Diplomatic Appointment — Ambassador to Burma

Media release

Canberra

20 December 2010

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, has today announced that Ms Bronte Moules will be Australia's new ambassador to Burma.

Ms Moules is expected to take up her appointment in January 2011, and will replace Ms Michelle Chan who has been ambassador since May 2008.

The Australian Government has been active in efforts to promote genuine political reform and national reconciliation in Burma, and remains deeply concerned about the political, economic and humanitarian situation in that country. Australia maintains targeted financial sanctions, travel restrictions and an arms embargo on Burma.

Our embassy in Rangoon uses its limited engagement with the Burmese authorities to convey messages on human rights and political reform, and to pursue important regional concerns such as the drugs trade, human trafficking, HIV/AIDS, money-laundering and terrorism. The embassy maintains contact with a range of political parties and non-government agents and regularly stresses the importance of substantive and inclusive dialogue in achieving progress on reform in Burma.

The Australian Government warmly welcomed the 13 November release of Aung San Suu Kyi. We urge the Burmese authorities to involve Aung San Suu Kyi and all of Burma's ethnic and political groups in a genuine process of dialogue and national reconciliation. We continue to call on Burma to allow freedom of speech, assembly and association and to release all remaining political prisoners.

The Government also recognises the pressing humanitarian and long-term development needs in Burma. In 2010-11 Australia is providing approximately $50 million in aid to the people of Burma. Our aid program is delivered through multilateral and non-government organisations and istargeted at areas of great need, such as health, education and agriculture.

Ms Moules is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and served most recently as Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy, Bangkok. Ms Moules has also previously served overseas in New Delhi, at Australia's Mission to the United Nations, New York, and at Australia's Mission to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva. Ms Moules holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours from the Australian National University.

Media enquiries

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