Diplomatic appointment – Ambassador to the Philippines

Media release

7 November 2011

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today announced that Mr Bill Tweddell will be Australia's next Ambassador to the Philippines.

Mr Tweddell is expected to take up his appointment in January 2012, and will replace Mr Rod Smith who has been Ambassador since March 2008.

The Philippines is an important partner to Australia in Southeast Asia. Both countries cooperate closely on a range of global and regional issues.

This year marks the 65th anniversary of Australia's bilateral relationship with the Philippines. Australia has a substantial trade relationship with the Philippines, with two-way trade last year reaching $2.6 billion.

Reflecting our shared regional interests, Australia and the Philippines cooperate closely in the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Defence Ministers' meeting and APEC. Our law enforcement and security agencies cooperate closely to deal with the challenge of terrorism in the region.

Mr Tweddell is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Mr Tweddell has served as Australian Ambassador to Vietnam; Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom; Consul-General, Hong Kong; and High Commissioner, Sri Lanka; with earlier postings to India, Greece and Bangladesh. He was also Chief of Staff to the former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer.

Mr Tweddell holds Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Economics degrees from James Cook University. He is married to Chris and has two sons.

Media enquiries

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