Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media release

30 May 2008

Diplomatic Appointment - Ambassador to Poland

I have confirmed the appointment of Ms Ruth Pearce as Australia's Ambassador to the Republic of Poland with concurrent accreditation to the Czech Republic. She will replace Mr Ian Forsyth who has been Ambassador since June 2005. Ms Pearce is expected to take up her appointment in July 2008.

Our relations with Poland are growing steadily, underpinned by strong and vibrant community ties. An estimated 163,000 people of Polish ancestry live in Australia.

In population terms, Poland is Europe’s eighth largest country. It is currently experiencing strong economic growth. Australian investment in Poland has grown strongly over the last two years and there are opportunities for Australian companies to further expand their trade and investment interests.

The relationship between Australia and the Czech Republic has also continued to strengthen in recent years. The Czech Republic is an important trading partner in Central Europe. The total volume of bilateral trade is expanding and Australian companies are seeking to increase their presence in this thriving market. Growing numbers of tourists and students traveling between our two countries further contribute to the deepening of bilateral ties.

Poland and the Czech Republic are both members of the UN, OECD, WTO, NATO, and the EU. They are also valued partners on international peace and security issues, including in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

Ms Pearce was most recently Deputy Director‑General, Corporate Governance and Review Division in AusAID (2006-07). Prior to this, she served as Head of the APEC Task force during its planning phase (2005-06). Other positions Ms Pearce has held in Canberra have included First Assistant Secretary in Corporate Management Division (1997-99); International Organisations and Legal Division (1996-97) and Americas and Europe Division (1995-96).

Overseas, Ms Pearce served as Ambassador to Manila (2002‑05); Ambassador to the Russian Federation (1999-2002) and as High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands (1992-94). She has also served in Geneva, Tel Aviv and Dhaka.

Educated at the University of Melbourne, Ms Pearce holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree with honours.

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