Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms

Consular appointment - Consul-General in Milan

8 September 2010

Today I announce the appointment of Ms Simone Desmarchelier as Australia's Consul-General in Milan, Italy. Ms Desmarchelier replaces Mr Tim Gauci who has served as Australia's Senior Trade Commissioner and Consul-General since August 2005. She is expected to take up her appointment next month.

Ms Desmarchelier will head a post in a city that lies at the heart of the commercial life of Italy, one of Australia's most important export markets in Europe.

The Australian Trade Commission and Consulate-General in Milan has developed strong links with Italian businesses, particularly in sectors such as renewable energy, infrastructure, water management, environmental technology and financial services.

Italy continues to be one of Australia's important trading partners, with strong trade in commodities such as coal, wool, wheat, steel products and manufactured goods. It is Australia's fifth-largest export market in the European Union, and the third-largest source of EU imports into Australia.

Italian investors are showing increasing interest in Australia as a result of our recent strong and stable economic performance. Some of Australia's biggest firms are also active in several of Italy's major industries, including financial services, energy, transport and construction.

The Consulate-General in Milan supports Australia's Embassy in Rome by playing an important role in the provision of passport and consular services to Australian tourists and business visitors in the region.

There are a large number of Australian passport-holders in Italy, many of whom are in the north. The Consulate-General also supports Australian cultural events in Italy.

Ms Desmarchelier is a skilled international investment adviser and linguist, bilingual in English and Italian and fluent in Spanish and French.

She has a background as both a commercial lawyer at leading Australian law firms and as an investment adviser in major international banks in London, with experience in continental Europe and Australia.

Ms Desmarchelier has law degrees from the University of Queensland and Oxford. She is married.

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