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PM Abbott appoints Paul Grigson as new envoy to RI

  • Yohanna Ririhena

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Thu, December 4, 2014 | 11:15 am
PM Abbott appoints Paul Grigson as new envoy to RI

Paul Grigson. AFP

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appointed career diplomat Paul Grigson the country'€™s new ambassador to Indonesia, replacing Greg Moriarty who will end his tenure this month, a news report says.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Tuesday that Grigson had been appointed the new ambassador to Indonesia, a key posting that has added weight due to the politically sensitive climate.

However, the Australian Embassy declined to confirm the report.

'€œThe Australian government will announce the new ambassador to Indonesia in due course,'€ Embassy spokesperson Ray Marcello told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Although Moriarty will leave his post later this month, Marcello said the embassy could not confirm whether the new ambassador would automatically commence his new post in January 2015 as
Canberra was still waiting for Jakarta to grant agrément for its new envoy.

Grigson'€™s appointment comes at a sensitive time in Australia-Indonesia relations, with tensions stirred due to the Abbott government'€™s '€œturn back the boats'€ policy and recent revelations of spying by Australian officials.

The Australian leader hopes his envoy will be able to boost his government'€™s relations with President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo.

At present Grigson serves as deputy secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a position he has held since 2010.

According to the Australian government, Grigson served as Australian ambassador to Thailand from 2008 to 2010 and chief of staff to the foreign affairs minister from 2007 to 2008.

He was also previously first assistant secretary for the South East Asia Division (2004-2007), chief of staff to the trade minister ( 2003 ), assistant secretary, Maritime Southeast Asia Branch (2000-2003) and director, Parliamentary Liaison and Freedom of Information Section (1992-1993). Grigson was also a senior adviser in the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (1997-2000).

Grigson, who is married with two children, served as ambassador to Yangoon (2003-2004), chief negotiator, Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville ( 2000 ) and deputy head of mission in Phnom Penh (1993-1995).

He pursued his higher education at the University of Queensland, the Australian National University and the Securities Institute of Australia. Grigson holds a Bachelor of arts in psychology and journalism, a Bachelor of letters and a graduate diploma in applied finance.

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