The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd has today announced that Mr Brett Hackett is Australia's new ambassador to Brazil.
Mr Hackett is expected to take up his appointment in February 2011, and he replaces Mr Neil Mules who has been Ambassador since January 2008.
Australia and Brazil established diplomatic relations in 1945 and share a long history of close cooperation. Australian and Brazilian foreign and trade policy interests coincide in many important areas. Australia welcomes Brazil's growing success as a major emerging economy and its significant contributions to global affairs.
On 21 September, Mr Rudd and the Brazilian Minister for External Affairs, Dr Amorim, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for an Enhanced Partnership between Australia and Brazil. This Partnership aims to strengthen Australia's links with Brazil in a wide range of areas, including trade and investment, agriculture, mining, energy, science and technology, development assistance, education, sport, and people to people links.
Brazil is Australia's most important trading partner in South America with current two way merchandise trade exceeding A$1.5 billion in 2009. Brazil is also the largest source of foreign students from Latin America, with more than 10,000 Brazilians studying in Australia in 2010.
Mr Hackett is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was recently Assistant Secretary, Services and Intellectual Property Branch, a position he held since June 2008. Mr Hackett has previously served overseas as Australia's Ambassador to Afghanistan, with earlier postings to Pakistan and Canada.
Mr Hackett speaks Portuguese and holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Queensland and a Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from the Australian National University.
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555