List of High Commissioners of Australia to the United Kingdom

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Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom
Australian Coat of Arms.png
Alexander Downer.jpg
Alexander Downer

since 27 June 2014
Style His Excellency
Nominator Tony Abbott
Inaugural holder Sir George Reid
Formation 1910
Website High Commissioner

The role of Her Majesty's High Commissioner of Australia to the United Kingdom is as the leader of the Australian High Commission to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in London. The position has the rank and status of an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

The High Commission of Australia in London is Australia's oldest diplomatic posting, having been established in 1910. Australia House became the site of the mission in 1913.

Prior to this, and prior to federation, Australia was represented through the Agents-General of the colonies, the oldest being New South Wales in 1864. The colonies became states upon federation in 1901 but continue to be represented by Agents-General in London.

Four of Australia's Prime Ministers have later been appointed High Commissioner: Reid, Fisher, Cook and Bruce. Until 1973, every High Commissioner was a former member of the Australian Parliament and former minister. Since then, a number of senior career diplomats have held the post, although former politicians are still regularly appointed.

The current High Commissioner, former Opposition Leader and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, took office on 27 June 2014. He is the son of Hon Sir Alexander Downer, who held the post from 1964 to 1972.

Office holders[edit]

High Commissioner Start of Term End of Term
Rt Hon Sir George Reid GCB GCMG KC 1910 1916
Rt Hon Andrew Fisher 1916 1920
Rt Hon Sir Joseph Cook GCMG 1921 1927
Hon Sir Granville Ryrie KCMG CB VD 1927 1932
Rt Hon The Viscount Bruce of Melbourne CH MC FRS PC 1933 1945
Rt Hon John Beasley 1946 1949
Sir Norman Mighell (Acting) 1949 1950
Rt Hon Eric Harrison (Resident Minister) 1950 1951
Hon Sir Thomas White KBEDFC 1951 1956
Rt Hon Sir Eric Harrison KCMGKCVO 1956 1964
Hon Sir Alexander Downer KBE 1964 1972
Hon John Armstrong 1973 1974
Sir John Bunting KBE 1975 1977
Hon Sir Gordon Freeth KBE 1977 1980
Sir James Plimsoll ACCBE 1980 1981
Hon Sir Victor Garland KBE 1981 1983
Alfred Parsons AO 1983 1987
Hon Douglas McClelland AC 1987 1991
Richard Smith AM 1991 1994
Hon Dr. Neal Blewett AC 1994 1998
Philip Flood AO 1998 2000
Michael L'Estrange 2000 2005
Hon Richard Alston 2005 2008
John Dauth AOLVO 2008 2013
Hon Michael Rann CNZM 2013 2014
Hon Alexander Downer AC 2014 present

See also[edit]