Diplomatic appointment - Ambassador to Zimbabwe

Media release

Canberra

22 October 2010

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd has today announced that Mr Matthew Neuhaus is Australia's new ambassador to Zimbabwe.

Mr Neuhaus replaces Mr John Courtney who has been Ambassador since October 2007. He is expected to take up his appointment in January 2011.

Australia has always been a strong supporter of the Zimbabwean people and worked actively for Zimbabwe's independence in 1980. The Australian Government has a long history of assisting economic development in Zimbabwe, and remains committed to supporting the country's progress.

The Government considers the Global Political Agreement, which created the Inclusive Zimbabwe Government, as the best prospect for a better future for Zimbabwe, and urges all parties to implement its provisions in full. Australia looks forward to the people of Zimbabwe being able to vote in a free and fair election, under a new constitution and in a transparent and peaceful environment. It stands ready to assist that process.

Australia has provided more than $83 million to Zimbabwe since the formation of the Inclusive Government in February 2009. Our assistance focuses on the recovery of Zimbabwe's agricultural sector and the restoration of essential services, such as water, education and healthcare.

Mr Neuhaus is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He is currently Assistant Secretary and Head of the CHOGM Policy Task Force, and until recently headed the Pacific Engagement Taskforce. Mr Neuhaus has previously served overseas as Australia's High Commissioner to Nigeria, with earlier postings to the United Nations, New York, Papua New Guinea, and Kenya. He was also Director of the Political Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London from 2002-2008. He is married, with one daughter.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555