List of High Commissioners of the United Kingdom to Australia

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High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Australia
Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom (HM Government).svg
Coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Menna Rawlings.jpg
Incumbent
Menna Rawlings

since April 2015
Style Her Excellency
Residence Canberra
Inaugural holder Sir Geoffrey Whiskard
Formation 1936
Website British High Commission Canberra

The High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Australia is an officer of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the United Kingdom's foremost diplomatic representative to the Commonwealth of Australia. Despite Britain's close relationship with Australia, the first High Commissioner from London was not appointed until 1936, owing to the clarification of Britain's relations with the Imperial Dominions after the Statute of Westminster 1931.

Office history[edit]

From the beginning of the British colonisation in 1788 and after Australia's federation in 1901, the Governor-General of Australia and the various state governors had been the official representatives of the British government, as well as the crown. Following the 1926 Imperial Conference and the subsequent Balfour Declaration an Australian, Isaac Isaacs, became Governor-General in January 1931. Being an Australian, it was felt in London he couldn't properly represent the British Government. They thus appointed their Representative for Migration in Melbourne Ernest Tristram Crutchley as their first Representative of His Majesty's Government in Australia, pending the nomination of a high commissioner, on the Canadian model.

That same year, the Statute of Westminster made easier the creation of such high commissions in the Dominions but as the Australian Government delayed its ratification, the United Kingdom had to wait until 1936 to appoint a high commissioner to regularise the role of the Governor-General in Australia, six years before Australia's actual ratification of the Statute.

Office-holders[edit]

High commissioner Start of term End of term
Sir Geoffrey Whiskard 1936 1941
Sir Ronald Cross 1941 1945
Edward Williams 1946 1952
Sir Stephen Holmes 1952 1956
The Lord Carrington 1956 1959
Sir William Oliver 1959 1965
Sir Charles Johnston 1965 1971
Sir Morrice James 1971 1976
Sir Donald Tebbit 1976 1980
Sir John Mason 1980 1984
Sir John Leahy 1984 1988
Sir John Coles 1988 1991
Sir Brian Barder 1991 1994
Sir Roger Carrick 1994 1997
Sir Alex Allan 1997 1999
Sir Alastair Goodlad 1999 2005
Helen Liddell 2005 2009
The Baroness Amos 2009 2010
Paul Madden[1] 2011 2015
Menna Rawlings[2] 2015

References[edit]

External links[edit]