Bryce Hutchesson has been appointed Australia’s next High Commissioner to Sri Lanka with effect from early February 2016, Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop announced.
Mr. Hutchesson would also have non-resident accreditation to the Maldives.
Mr Hutchesson, who was a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, was acting First Assistant Secretary of the South and West Asia Division.
Mr Hutchesson has served overseas as Deputy High Commissioner in New Delhi, with earlier postings in Bangkok and Tel Aviv. He has also served in Washington with the Office of National Assessments.
In Canberra, Mr Hutchesson has led DFAT’s South Asia Branch, Executive, Planning and Evaluation Branch and several branches responsible for international security.
He holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.
“I thank outgoing High Commissioner Robyn Mudie for her contribution in advancing Australia’s interests in Sri Lanka since 2012,” Minister Bishop said.
Minister Bishop said Australia would continue to support Sri Lanka as it makes progress on national reconciliation.
She said in a statement that Australia had a close and long-standing bilateral relationship with Sri Lanka, underpinned by growing trade and investment ties and extensive people-to-people links and that Two-way trade in 2014 was $830 million and Australia was home to a 130,000-strong Sri Lankan community.
“Our relationship encompasses development cooperation, education and close collaboration on countering people smuggling and transnational crime,” she said.
Minister Bishop said Australia and Sri Lanka worked productively together to address shared regional and global challenges, including in the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the Commonwealth.
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