List of High Commissioners of Australia to the United Kingdom

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

since 27 June 2014
Style His Excellency
Nominator Prime Minister of Australia
Appointer Governor General of Australia
Inaugural holder Sir George Reid
Formation 1910
Website Australian High Commission, United Kingdom
Australia House in London, opened by King George V on 3 August 1918.

The High Commissioner of Australia to the United Kingdom is an officer of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the head of the High Commission of the Commonwealth of Australia to United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in London. The position has the rank and status of an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and is currently held by former Minister for Foreign Affairs Alexander Downer, who is the son of Hon Sir Alexander Downer, who held the post from 1964 to 1972. The High Commissioner also serves as Australia's Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation (since 1959),[1] a Trustee of the Imperial War Museum and Australia's Commonwealth War Graves Commissioner.

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 upon its opening in 1918. 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 and many 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.

High Commissioners[edit]

Name Start of term End of term References
Sir George Reid 1910 1916
Andrew Fisher 1916 1920
Sir Joseph Cook 1921 1927
Sir Granville Ryrie 1927 1932
Stanley Bruce 1933 1945
Jack Beasley 1946 1949
Norman Mighell (Acting) 1949 1950 [2]
Eric Harrison 1950 1951 [3]
Sir Thomas White 1951 1956 [4]
Sir Eric Harrison 1956 1964
Sir Alexander Downer 1964 1972
John Armstrong 1973 1974 [5]
Sir John Bunting 1975 1977
Sir Gordon Freeth 1977 1980
Sir James Plimsoll 1980 1981
Sir Victor Garland 1981 1983
Alfred Parsons 1983 1987
Doug McClelland 1987 1991 [6]
Richard Smith 1991 1994
Neal Blewett 1994 1998
Philip Flood 1998 2000
Michael L'Estrange 2000 2005
Richard Alston 2005 2008
John Dauth 2008 2013
Mike Rann 2013 2014
Alexander Downer 27 June 2014 present

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "International Maritime Organization (IMO)". Australia Maritime Safety Authority. Australian Government. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  2. ^ The Foundry trade journal, Vol. 98 (1955)
  3. ^ Macintyre, Stuart: Harrison, Sir Eric John (1892-1974). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University
  4. ^ Rickard, John: White, Sir Thomas Walter (1888-1957). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University
  5. ^ Parliamentary debates, House of Representatives, weekly Hansard, Vol. 104 (1978)
  6. ^ Australian foreign affairs and trade, Vol. 61 (1990)

External links[edit]