MEDIA RELEASE

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ALEXANDER DOWNER


FA 20

24 February 1998

Diplomatic Appointment- High Commissioner to Zimbabwe

I have today announced the appointment of Mrs Denise Fisher as Australian High Commissioner to Zimbabwe, with non-resident accreditation to Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Malawi and Angola. Mrs Fisher will replace The Hon. Mr Kerry Sibraa AO, who has been High Commissioner since March 1994.

Australia's relations with southern African countries are increasingly focused on the development of trade and investment opportunities. Australian mining investment in Zimbabwe is significant, and is growing in neighbouring Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zambia. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Mr Fischer, led a successful agribusiness trade mission to Zimbabwe in July 1997. Trade and investment missions from Zimbabwe have visited Australia in recent years.

Mrs Fisher is a senior career officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with experience particularly relevant to representing Australia in southern Africa. Since joining the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1976, she has served in three Commonwealth countries, promoting Australia's economic, political, environment and development cooperation interests in Kenya (1977-1980), India (1982-85) and Malaysia (1987-92).

From 1992 to 1995, Mrs Fisher was Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC, responsible for political and environment matters.

Since 1995, as Director, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Section of DFAT, Mrs Fisher has managed Australia's relationship with Taiwan, and our interests in Hong Kong as it returned to China's sovereignty.

Mrs Fisher has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Australian National University, a Diploma of Education from the Canberra University, and a Masters degree in International Public Policy from the Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC. She is married with three sons.

Mrs Fisher will commence her posting in May 1998.

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