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

Media Release

FA135 -  28 October 2005

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Nepal

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Graeme Lade as Australia's Ambassador to the Kingdom of Nepal.  Mr Lade will replace Mr Keith Gardner who has been Ambassador since January 2003, he is expected to take up his appointment in January 2006.

Australia and Nepal have enjoyed a strong relationship, including close people-to-people links, since diplomatic relations were established in 1960.  Australia opened a resident diplomatic mission in Kathmandu in 1984. 

Two-way trade between our countries is modest but growing.  Australian exports to Nepal comprise mainly oilseeds and food while Nepal’s primary exports to Australia are floor coverings and clothing.  An Australian firm, Note Printing Australia, has also secured contracts worth $3 million to produce polymer bank notes for Nepal’s Central Bank. 

Australia's development cooperation program is helping Nepal meet its poverty alleviation and development aspirations.  Current areas of assistance include natural resource management, human resource development and community health assistance including vitamin A supplementation and HIV-AIDS awareness.  Australia also has significant consular interests in Nepal, with around 5,000 Australians visiting Nepal each year.

Mr Lade is an experienced staff member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Director of the Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore Section, a position he has held since December 2004.  Mr Lade has had extensive overseas posting experience in Asia.  This includes assignments in Kuala Lumpur (1992-95), Tokyo (1985-88 and 1975-80), Bangkok (1982-85) and Hong Kong (1971-73).  His most recent overseas assignment was as Counsellor, Australian Embassy, Washington (1995‑98). 

Mr Lade has also held a number of positions in Canberra including Director, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia Section (2001-04), Director, India and South Asia Section (1998‑2001), Director, South Asia Regional Initiatives Section (1998), and Director, Foreign Service Training (1988-89).  He joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1971.

Mr Lade was born in Sydney in 1948.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the Australian National University and has two daughters.  He speaks Japanese.

Media inquiries : Ministerial 02 6277 7500, DFAT Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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