FA142 - 2 October 2002
Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to PNG
I have today announced the appointment of Michael Potts as Australia's
next High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea.
Mr Potts will replace Nick Warner, who has been High Commissioner
since September 1999. Mr Potts is expected to take up his appointment
in March 2003.
Australia and Papua New Guinea enjoy a close and wide-ranging relationship
based on mutual cooperation, shared history and extensive people-to-people
links. This cooperation covers areas as diverse as major investment
projects, defence assistance, shared commitment to regional security,
the Bougainville peace process and cultural, social and sporting associations.
In 2003, we also remember and commemorate our shared achievements
during World War II, when our two countries continued to fight desperate
and historic battles together - at Wau and on the Huon Peninsula
- having earlier turned the tide of the war along the Kokoda Track.
Australia stands ready to assist Prime Minister Somare's Government
in the implementation of important economic, political and defence
reforms. These will lay the foundations for sustainable development
and increased health and prosperity for Papua New Guinea's citizens.
Papua New Guinea is Australia's largest development cooperation partner,
receiving more than $350 million in 2002-03. Australia is Papua New
Guinea's principal trading partner, while PNG is this country's 21st
Mr Potts is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade and is currently First Assistant Secretary, International
Division (PM&C). Other positions he has held include First Assistant
Secretary, International Organisations and Legal Division (1999-01),
Assistant Secretary, Trade Policy Issues and Industrials Branch (1998-99),
Assistant Secretary, Mainland South-East Asia Branch (1997-98), Assistant
Secretary, ASEAN Bilateral Branch (1994-97), Director, Policy Coordination
Section (1989-91), Director, Central and Southern Africa Section (1988),
Director, Papua New Guinea Section (1984) and Director, New Zealand
Mr Potts has also served as Ambassador in Hanoi (1991-94), Counsellor,
Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York (1985-88), Acting
High Commissioner in Lusaka (1980-83), First Secretary in Dar es Salaam
(1980), Second and First Secretary in Vientiane (1977-79) and Third
and Second Secretary in Madrid (1973-76).
Educated at the University of Sydney, Mr Potts holds a Bachelor of
Arts degree with First Class Honours in History. He is married.
Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) +61 02 6277 7500 / Julie
McDonald (Departmental) +61 02 6261 1555
Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:28:47 EST