Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media release

6 August 2008

Diplomatic Appointment - High Commissioner to United Kingdom

The Government will recommend to the Governor-General the appointment of Mr John Dauth LVO to be Australia’s new High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Mr Dauth is expected to take up his appointment in September 2008.

Mr Dauth is one of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s most senior diplomats. He has held a range of posts crucial to Australia’s political and strategic priorities, including Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (2001-06).

Australia-UK relations have a unique vitality and closeness marked by shared heritage and values, aligned security interests, vibrant trade and investment cooperation and extensive people-to-people links. Australia and the UK collaborate on security and counter proliferation.

The UK is Australia’s most important trading partner in Europe, accounting for about one third of Australia’s total trade with the EU, and our sixth-largest market for exports. In 2007, Australia’s total two-way trade with the UK was valued at nearly $24 billion. The UK is Australia’s second largest direct foreign investor ($64 billion in 2007). The UK continues to be our second largest source of international visitors, with close to 700,000 visitors in 2007.

Prime Minister Rudd’s successful visit to the UK in April this year served to further strengthen and expand the bilateral relationship, with cooperation on new initiatives announced in a joint statement with Prime Minister Brown. These included climate change, the International Health Partnership and the Millennium Development Goals Call to Action.

Mr Dauth is currently Australia’s High Commissioner to New Zealand, a position he has held since February 2006. He has served Australia well in Wellington, including by facilitating strong engagement between Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific. Mr Dauth has played a key role in Australia’s reengagement with Pacific nations in the lead up to the Pacific Islands Leader’s Forum in Niue this month.

Before his assignment in Wellington Mr Dauth served in a number of positions overseas including as High Commissioner in Malaysia (1993-96), Consul‑General in Noumea (1986-87), Charge d’Affaires in Tehran (1983-85), First Secretary in Islamabad (1974-76) and Third (later Second) Secretary in Lagos (1970‑72).

From 1977-1980 Mr Dauth worked on secondment to Buckingham Palace as Assistant Press Secretary to H.M. the Queen and Press Secretary to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.

Mr Dauth has also held a number of positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including Deputy Secretary (1998-2001), First Assistant Secretary, South and South-East Asia Division (1996-98), First Assistant Secretary, International Security Division (1991-93), Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs (1989-91), Assistant Secretary, Public Affairs Branch (1987-89) and Head, Commonwealth and Multilateral Organisations Section (1980-82). He joined the then Department of External Affairs in 1969.

Mr Dauth was born in 1947. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney.

Mr Dauth’s appointment follows the departure of Mr Richard Alston, who completed his tenure as High Commissioner to UK in March 2008. Since then Acting High Commissioner, Ms Frances Adamson, has performed her duties with distinction. This has included visits to London by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Treasurer and me.

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