Diplomatic Appointment — High Commissioner to Samoa

Media release


22 December 2010

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd has today announced that Dr Stephen Henningham will be Australia's new High Commissioner to Samoa.

Dr Henningham is expected to take up his appointment in January 2011, and he replaces Matt Anderson who has been High Commissioner since January 2007.

Australia and Samoa share a close bilateral relationship that continues to strengthen through increasing levels of development assistance, trade and investment and defence cooperation. Our strong people-to-people links are demonstrated by the sizeable Samoan community resident in Australia and the steady increase in Australian tourists visiting Samoa.

Australia values Samoa's strong record as an effective and responsible development partner. Samoa was the first country with which Australia signed a Pacific Partnership for Development in 2008, and a Pacific Security Partnership in 2010. Through the Partnership for Development, Australia is providing assistance to support private sector-led growth and employment, improve health, education and governance, and manage the impact of climate change.

Australia cooperates with Samoa in maritime surveillance and resources protection under the Pacific Patrol Boat program. Australia also supports the Pacific Transnational Crime Coordination Centre, which brings together Pacific law enforcement, customs and immigration agencies in combating transnational crime.

Dr Henningham is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and is currently Director, Fiji and Strongim Gavman Program Section, a position he has held since June 2007. Dr Henningham has extensive experience within the Department and has previously served overseas in Ho Chi Minh City, Bougainville, Port Moresby and Noumea. He is also the author of academic works on the history and politics of the Pacific islands region.

Dr Henningham holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with honours in history from the University of New South Wales and a PhD in South Asian Studies from the Australian National University. He is married to Catherine Cregan; they have three adult children.

Media enquiries

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