Diplomatic appointment - Ambassador to The Netherlands

Media release


17 July 2011

Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd has today announced that Neil Mules AO will be Australia’s next Ambassador to the Netherlands.

Mr Mules is expected to take up his appointment later this month. He will replace Lydia Morton who has been Ambassador since March 2008.

Australia and the Netherlands have a strong and friendly relationship based on shared values and interests, and cooperate closely on a wide range of international issues, including counter-terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, international development, human rights and environment. The Netherlands is also a valuable interlocutor for Australia in the European Union.

The Netherlands is an important trade and investment partner for Australia. In 2009‑10 Australia’s exports to the Netherlands were valued at $2 billion. The Netherlands was the fourth largest source of foreign direct investment in Australia in 2009 and was the ninth largest destination for Australian investment overseas.

Mr Mules will be Australia’s Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons of which Australia is an active State Party. He will be Australia’s diplomatic representative to the Permanent Court of Arbitration and in a number of international legal bodies located in The Hague including the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice and other specialist legal tribunals.

Mr Mules is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). He was most recently Australian Ambassador to Brazil. Mr Mules has previously served overseas as Ambassador to Mexico and Iraq with earlier postings to Vietnam, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Turkey, and Brazil.

Mr Mules holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Flinders University. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2003 for his role in responding on the ground to the Bali terrorist bombs in 2002 and was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia in April 2004 for his outstanding service as Australia’s representative in Iraq.

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