Diplomatic Appointment - Ambassador to East Timor

Media release


17 November 2010

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd has today announced that Mr Miles Armitage is Australia's new ambassador to East Timor.

Mr Armitage is expected to take up his appointment in February 2011. He replaces Mr Peter Heyward who has been Ambassador since January 2008.

East Timor and Australia have a long history together and are good friends and close neighbours.

Australia is at the forefront of international support for East Timor. We work in close partnership with its Government to support the country's enhanced security and prosperity.

In 2009, the Governments of East Timor and Australia agreed on a new country aid strategy which focuses Australian assistance on regional areas and sectors where help is most urgently needed: primary health, education, employment, infrastructure, government accountability and policing.

At the request of the East Timorese Government, Australia leads the International Stabilisation Force which supports the role of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste in maintaining security.

Australia and East Timor have agreed to share resources in the Timor Sea and continue to work together to ensure their development for the benefit of both nations. The revenues derived from these resources will continue to make an important contribution to the economy of East Timor.

Mr Armitage is a senior career officer in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Assistant Secretary, Parliamentary and Media Branch. Prior to that, Mr Armitage was seconded to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He has served overseas in Manila, Australia's Mission to the United Nations in New York and Islamabad.

Mr Armitage holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours and a Diploma of Museum Studies from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs from the Australian National University. Mr Armitage speaks Portuguese and Tetum. He has two children.

Media enquiries

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