Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Pakistan

Media release

7 April 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced that Mr Peter Heyward will be Australia's next High Commissioner to Pakistan.

Mr Heyward is expected to take up his appointment in June 2012. He will replace Mr Timothy George who has been High Commissioner since June 2009.

Australia and Pakistan enjoy a long-standing friendship built on a common heritage as members of the Commonwealth.

Our two countries have significant shared interests, including mutual strategic interest in combating terrorism and extremism.

Australia is committed to working in partnership with Pakistan in its efforts to confront security threats and to build economic prosperity and enhance development. This includes assisting in dealing with the impact of recent devastating floods.

Our relationship is characterised by solid bilateral trade and economic links, increased defence and law enforcement cooperation and an expanded development cooperation partnership.

Australia works to coordinate its support for Pakistan with that of other international partners, including through a founding role in the Friends of Democratic Pakistan group and membership of the Pakistan Development Forum.

Australia and Pakistan also work together in areas of mutual interest in the multilateral system, including in the organs of the United Nations and in the World Trade Organisation through the Cairns Group.

The relationship is underpinned by growing people-to-people links, including through sport and the more than 5000 students from Pakistan studying in Australia.

Mr Heyward is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was until recently Assistant Secretary Africa Branch, a position he held from June 2011. Prior to this, he was Assistant Secretary, Consular Operations Branch.

Mr Heyward previously served overseas as Australia's Ambassador to East Timor; Ambassador to Brazil, also accredited to Colombia and Venezuela; Deputy Permanent Representative, Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Geneva and Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Argentina.

Mr Heyward holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tasmania, and a Graduate Certificate in Management from Monash University. He is married and has two daughters.

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