Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Diplomatic appointment: Ambassador to Serbia

Media release

23 June 2010

Today I announce the appointment of Dr Helena Studdert as Australia's Ambassador to Serbia, with concurrent accreditation to Montenegro, Romania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Dr Studdert replaces Ms Clare Birgin who has been Ambassador since May 2007. Dr Studdert is expected to take up her appointment this month.

Australia's relations with Serbia, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Romania are based on strong community ties and commercial links. Significant migrant communities from these countries have made a valuable contribution to Australian society and are helping to shape our future as a diverse nation.

Australia welcomes the progress of Serbia, Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia towards EU accession. We look forward to seeing the bilateral relationship strengthen as European integration advances.

Romania joined the EU in 2007. Australia works cooperatively with Romania to achieve the broad objectives under the Australian-EU Partnership Framework.

Australia continues to pursue new market opportunities for bilateral trade and investment with Serbia, Montenegro, Romania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Australia has been represented in Belgrade since 1967, originally with accreditation to the former Yugoslavia and now with Serbia. Australia also established diplomatic relations with Romania in 1968, with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 1995 and with the Republic of Montenegro on 1 September 2006.
Australia works with all four countries in the Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of which Australia became an Asian Partner for Cooperation in December last year. With 56 States drawn from Europe, Central Asia and North America, the OSCE is the world's largest regional security organisation.

Dr Studdert was most recently Director of the Consular Information Section in the Consular Policy Branch, a position she has held since May 2008. Dr Studdert has extensive experience within the department and has served overseas at the Australian High Commission in New Zealand.

Dr Studdert holds a PhD in History and a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from the University of New South Wales and a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from Monash University. Dr Studdert is married and has two children.

Media inquiries