The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd has today announced that Mr
Thomas Roth is Australia's new High Commissioner to Tonga.
Mr Roth replaces Mr Bruce Hunt who has been High Commissioner since
November 2006. He is expected to take up his appointment in January 2011.
Australia and Tonga have long enjoyed a warm relationship marked by close
regional and bilateral ties and deep community links. 2010 marks 40 years
of diplomatic relations.
Our cooperation covers regional trade and economic agreement negotiations
(PACER Plus), working together in the Pacific Islands Forum, and
contributing to the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands.
Tonga is scheduled to hold historic elections on 25 November 2010 under new
electoral and constitutional arrangements that will bring greater
democracy. Australia is supporting Tonga during this important transition
through its development assistance program.
Australia's total development assistance to Tonga has risen from $13.3
million in 2006-07 to $27.8 million for 2010-11. A Partnership for
Development agreement was signed in August 2009 that prioritises public
sector reform, improved health outcomes, improved vocational and technical
skills, and infrastructure development.
Australia also has active Defence Cooperation and Police Development
programs in Tonga.
Mr Roth is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and
Trade (DFAT) and is currently Director, United States Trade Section,
Americas and Africa Division - a position he has held since February 2009.
Mr Roth has extensive experience within the Department and has previously
served overseas in Vienna, Washington and Brasilia.
Mr Roth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours in Political Science) from
the University of Queensland. Mr Roth is married with three children.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555