Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media release

25 November 2008

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to South Africa

Ms Ann Harrap is to be Australia’s new High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa.

Ms Harrap will succeed Mr Philip Green OAM who has been High Commissioner since August 2004. Ms Harrap is expected to take up her appointment in December 2008.

South Africa is Australia’s most significant bilateral relationship in Africa. This engagement is underpinned by a strong history of close people-to-people links, extending back to Australia’s prominent support for the struggle for democracy in South Africa.

South Africa is Australia’s biggest trading partner and largest investment destination in Africa. Australia continues to cooperate closely with South Africa in the natural resources sector, where significant Australian investment is assisting South Africa progress its economic growth and employment targets. In 2007, two-way merchandise trade was worth nearly $4 billion. Trade levels continue to grow.

Both countries are active and committed members of the United Nations and the Commonwealth, and share common interests in the World Trade Organization and the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation and the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Cooperation between Australia and South Africa extends to other areas of shared interest, including the arts (notably film), and science and technology. The Australian-South Africa Climate Change Partnership, finalised in 2006, provides opportunities for constructive engagement on climate change issues facing both countries.

Australia’s development assistance program with South Africa is aligned to key national priorities, notably the improvement of service delivery to South Africans. Australia also partners with the South African Government to address skills shortages in the country, as well as working with South Africa to deliver targeted development assistance to other African countries.  Ms Harrap will also have concurrent accreditation to Botswana and Mozambique.

Ms Harrap is an experienced officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was most recently Deputy High Commissioner in Port Moresby. She has also served overseas as the ONA liaison officer in London (2000-03), Second Secretary in Cape Town (1995-97) and Second Secretary in Pretoria (1994-95). She was Charge d’Affaires in Baghdad for a short period in 2005.

In Canberra, Ms Harrap was Assistant Secretary, Agriculture Branch (2004-05) and Director, Consular Information Section in 2004. From 1998 to 2000 Ms Harrap was a Departmental Liaison Officer in the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Ms Harrap holds Bachelor of Arts (1987); Bachelor of Laws degrees (1989) and a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade (1994). She joined the Department in 1992. Ms Harrap is married.

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