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

Media Release

FA80 -  10 June 2004

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to South Africa

I have today announced the appointment of Philip Victor Green OAM as Australia's High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa with concurrent accreditation to Namibia.

Mr Green will replace Ian Wilcock who has been High Commissioner since July 2002. Mr Green is expected to take up his appointment in August 2004.

Australia has a long-standing relationship with South Africa. We enjoy excellent and expanding cooperation across a wide range of interests including combined efforts to combat illegal fishing in the southern oceans through the successful apprehension of the "Viarsa 1" in 2003.

South Africa is a growing market for Australia with exports of $1.325 billion and total merchandise trade valued at $2.46 billion in 2003 . Australian investment in South Africa has grown significantly over the last 10 years.

Australia was a prominent supporter of the struggle for democracy in South Africa. Since 1994, Australia has provided substantial assistance for South Africa's transition to a democratic society, totalling about $105 million in development assistance. Under AusAID's new Africa Framework, the aid relationship has an increased emphasis on improving governance, health (particularly HIV/AIDS), education and food security.

Mr Green is an experienced career diplomat with a background on Africa. He has previously served in Tanzania, Zambia and as High Commissioner in Kenya and has worked on African affairs in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. His wife, Dr Grace Moshi, is originally from Tanzania. Mr Green has also served in London and as State Director in the New South Wales State Office.

Mr Green was awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 2003 for his role in the response to the Bali tragedy.

Mr Green holds a Bachelor of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from the University of Sydney.

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

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