High Commissioner to the Cook Islands

  • Media release

Today I announce the appointment of Ms Phoebe Smith as Australia’s next High Commissioner to the Cook Islands. 

Australia and Cook Islands are Pacific family and friends with deep historical, cultural and personal connections. 

I was pleased to sign the Cook Islands Australia ‘Oa Tumanava Partnership during my visit to Cook Islands in October 2022. 

The Partnership marks a new phase in our relationship with Cook Islands, based on strengthening people-to-people and institutional links, enhancing security and regional co-operation and achieving greater prosperity for our people and our region. 

Australia will continue to work closely with Cook Islands, as Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, to promote a peaceful, prosperous and resilient region. 

Ms Smith is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Assistant Director, Indo-Pacific Strategy and Regional Maritime Branch. 

She has previously served overseas in Hong Kong. 

I thank former High Commissioner Christopher Watkins and Chargé d'Affaires Ruth Baird for their contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in the Cook Islands since March 2020 and August 2022, respectively. 

Media enquiries

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