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

Media Release

FA016 - 9 February 2006

Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador To Germany

I have today announced the appointment of Mr Ian Kemish AM as Australian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. Mr Kemish will replace Ms Pamela Fayle who has been Ambassador since March 2003. He is expected to take up his appointment in April 2006.

Australia's relationship with Germany is one of Australia's warmest and most significant bilateral relationships. Australia has wide-ranging dialogue and cooperation with Germany, which is the world's third-largest economy, its largest exporter and a central player in European and global economic and security affairs. Germany ranks eighth among Australia's trading partners and sixth among sources of foreign direct investment. Germany has been a significant source of migrants to Australia. Germans and Australians have wide-ranging interest in each other's culture. Australia is one of the most popular overseas destinations for German tourists and students. The Government is keen to expand existing links with Germany, including in traditional and new commercial spheres.

Mr Kemish is currently First Assistant Secretary, International Division in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Before taking up this position in December 2004, Mr Kemish held a number of positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including First Assistant Secretary, South and South-East Asia Division (2004), First Assistant Secretary, Public Diplomacy, Consular and Passports Division (2002-04), Assistant Secretary, Consular Branch (2000-02), Director, Corporate Planning Section (1999-2000), Director, ASEAN, Regional Issues and Burma Section (1998-99), Executive Officer, United Nations Political and Commonwealth Section (1994-95) and Executive Officer, Philippines, Thailand and Burma Section (1992-94).

Mr Kemish has served overseas as Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Vienna (1995-98), and Third Secretary (later First Secretary), Australian High Commission, Bandar Seri Begawan (1990-92). In 1989 he worked on secondment to the New Zealand Ministry of External Relations as Desk Officer, PNG/Vanuatu/Solomon Islands.

Mr Kemish holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree from the University of Queensland and a Diploma of Education. He is married and has two daughters. He speaks Indonesian and German. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003 for his role in managing the Government's consular response to the Bali bombings of October 2002.

Media Inquiries: Mr Downer's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555

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