The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP


Media Release

FA187 - 17 December 2002

Diplomatic appointment: Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Romania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

I have today announced the appointment of Mr John Oliver as Australian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia with concurrent accreditation to Romania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

Mr Oliver will replace Mr Charles Stuart who has been Ambassador since April 2000. He is expected to take up his appointment in April 2003.

Australia's relationship with the countries of accreditation is based on community ties and commercial links. In particular, migrant communities from these countries have made a significant contribution to Australian society and are helping to shape our future as a new nation. Developments in southeast Europe are important to Australia and our bilateral relations are expected to strengthen further as European integration advances.

Australia has been represented in Belgrade since 1967 and has maintained non-resident representation in Romania since 1970 and the FYROM since October 1995.

In recognition of Romania's position as one of Australia's most important export markets in Eastern Europe, Australia's Trade Minister Mark Vaile opened a new Consulate-General and Austrade Office in Bucharest in October 1999.

Mr Oliver is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Assistant Secretary, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea Branch. He has also served as Assistant Secretary, Consular Branch (1997-99), and Assistant Secretary, South Asia and Indo-China Branch (1994-97).

Overseas, Mr Oliver has served as Ambassador in Tehran (1990-93) and Minister in Brussels

(1988-89). He has also served in Phnom Penh, Nairobi, Warsaw, Pretoria and Beijing.

Educated at the University of Melbourne, Mr Oliver has a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Economics and Political Science. He is married with two children.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) +61 02 6277 7500 / Julie McDonald (Departmental) +61 2 6261 1555


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