Australia appoints new ambassador to Palau

Today I announce the appointment of Ms Richelle Turner as Australia’s first resident Ambassador to Palau.

The Australian Embassy in Palau opened on 17 December 2019 as part of Australia’s Pacific Step-Up. It will bolster our diplomatic network, already the largest in the region of any country.

Australia is delivering on its objective to open a mission in every Pacific Island Forum member country. Expanding our diplomatic footprint in the Pacific is vital to the Step-up.

Australia and Palau have a strong bilateral relationship. Our two countries have worked together over the long term to support regional maritime security. Australia will provide a new Guardian-class Patrol Boat to Palau in mid-2020, replacing the existing Australian-made vessel.

We are proud to support Palau’s role as host of the Our Oceans Conference 2020 over 17-18 August.

Ms Turner is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is currently Director, Pacific Telecommunications Section. She has previously served overseas as First Secretary, Australian High Commission, Suva; and First Secretary, Australian Embassy, Jakarta.

Ms Turner holds a Masters in Marketing Management; a Bachelor of International Business from Griffith University; and a Graduate Certificate in International and Community Development from Deakin University.

I thank outgoing Ambassador George Fraser for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Palau since 2016. Mr Fraser was accredited to Palau from the Federated States of Micronesia.

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