Diplomatic appointment: High Commissioner to Kiribati

Media release

29 April 2012

Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced that Mr George Fraser will be Australia's next High Commissioner to Kiribati.

Mr Fraser is expected to take up his appointment in June 2012. He will replace Mr Brett Aldam who has been High Commissioner since April 2009.

Australia and Kiribati enjoy a close relationship based on the bilateral Partnership for Development and support for surveillance of Kiribati's large and important exclusive economic zone.

Australia is working with Kiribati to improve access to education for I-Kiribati students. This will provide more opportunities for people to develop their workforce skills in high-demand industries.

Kiribati has been a participant in Australia's Pacific Seasonal Worker Pilot Scheme since November 2008.

Australia works closely with Kiribati to address the environmental challenges facing vulnerable Pacific Island countries, including climate change.

In September 2011, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon visited Kiribati with Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs Richard Marles to gain an appreciation of these challenges first-hand.

Australia and Kiribati co-operate closely in regional and international organisations, including the Pacific Islands Forum, the Commonwealth and the United Nations.

Mr Fraser is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was until recently Director Projects, Remuneration and Post Management Branch, a position he held from October 2011.

Overseas, Mr Fraser served as Counsellor and Consul-General in New Zealand; High Commissioner to Nauru and prior to that as Head of Post and Consul-General; Director, Consular and Administrative Affairs, Australian Commerce & Industry Office (Australian Representative Office), Taipei; Head of Post, Australian Consulate-General, Bali and Deputy Head of Mission to the Lao People's Democratic Republic, with earlier postings to Manila, Bangkok and Accra.

Mr Fraser is married and has two adult children.

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