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

Media Release

31 January 2007 

Diplomatic Appointment – Ambassador to Cambodia

Margaret Adamson  is to be Australia’s new Ambassador to Cambodia.  Ms Adamson is expected to take up her appointment in April 2007 and will replace Ms Lisa  Filipetto, who has been Ambassador since April 2004.

Australia has a long-standing and well-developed relationship with Cambodia spanning almost 55 years.  Australia retains a strong interest in Cambodia’s development and security, based in particular on our support for Cambodia’s ongoing efforts to establish national peace and stability.  Cambodia’s achievements in this regard are reflected in its increasing participation in regional forums.

Australia’s substantial development assistance program to Cambodia is valued at some $48.5 million in 2006-07.  Programs focus on governance, legal and judicial reform, environment, combating HIV Aids and assistance to vulnerable groups including in rural areas.  Australia is also playing a leading role in mine-clearing operations, as well as in the process of national reconciliation and human rights in Cambodia, notably by assistance to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. 

Reflecting Cambodia’s achievements toward national development, a pleasing sign in recent years has been the emergence of promising trends within the trade and investment relationship.  A range of Australian companies – particularly in the mining sector – are now pursuing business opportunities in Cambodia, in support of the country’s sustainable economic development.  To this end, during the visit to Australia in October 2006 by Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen the two governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Investment Cooperation. 

Bilateral relations are also enhanced by an active Cambodian community in Australia numbering some 23,000.

Ms Adamson is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Assistant Secretary, EU and Western Europe Branch, a position she has held since 2002.

Overseas Ms Adamson has served as Ambassador in Warsaw 1998-2002, Consul‑General in Berlin (1993-96) and Counsellor in Bonn (1987-91).  She also served in Hanoi (1976-77) and Vienna (1977-80).

In Canberra, Ms Adamson has held a range of positions including Assistant Secretary, Pacific Islands Branch (1997-1998) and Director, Non-Proliferation Policy Section (1991-92).

Ms Adamson holds a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University.  She is married with three children.

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