Ambassador to France

  • Media release
22 October 2020

Today I announce the appointment of Ms Gillian Bird PSM as Australia's new Ambassador to France. Ms Bird will also be accredited to Algeria, Mauritania and Monaco.

Australia and France have a strong, enduring and forward-looking relationship. We have common values, shared history and strong people-to-people links. Our negotiations of an Australia-EU free trade agreement and Australia's strategically important submarine program are policy priorities. Our Australia-France Initiative (AFiniti) has created a platform for cooperation across government, industry and civil society in all fields, and in the Indo-Pacific, where we both hold significant interests.

Australia's economic relationship with France is strong and has seen significant growth in recent years. In 2019, total two-way trade in goods and services was around $11.4 billion, with France's total investment stock in Australia valued at $35.8 billion. Australia's energy, infrastructure and defence sectors have experienced strong interest from French investors.

Australia and Monaco have a friendly bilateral relationship based on common values. Australia also shares a longstanding relationship with Algeria as a valuable partner in the Mediterranean and enjoys friendly diplomatic relations with Mauritania.

Ms Bird is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. She has previously served overseas in New York and Paris. In Canberra she has served as First Assistant Secretary, International Division, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and DFAT Head of Foreign Policy White Paper Taskforce.

Ms Bird holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney and is a graduate of the École Nationale d'Administration, France.

I thank outgoing Ambassador Brendan Berne for his contributions to advancing Australia's interests in France since 2017.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555