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Media release

21 November 2008

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Vanuatu

Mr Pablo Kang is to be Australia’s new High Commissioner to the Republic of Vanuatu succeeding Mr John Pilbeam who has been High Commissioner since January 2005. Mr Kang is expected to take up his appointment in January 2009.

Australia has important political, economic and security interests in Vanuatu, a large expatriate resident and visitor population and an expanding range of mutually-beneficial community and business links.

Australia is Vanuatu's largest aid partner and Australian assistance programs are directed at improving governance, supporting public sector reform, assisting capacity building in the law and justice sectors and improving infrastructure and service delivery throughout Vanuatu, particularly in education and health.

Mr Kang will guide significant strengthening of bilateral relations through the conclusion and implementation of new Pacific Partnership for Development arrangements with Vanuatu and Vanuatu's participation in Australia's Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme.

Mr Kang is currently Counsellor and Head of the Political-Economic Section at the Australian Embassy in Manila, a position he has held since 2006. Prior to this, Mr Kang was Senior Adviser in the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (2004‑05), with a particular focus on countries of the South Pacific, including Vanuatu. Overseas, he served as Second Secretary in the Australian High Commission in London (1999-2002).

Mr Kang holds a BA Hons and LLB Hons from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Arts (Foreign Affairs and Trade) from Monash University. He joined the public service in 1996. Mr Kang is married and has an infant son.

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