association of Surgeons.
Educated at the University of Queensland, Senator Herron holds a
Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery. After Registrar training
at Royal Brisbane and Princess Alexandra Hospitals, Senator Herron
obtained his Edinburgh and London Surgical Fellowships. He was appointed
Research Fellow to the Queensland Melanoma Project at Princess Alexandra
Hospital and became a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of
Surgeons. He was senior surgeon at the Mater Hospital prior to entering
Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) +61 02 6277 7500 / Julie
McDonald (Departmental) +61 02 6261 1555
Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:29:03 EST