Today I announce the appointment of Mr Stephen Brady CVO as Australia’s next Ambassador to France with non-resident accreditation to Morocco, Monaco, Algeria and Mauritania.

Mr Brady is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and has been seconded as Official Secretary to the Governor-General and Secretary of the Council of the Order of Australia since 2008. He has previously served as Ambassador to the Netherlands (2004-2008) and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons; Ambassador to Sweden (1998-2003); and Counsellor, then Chargé d’affaires, in Dublin.

From 1991 to 1996 Mr Brady worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; was Senior Adviser (Government/Cabinet) to the Prime Minister (1996-1998 and again from 2003-2004); and Foreign Policy Adviser to Leaders of the Opposition and shadow Foreign Ministers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the Australian National University.

Australia and France enjoy a mature and dynamic relationship. The conclusion of a Strategic Partnership agreement in 2012 commits both countries to strengthen cooperation in political, defence, security, economic and development fields. As a major player in world affairs and a nation with global reach, France is a vital partner in key forums such as the G20 and the UN Security Council, of which we are both current members.  We work well together in the Pacific, where France makes a valuable contribution to the region’s security, stability and development.

Australia and France are committed partners in remembrance. The Centenary of World War I, which will be an important focus of bilateral engagement over the course of 2014-18, builds on our shared history, continuing the legacy forged by both our countries through two World Wars and beyond. 

Australia and France enjoy substantial trade and investment links. France is Australia’s 11th largest source of foreign direct investment, worth $7.6 billion in 2012 while total investment is valued at $18.2 billion. Australian investment in France totals $30 billion. Two-way goods and services trade was worth $6.9 billion in 2012-13.  People-to-people links are growing, with over 100,000 French students, working holiday makers and tourists visiting Australia each year. 

Australia and Monaco are both committed to the multilateral system, and share interests in maritime issues, the arts and sport. Morocco is a growing partner for Australia in the commercial sector where we are expanding links in resources, energy, agriculture and education. Australia values its enduring good relations with Algeria and we look forward to inaugural Senior Officials Talks this year to explore ways to deepen our links. Australia’s ties with Mauritania have strengthened in recent years.  In Mauritania’s capacity as Chair of the African Union, we look forward to welcoming its representatives to the G20 Summit in Australia this year.

Mr Brady is expected to take up his appointment in September.

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