The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA56 - 29 May 2003

Diplomatic appointment:High Commissioner to Fiji 

I have today announced the appointment of Jennifer Rawson as Australia’s High Commissioner to the Republic of the Fiji Islands, with concurrent accreditation to Tuvalu and the Pacific Islands Forum.

Ms Rawson will replace Ms Susan Boyd who has been High Commissioner since July 1999 and is expected to take up her appointment in July 2003.

Australia has strong, long-standing ties with Fiji.  The relationship is wide ranging and embraces trade, investment, development cooperation, defence cooperation, tourism, education, as well as people-to-people links.  Bilateral cooperation is enhanced by the Australia-Fiji Trade and Economic Relations Agreement (AFTERA) and the recent signing of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Counter-Terrorism.  Australia and Fiji work together closely as members of the Pacific Islands Forum, the Commonwealth of Nations and the United Nations.  Fiji is home to a number of regional organisations, including the Pacific Islands Forum and the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Organisation (SOPAC).

Ms Rawson is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently First Assistant Secretary, South and South-East Asia Division.  Since joining the Department in 1976, she has served in Colombo, Harare and Damascus and was High Commissioner in Nuku’Alofa from 1993 to 1995.  Ms Rawson has also worked as an Assistant Secretary in International Division, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and as a Deputy Director-General in the Australian Agency for International Development.

Ms Rawson holds Bachelor of Arts and Laws degrees from Melbourne University and a Master of International Law from the Australian National University.

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