Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd today announced that Ms Heidi Bootle will be Australia's next Consul-General in Noumea.
Ms Bootle is expected to take up her appointment next month. She replaces Ms Anita Butler who has been Consul-General since December 2007.
Noumea is one of Australia's oldest overseas posts, established more than 70 years ago. Australia and New Caledonia's relations build on Australia's close ties with France and have been boosted by increased cooperation as New Caledonia assumes greater autonomy under the 1998 Noumea Accord. Australia supports New Caledonia's increased engagement with the Pacific region.
Australia works with New Caledonia on issues such as environmental protection and vocational training, and cooperates with France in New Caledonia in areas such as natural disaster relief. Australian business activity in New Caledonia, including in the important mining sector, is active and growing.
The Consul General in Noumea is Australia's representative to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, which brings together 26 states and territories to provide development assistance to Pacific countries. The Consulate-General is also accredited to the French collectivities of French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna.
Ms Bootle is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). She was most recently Director of the Solomon Islands Section, a position she held from February 2009 until August 2011. Ms Bootle has previously served overseas in France and the Solomon Islands.
Ms Bootle holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Tasmania and a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from the Australian National University. She has two children. She speaks French.
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