Today I announce the appointment of Mr Bruce Cowled as Australia's next High Commissioner to Kiribati.

I visited Kiribati in March this year to advance Australia’s strong bilateral relationship, which is underpinned by cooperation on development, security and initiatives to enhance economic growth.

Australia works closely with Kiribati on the critical issue of climate change. We are investing heavily in building Kiribati’s resilience to climate shocks, and contributing to better coastal protection, water management and sanitation. Australia also cooperates with Kiribati on maritime surveillance under the Pacific Patrol Boat program.

Australia is committed to improving Kiribati’s economic prospects by investing in education and workforce training. The recent expansion of the Seasonal Worker Programme and establishment of the Pacific Microstates - Northern Australia Worker Pilot Program will create links between the people of Australia and Kiribati.

Mr Cowled is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is currently Counsellor and Consul-General at the Australian Embassy in Manila. He has served overseas as High Commissioner in Nauru and Consul-General in Bali. His earlier overseas postings included The Hague, Brunei Darussalam and Chicago.

In Canberra, Mr Cowled’s most recent position was Director of the Consular Information Assistance Project. 

I thank the outgoing High Commissioner, George Fraser, for his contribution to advancing Australia’s interests in Kiribati since 2012.

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