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

Media Release

FA105 - 16 July 2004

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Pakistan


I have today announced the appointment of Zorica McCarthy as Australian High Commissioner to Pakistan.   Ms McCarthy will replace Howard Brown who has been High Commissioner since June 2000 and is expected to take up her appointment in August 2004.

Australia has long-standing friendly relations with Pakistan spanning a wide range of interests, including our membership of the Commonwealth.   Reflecting Pakistan's role as a front-line state in the war against terror, cooperation has broadened to include combating international terrorism.   Cooperation against irregular migration has also assumed increased importance.

Two-way merchandise trade between Australia and Pakistan in 2003 totalled $530.7 million, with exports accounting for $356 million.   Major exports include wheat, oil seeds and oleaginous fruits, cotton, fertilisers, animal oils and fats, coal and iron ore.   There are many commercial opportunities for Australian business in a wide range of sectors including education, agri-business, infrastructure, gas, minerals and consumer goods.  

Ms McCarthy is a career diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Assistant Secretary, Executive, Planning and Evaluation Branch.   Other positions held include Assistant Secretary, Europe Branch (2002) and Director, Japan Section (1989).   Ms McCarthy was a desk officer in the Indonesia and South Pacific Bilateral Sections (1984) and was also a desk officer for Papua New Guinea (1979-80 and 1975-76).

Ms McCarthy was Regional Director of the Department's South Australian office (1986-88) and undertook a secondment to the Department of Defence (1990).   She worked at the Office of National Assessments as Assistant Secretary, Current Intelligence and Intelligence Community Branch (1995-1996) and Assistant Secretary, Executive Branch (1997-98).

Overseas, Ms McCarthy has served as Minister in Seoul (1998-01); Counsellor in Washington (1991-95); a member of the Australian Delegation to the United Nations in New York (1981); Third Secretary and later Second Secretary in Port Moresby (1977-79); and Third Secretary in Rome (1974-75).

Ms McCarthy has an arts degree from Flinders University, South Australia.   She has two daughters.

Media inquiries: Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Mr Downer's Office) 02 6277 7500, Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

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