Australian Office in Taipei

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Australian Office in Taipei
President International Tower 20080120.jpg
President International Tower
Agency overview
Formed1981 (as Australian Commerce and Industry Office)[1]
2012 (as Australian Office in Taipei)[2]
Jurisdiction Taiwan
HeadquartersXinyi, Taipei, Taiwan
Minister responsible
  • Gary Cowan, Representative[3][4]
WebsiteAustralian Office Taipei

The Australian Office in Taipei (Chinese: 澳洲辦事處; pinyin: Àozhōu Bànshì Chù) represents Australian interests in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic relations, functioning as a de facto embassy.[5] The Office is headed by a Representative, currently Gary Cowan.[6]

Its counterpart in Australia is the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia in Canberra.[7]


It was established in 1981 as the Australian Commerce and Industry Office.[1] This was under control of the Australian Chamber of Commerce.[8] It adopted its present name in 2012.[2]

The Visa and Citizenship Office of the Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong is responsible for consular matters for applicants in Taiwan.[9]

Before 1972, Australia recognised Taiwan as the "Republic of China", and had an embassy in Taipei, opened in 1966.[10] In 1972, diplomatic relations were ended following the decision of the government of Gough Whitlam to recognise the People's Republic of China.[11]

An unofficial organisation known as the Australia-Free China Society, established an office in 1974 to provide services for Australians visiting Taiwan, headed by Lu Chen-kai, Secretary-General of the Sino-Australian Cultural and Economic Association in Taipei.[12] In Australia, New South Wales MP Douglas Darby, President of the Australia-Free China Society, represented Taiwan in Australia.[13]


Name Image Start of term End of term Notes
Bill Mattingly 1981 1990 [14]
Rob O'Donovan 1990 1992 [14]
Colin Heseltine 1992 1997 [15]
Sam Gerovich Sam Gerovich (1).jpg 1997 2000 [15]
Frances Adamson Frances Adamson (1).jpg 2000 2005 [16]
Steve Waters 2005 2008 [17]
Alice Cawte Alice Cawte (2).jpg 2008 2011 [18]
Kevin Magee Kevin Magee (1).jpg 2011 2014 [19]
Catherine Raper Catherine Raper (1).jpg 2014 2018 [3]
Gary Cowan Gary Cowan (1).jpg 2018 present [6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate: 1962-1983, Ann Millar, UNSW Press, 2000, page 244
  2. ^ a b Australian office renamed, Taipei Times, May 30, 2012
  3. ^ a b "Representative, Australian Office, Taipei Ms Catherine Raper". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 2016-02-21.
  4. ^ Everington, Keoni (27 July 2017). "Taiwan's 'New Southbound Policy' and Australia". Taiwan News. Retrieved 29 July 2017.
  5. ^ The Australian Office in Taipei, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  6. ^ a b "Representative, Australian Office". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 2018-04-29.
  7. ^ Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia
  8. ^ Prospects for Australian Seafood Exports: A Case Study of the Taiwanese Market, Malcolm Tull Asia Research Centre on Social, Political, and Economic Change, Murdoch University, 1993, page 10
  9. ^ Visas and migration, Australian Office
  10. ^ Whitlam hasn't dumped Taiwan, Bruce Grant, The Age, July 14, 1971, page 5
  11. ^ Taiwan country brief, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  12. ^ Free China Review, Volumes 24-25, W.Y. Tsao, 1974, page 4
  13. ^ Love-hate with Taiwan, Sydney Morning Herald, March 12, 1974, page 4
  14. ^ a b Australian Backing Taipei GATT Bid Archived 2016-05-08 at the Wayback Machine, Taiwan Info, 19 February 1990
  15. ^ a b Taiwan-Australia Relations: Humming Along, University of Nottingham, February 6, 2014
  16. ^ Business Lunch with HE Ms Frances Adamson, Australian Ambassador to the People's Republic of China (Melbourne) Archived 2015-04-07 at the Wayback Machine, University of Melbourne, 3rd July 2014
  17. ^ Cross-strait stability vital to Australia, envoy says,Taipei Times, January 31, 2006
  18. ^ Australia praises Ma for avoiding dollar diplomacy, Taipei Times, October 27, 2008
  19. ^ Interview with Kevin Magee, seasoned Australian diplomat, Radio Taiwan International, August 17, 2014

External links[edit]