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

Media Release

FA72 - 19 June 2003

Diplomatic Appointment – Ambassador To Cambodia

I have today announced the appointment of Ms Annabel Anderson as Australia’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia.  She will replace Ms Louise Hand who has been Ambassador since October 2000 and is expected to take up her appointment in September 2003.

Australia has strong relations with Cambodia across a wide spectrum of mutual interests.  Australians retain a warm interest in Cambodia’s development and security.  This is reflected, for example, in a substantial development assistance program (about $40 million in 2002-03), which has a focus on governance as well as legal and judicial reform.  The two countries also cooperate closely on issues such as people smuggling, narcotics trafficking and counter-terrorism.

Australia is playing an active role in the process of national reconciliation in Cambodia following many years of traumatic conflict.  Australia will provide support towards the operation of a Khmer Rouge Tribunal. 

The commercial relationship between our two countries is limited but I look forward to its expansion as the Cambodian economy develops.   Australia has a small defence cooperation program with Cambodia.

Ms Anderson, a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is currently State Director inVictoria.  Previously she has served as Director, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Section (2000); Director, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Section (1997-98); and Director, ASEAN and Regional Issues Section (1996-97).

Overseas, Ms Anderson has served as First Secretary and Counsellor in Bangkok (1992-95); Charge d’Affaires in Lisbon (1988-89); and Third Secretary in Bangkok (1982-85).  Ms Anderson was also a member of the Australian Delegation to the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, New York (1986), and the following year served as an adviser to the Australian parliamentary delegation.

Educated at the University of Melbourne, Ms Anderson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with Honours and a Bachelor of Laws degree.  She is married with one son.

Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 - Lyndall Sachs (Departmental) 02 6261 1555