TheJakartaPost

Please Update your browser

Your browser is out of date, and may not be compatible with our website. A list of the most popular web browsers can be found below.
Just click on the icons to get to the download page.

Jakarta Post

Richard Woolcott: An exemplary envoy

  • Warief Djajanto Basorie

    Contributor

Jakarta   /   Wed, December 29 2010   /  09:47 am

JP “You’re Muslim?” I nodded.“Then I have the finest Australian apple juice for you. I’ll have white wine.”

Richard Woolcott thus displayed considerable thoughtfulness when offering me drinks.Woolcott was Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia from 1975 to 1978, a testing time in Indonesian-Australian bilateral relations because of the situation in then East Timor. He retired from the diplomatic service in 1992 and now lives in Sydney. The 83-year-old now resides alone in a comfortable four-bedroom apartment. Birgit, his Danish-born wife of 56 years, died in 2008 from lung cancer. Woolcott is arguably one of Australia’s more adept and accomplishment-driven foreign service officers who has advised prime ministers from Robert Menzies in the 1950s to Kevin Rudd 50 years later. In his Indonesia posting, Woolcott perhaps ran the best-informed embassy in Jakarta and w...