High Commissioner to Vanuatu
Today I announce the appointment of Ms Heidi Bootle as Australia’s next High Commissioner to Vanuatu.
Australia and Vanuatu enjoy a warm and close relationship, reflecting our longstanding security, economic and development partnerships. We have shared interests in a secure, stable, and prosperous Pacific.
Under Australia’s Pacific Step-up, we have worked in partnership on Vanuatu’s COVID-19 response and recovery, providing a total response package of $37.7 million and 130,000 doses of AstraZeneca to Vanuatu to date.
Australia shares strong people-to-people links with Vanuatu, including important linkages between the Australian South Sea Islander community and Vanuatu. Vanuatu also has the largest cohort of seasonal workers in rural and regional Australia. There are currently over 6,000 ni-Vanuatu workers in Australia, providing significant benefits to both of our economies.
Vanuatu is a key regional partner, and we look forward to working closely with the Government of Vanuatu to establish the Pacific Fusion Centre in Port Vila, as a hub of excellence in security assessment for the Pacific region.
Ms Bootle is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Assistant Secretary, Pacific Partnerships and Development Branch. She has previously served overseas in Noumea, Honiara, and Paris. In Canberra she served as Senior Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs as well as in several leadership roles in DFAT involving Pacific and regional issues.
Ms Bootle holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Tasmania, and a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from Australian National University.
I thank outgoing High Commissioner Sarah de Zoeten for her contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Vanuatu since 2019.