Today I announce the appointment of Mr Matthew Barclay as Australia's next Consul-General in Phuket with responsibility for the provinces of Phuket, Krabi and Phang-Nga.

The Consulate-General provides essential passports and consular support to an area that is popular with Australian travellers - approximately 800,000 Australians visit Thailand each year.

Australia and Thailand enjoy a deep relationship underpinned by shared economic and strategic interests and extensive community links. Thailand is Australia's ninth-largest trading partner, and we work closely together on issues including defence, security, digital economy and agriculture.

Mr Barclay is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently First Secretary, Australian Embassy, Jakarta. He has previously served overseas as an adviser in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste. In Canberra he has served in the Consular Operations Branch and the Malaysia Brunei and Singapore Section.

Mr Barclay holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Western Australia and a Graduate Diploma of Education from Edith Cowan University.

I thank outgoing Consul-General Craig Ferguson for his contributions to advancing Australia's interests in Phuket since 2016.

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