Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Media release

10 December 2008

Diplomatic appointment to Bali

Mr Lex Bartlem is to be Australia's new Consul-General in Bali, succeeding Mr Bruce Cowled who has been Consul-General since December 2005.  Mr Bartlem is expected to take up his appointment in January 2009.

Australia’s association with Bali is substantial.  Our longstanding and wide-ranging official, community and commercial links with the island province represent an important part of Australia’s broader relationship with Indonesia.  Bali remains a popular holiday destination for Australians, with more than 300,000 Australians expected to visit the province in 2008.  The Consulate-General provides consular and passport services to Australians in Bali, and to Canadian nationals under an agreement for the sharing of consular responsibilities. 

Since 2002, the Australian Government has provided $10.5 million to fund health and education initiatives in Bali as a living memorial to honour the Australian victims of the Bali bombings.  These include establishing the Australia-Bali Memorial Eye Centre, a scholarship for Balinese to study in Australia and a new intensive care and burns unit at Sanglah Hospital that played a vitally important role in ensuring more lives were not lost in the 2005 bombings.  The new Consulate General includes a memorial garden for the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings.

Mr Bartlem is currently Assistant Secretary in the Department’s Remuneration and Post Management Branch, a position he has held since January 2008.  Other positions Mr Bartlem has held in Canberra include Assistant Secretary, Staff Development Branch (2006-07), Assistant Secretary, Information Resources Branch (2005) and Director, Post and LES Management Issues Section.  From 2004-05, Mr Bartlem served as Counsellor and Consul-General at the Australian Embassy in Paris.  Other overseas postings have included Cairo, Bonn, Madrid, Ankara, Caracas and Beirut.

Mr Bartlem has a strong background in crisis management and consular response.  He led the Department’s emergency response team in Beirut during the 2006 evacuation of Australian citizens, managed the logistics for Australian attendance at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings in both Abuja and Kampala, managed the logistics of opening Australia’s post in Baghdad in 2003 and was involved in the response to the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005.

Born and educated in Queensland, Mr Bartlem joined the public service in 1979.  He speaks Spanish and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to victims and families following the Bali bombing 2002.


Media inquiries: Mr Smith's office 02 6277 7500 - Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555