Diplomatic Appointment – High Commissioner to Vanuatu

Media release

Canberra

17 November 2010

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, has today announced that Mr Jeff Roach will be Australia's High Commissioner to Vanuatu.

Mr Roach is expected to take up his appointment in December 2010. He replaces Mr Pablo Kang who has been High Commissioner since January 2009.

Australia has a strong and close relationship with Vanuatu at government, business and community levels. There is a significant Australian expatriate resident and visitor population and an expanding range of community and business links.

Australia and Vanuatu are both members of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) and the Commonwealth. Vanuatu succeeded Australia as the Chair of the Forum at the PIF Leaders' Meeting in Port Vila in August 2010, and we are committed to working closely with Vanuatu in implementing the Forum's agenda in the year ahead. As members of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, Australia and Vanuatu are working together in the lead-up to Australia's hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth next year.

Australia's development assistance program in Vanuatu, totalling around $60 million per year, is guided by the Australia-Vanuatu Partnership for Development. The priority outcome areas agreed under the Partnership are education, health, infrastructure, economic governance and law and justice.

Mr Roach is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Assistant Secretary, Australia Awards Secretariat. Mr Roach was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet between 2007-2009 where he ran the branch responsible for the Pacific, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the United Nations. Mr Roach has previously served in Australian embassies in France and Laos. In 2003, he received a Medal of the Order of Australia for his role in Australia's consular response to the 2002 Bali bombings. Mr Roach speaks French. He is married with three children.

Media enquiries

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