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

Media Release

FA12  - 29 January 2004

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Cyprus

I have today announced the appointment of Garth Hunt as Australia's High Commissioner to the Republic of Cyprus.

Mr Hunt will replace Frank Ingruber who has been High Commissioner since April 2000. He is expected to take up his appointment in March 2004.

Australia has a warm and constructive relationship with Cyprus, based on strong community ties, shared institutional inheritances and membership of the Commonwealth. It can be expected our two countries will continue to build on these links following Cyprus' accession to the European Union in May 2004.

Australia continues to support international efforts towards a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus dispute, including through the on-going appointment of our Special Envoy for Cyprus. Australia also contributes to confidence-building and stability by its continuing contribution of civilian police to the United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

Mr Hunt joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1974. He served as Third Secretary, Tokyo (1974-78), Counsellor (Labour Relations), Tokyo (1981-84), First Secretary, Beijing (1986-88), Deputy Consul-General, Hong Kong (1991-94) and Counsellor (Strategic), Tokyo (1996-2000).

In Canberra, Mr Hunt's appointments within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade included Director of the China Section and Director of the Non-Proliferation Policy Section. His most recent position was as Director of the Intelligence Policy and Liaison Section.

Born in Balaclava, South Australia, Mr Hunt holds an Honours degree in Political Science from the Flinders University of South Australia, a Masters degree from the University of Hawaii and a Diploma in International Law from the Australian National University. Mr Hunt is a Fellow of the Australian College of Defence and Strategic Studies. He is married with one daughter.

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

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