The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
 FORMER MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, AUSTRALIA

Media Release

FA109 - 20 July 2004

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Turkey

I have today announced the appointment of Jean Dunn as Australian Ambassador to Turkey.   Ms Dunn will replace Jon Philp who has been Ambassador since July 2001 and is expected to take up her appointment in August 2004.

Australia enjoys a close bilateral relationship with Turkey, a country strategically located at the meeting point of Europe and Asia.   Turkish migrants have contributed significantly to Australia's social and economic development over the years and the Australian-Turkish community now numbers more than 100,000.   Our two countries' shared experience of the Gallipoli campaign in 1915 has become a cornerstone of the relationship.   Gallipoli played a significant role in forging Australia's national identity and marks an important stage in the history of modern Turkey.   It has come, over time, to create a unique bond of friendship between the peoples of the two countries.   Australia warmly appreciates the generosity of successive Turkish Governments in making possible the annual commemorative events at Gallipoli attended by so many Australians.  

Turkey is an important market for Australian exports and the stabilisation of the Turkish economy and ongoing economic reforms should facilitate growth in trade and investment.   Turkey has participated alongside Australia in the Peace Keeping Operation of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET PKO). Turkey also took a leading role in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has contributed to reconstruction efforts in Iraq.   The importance of the bilateral relationship is reflected in the large number of high-level visits in recent years.

Ms Dunn is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Deputy Head of Mission in Seoul.   Ms Dunn had responsibility for trade policy issues while serving in Washington (1991-1994) and Geneva (1984-1987).

Prior to her current appointment, Ms Dunn was a senior negotiator in the Australia/Singapore Free Trade Agreement negotiations and has held senior positions responsible for WTO negotiations, trade development and public diplomacy.   Ms Dunn served as the senior trade consultant to the Minister for Trade from June 1994 to March 1996.

Ms Dunn holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Japanese language and politics from Monash University and undertook postgraduate studies on Japan/Indonesia relations.   She is married with three children.

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


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