List of High Commissioners of Australia to the United Kingdom
|High Commissioner of Australia to the United Kingdom|
|Nominator||Prime Minister of Australia|
|Appointer||Governor General of Australia|
|Inaugural holder||Sir George Reid|
|Website||Australian High Commission, United Kingdom|
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), 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.
|Name||Start of term||End of term||References|
|Sir George Reid||1910||1916|
|Sir Joseph Cook||1921||1927|
|Sir Granville Ryrie||1927||1932|
|Norman Mighell (Acting)||1949||1950|||
|Sir Thomas White||1951||1956|||
|Sir Eric Harrison||1956||1964|
|Sir Alexander Downer||1964||1972|
|Sir John Bunting||1975||1977|
|Sir Gordon Freeth||1977||1980|
|Sir James Plimsoll||1980||1981|
|Sir Victor Garland||1981||1983|
|Alexander Downer||27 June 2014||present|
- "International Maritime Organization (IMO)". Australia Maritime Safety Authority. Australian Government. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- The Foundry trade journal, Vol. 98 (1955)
- Macintyre, Stuart: Harrison, Sir Eric John (1892-1974). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University
- Rickard, John: White, Sir Thomas Walter (1888-1957). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University
- Parliamentary debates, House of Representatives, weekly Hansard, Vol. 104 (1978)
- Australian foreign affairs and trade, Vol. 61 (1990)