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

Media Release

20 June 2007

Allan Taylor AM

I was immensely saddened by the news of the death yesterday of Allan Taylor AM, one of Australia’s finest diplomats and public servants.  Allan was, until recently, Chairman of the Board of the Australia-Indonesia Institute, where he continued his career-long contribution to Australia’s international relations.

Allan served in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) for over 30 years.  He was posted twice to Jakarta, including as Ambassador (1994-96).  He was also High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea (1989-93), High Commissioner to Nigeria (1983-85) and served with distinction elsewhere, including in Islamabad and Bangkok. 

Following his DFAT career, Allan was appointed as Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) (1998-2003).  Under his outstanding leadership, ASIS underwent significant development, including expanded relationships with regional and allied partners.  Most importantly, Allan played a pivotal role in assisting me in the introduction and implementation of the Intelligence Services Act of 2001, which set out for the first time publicly ASIS’s formal role and its responsibilities to Government and to the Parliament, enhancing community confidence in the overall accountability and effectiveness of the organisation. 

Allan was a true servant of the Australian public.  He was a man of exceptional judgment and insight, unflappable in adversity and with the highest standards of professional and personal integrity.  Above all, he was an honourable and decent man.  His wise counsel, and wry humour, will be sorely missed. 

My thoughts and prayers are with Allan’s wife Carol, his sons Duncan, Chris and Richard, and their families. 

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

Copyright © Commonwealth of Australia | Disclaimer | Privacy