Today I announce the appointment of Ms Robyn Mudie as Australia's next Ambassador to Vietnam.
Australia and Vietnam share a strong and enduring relationship, underp inned by longstanding people-to-people links and increasingly shared strategic and economic interests. The elevation of Australia-Vietnam relations to a Strategic Partnership in March 2018 reflects the importance of our bilateral ties and gives new momentum to our cooperation and engagement on a wide range of issues, including defence and security; policing; immigration; and counter people smuggling.
Vietnam is Australia's 15th largest trading partner, with two-way trade between Australia and Vietnam valued at $13.1 billion in 2017-18. Our two-way trade relationship is growing on average at around 10 per cent per annum.
We are also strengthening our cooperation in innovation and education. Since 2014, the New Colombo Plan has awarded 2,935 scholarships and mobility grants for Australian undergraduate students to study in Vietnam.
Ms Mudie is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Executive Director, Diplomatic Academy. She has previously served overseas as High Commissioner, Australian High Commission, Sri Lanka; Deputy Permanent Representative, United Nations (UN), Geneva; First Secretary, UN Permanent Mission, New York; and Second Secretary, Australian Embassy, Hanoi. In Canberra Ms Mudie has served as Assistant Secretary, Public Diplomacy Branch; Assistant Secretary, Information Resources Branch; and Director, Strategic Policy Section.
Ms Mudie holds a Master of Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Hull; Bachelor of Arts (Honours), from the University of Adelaide; and a Graduate Diploma (Foreign Affairs and Trade) from the Australian National University.
I thank outgoing Ambassador Mr Craig Chittick for his contributions to advancing Australia's interests in Vietnam since 2016.
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