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

Media Release

FA50 - 7 April 2004 

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador To East Timor

I have today announced the appointment of Margaret Twomey as Australia's Ambassador to East Timor.

Ms Twomey will replace Mr Paul Foley who has been Ambassador since July 2002. Ms Twomey is expected to take up her appointment in August 2004.

Ms Twomey's appointment comes at a time when the ties of friendship between Australia and independent East Timor are stronger than ever. The opening of the interim East Timorese Embassy in Canberra late last year was an important milestone in the deepening community, business and government links between our two countries.

As a close neighbour and good friend, Australia will remain at the forefront of international support to East Timor and will continue to be a strong advocate of the new nation in the international arena. Our significant development, defence and police cooperation programs will continue to assist the government and people of East Timor to build a secure and prosperous future. Australia is also encouraging the UN Security Council to agree to another security-focused successor UN mission in East Timor after May 2004 to safeguard stability and the important gains made to date in nation-building.

Ms Margaret Twomey is an experienced career diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Assistant Secretary, Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe Branch. Other positions held include Executive Officer, Strategic Assessments Branch (1994-95); and Desk Officer, East Europe Section (1988-89). Ms Twomey also served as an analyst in the Office of National Assessments (1992-94).

Overseas, Ms Twomey has served as Deputy High Commissioner in Suva (2000-2002); First Secretary and Counsellor in London (1995-2000); and Third and Second Secretary in Belgrade (1990-92).

Born in 1963, Ms Twomey has an honours degree in Arts (Russian and French) from the University of Melbourne.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500, Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

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