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

Media Release

FA152 - 5December 2003

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Mauritius

I have today announced the appointment of Ian McConville as Australia's High Commissioner to Mauritius with concurrent accreditation to Comoros and Seychelles. Mr McConville will replace Jeffrey Scougall who has been High Commissioner since January 2001. Mr McConville is expected to take up his appointment in February 2004.

Australia has longstanding friendly relations with Mauritius and other Indian Ocean Island States. Australia's links with Mauritius are based on trade, a significant Mauritian community in Australia and cooperation in multilateral forums including the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC).

Australian merchandise exports to Mauritius are valued at $123 million and opportunities, including in services trade and investment, are increasing as the economy diversifies. Australia is a growing destination for private students from Mauritius and other regional countries. Academic and cultural links are also growing.

Mr McConville is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and most recently held the position of Director, Administrative and Domestic Law Section (2001-2003).

Overseas, Mr McConville served as First Secretary, later Counsellor, in Phnom Penh (1999-2001) and as Third Secretary, later Second Secretary, Islamabad (1993-1995).

In Canberra, Mr McConville worked as Executive Officer in South Asia and Indian Ocean Section (1997-1999); Executive Officer in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia Section (1996); Desk Officer in New Zealand Section (1992); Desk Officer in Nuclear Non-Proliferation Section (1992-1993) and Desk Officer in Sea Law and Ocean Policy Section (1991).

Educated in Melbourne, Mr McConville holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Master of Arts degree in Foreign Affairs and Trade from Monash University. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from the Australian National University. Mr McConville is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and is married with three children.

Media enquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministers office) (02) 6277 7500 - Julie McDonald (Departmental) (02) 6261 1555

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