Australia appoints new ambassador to Indonesia

BYYasir Rehman


Australia has appointed Ms Penny Williams as country’s new Ambassador to Indonesia. She will replace Ambassador Gary Quinlan.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne while announcing Ambassador Penny appointment has termed Australia’s relationship with Indonesia as one of our most important partnerships .

“It (relationship) is underpinned by the Morrison Government’s 2018 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which frames our extensive cooperation spanning strategic, security, economic and people-to-people ties”, Ms Payne in her statement.

She said both nations contribute to regional and global forums, manage one of the longest maritime boundaries in the world, and combat terrorism and transnational crime while working in partnership to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Australia’s total two-way goods and services trade with Indonesia was worth $17.7 billion in 2019, making Indonesia 13th largest trade partner for Australia. Australia and Indonesia are working closely together to respond to the shared health, humanitarian and economic challenges posed by COVID-19.

“Indonesia is an important partner of our development program and Indo-Pacific Vaccines Initiative, through which we are supporting access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines”, She added.

Ms Williams is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was recently Deputy Secretary in the Department. She has previously served as High Commissioner to Malaysia and was Australia’s first Ambassador for Women and Girls.

Ms Williams is Australia’s first female Ambassador to Indonesia. She is fluent in Indonesian and holds a Bachelor of Asian Studies (Honours) focused on Indonesia; and a Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development.

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