18 November 2009
Diplomatic Appointment - Ambassador to Croatia
Today I announce the appointment of Ms Beverly Mercer as Australia's Ambassador to Croatia. Ms Mercer replaces Ms Tracy Reid OAM who has been Ambassador since September 2006. Ms Mercer is expected to take up her appointment in December 2009.
Relations between Australia and Croatia are strong and forward-looking, based on the personal links built by the large Croatian community in Australia which has contributed positively to Australian society.
These links are supported by bilateral agreements regarding social security and air services. Many Australians travel to Croatia each year as tourists and to visit family. Some Croatian Australians have returned to Croatia to make a significant contribution to Croatia, in both the private and public sectors.
Australia recently simplified processing arrangements for visa applicants from Croatia which will make it easier for Croatian citizens to visit Australia.
Australia and Croatia share a strong commitment to supporting a range of multilateral objectives including global security, nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament and whaling. Both our countries are committed to the success of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
Australia welcomes Croatia’s recent accession to NATO and its path towards European Union (EU) membership which will help enhance political stability and regional security in the Balkans.
The relationship between Australia and Croatia is enhanced by the Australia-EU Partnership Framework which has put Australia-EU relations on a modern framework.
While our commercial relationship is relatively small, there is considerable scope for growth in trade and investment. Opportunities for increased business between Australia and Croatia include the shipping sector, infrastructure, agribusiness, innovative technologies, water management and sectors relating to education and tourism.
Ms Mercer is currently Director, United States Political and Strategic Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a position she has held since October 2008. Ms Mercer has extensive experience within the Department and has served overseas in Jakarta, Berlin, Phnom Penh and Bonn.
Ms Mercer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies from the Australian Defence College. Ms Mercer is married.
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