Stephen Brady

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His Excellency
Stephen Christopher Brady
Stephen Brady (official portrait April 2014).jpg
Australian Ambassador to France
Assumed office
31 March 2014
Preceded by Ric Wells
Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia
In office
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce (2008–14)
Sir Peter Cosgrove (2014)
Preceded by Malcolm Hazell
Succeeded by Mark Fraser
Australian Ambassador to the Netherlands
In office
Preceded by Peter Hussin
Succeeded by Lydia Morton
Australian Ambassador to Sweden
In office
Preceded by Judith Pead
Succeeded by Richard Rowe
Personal details
Born (1959-06-11) 11 June 1959 (age 58)
London, United Kingdom
Domestic partner Peter Stephens
Alma mater Australian National University

Stephen Christopher Brady AO, CVO (born 11 June 1959) is a senior Australian career diplomat. In 1999 he and his partner Peter Stephens became the world's first officially acknowledged same sex ambassadorial couple, when they were presented to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark at the start of Brady's posting as Australian Ambassador to Denmark.[1] From September 2008 to June 2014 he was the Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia. During this time he was also Secretary of the Council of the Order of Australia and Secretary of the Bravery Decorations Council. In March 2014 his appointment as Ambassador to the French Republic, with concurrent accreditation to the Kingdom of Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Principality of Monaco was announced.[2]

Early life[edit]

Brady was born in London on 11 June 1959 to Geoffrey Vincent Brady and his wife Susanne. The family moved to Australia in 1960, where Brady was educated at Canberra Grammar School and the Australian National University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in international relations in 1981.[3]


Brady joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1982 as a graduate foreign service officer. Promoted in 1985 to the Office of Security and Intelligence Coordination in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, he was subsequently foreign policy adviser to two Leaders of the Opposition.[4] From 1990 – 1991 he was Counsellor and Chargé d'Affaires at the Australian Embassy in Dublin.[1]

From 1991–1996 he was head of the Guest of Government program in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.[1] On two later occasions he was seconded from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to work for the Prime Minister as Senior Adviser (Government).[5]

In December 1998 he was appointed Ambassador to Sweden with non-resident accreditation to Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.[6] He was Australia's Representative at three consecutive high level international conferences on combating intolerance and discrimination, held in Stockholm (2000–03).[1] In 2000 he headed Australia's delegation to the Plurilateral War Crimes Conference in Riga, Latvia.[7]

In February 1999 he made headlines as Australia's and the world's first openly gay ambassador when he formally presented his partner Peter Stephens to Queen Margrethe II of Denmark.[1][8][9] Stephens's passport was initially endorsed "Bearer is a member of the domestic household of the Ambassador", until Brady, who had been in a committed relationship with Stephens since 1982, insisted that it be changed.[1]

In February 2004, he was appointed Ambassador to the Netherlands. He was instrumental in coordinating arrangements with the Dutch government for Australia's joint military operation in Afghanistan which, according to Australian Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, "he facilitated brilliantly".[1] Brady's diplomatic skills and remarkable and extensive network of connections were widely acknowledged.[10]

In December 2007 he led Australia's delegation to the International Criminal Court's Assembly of State Parties Conference at the UN in New York.[11]

He served as Australia's Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. In addition, he had responsibility for Australia's relationships with all international legal institutions based in The Hague. These included the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and the International Court for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).[12] On his return to Australia in March 2008 he was appointed Chief of Protocol in DFAT.[1]

On 5 September 2008, Stephen Brady was appointed Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia.[13] He served the entire term of Dame Quentin Bryce (2008–14) and into the early part of General Sir Peter Cosgrove's term (2014).

On 31 March 2014 his appointment as Australian Ambassador to France was announced.[14] In May 2015 he reportedly offered his resignation (which was not accepted) to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade after an incident in which he refused to follow an instruction given by the travelling party of the Australian Prime Minister, after his partner was told to stay in the car and not greet Prime Minister Abbott at an unofficial airport arrival in France.[15] The Prime Minister later described Brady as 'a fine servant of Australia.'[16]


OrderAustraliaRibbon.png Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) 2015 Australia Day Honours. For distinguished service to successive Australian Governments, to international relations through senior diplomatic roles, to the fostering of security, economic and cultural initiatives, and as Official Secretary to the Governor-General.[17]
Royal Victorian Order UK ribbon.png Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) Appointed to the Royal Victorian Order and invested by Her Majesty The Queen at Government House, Canberra on 25 October 2011.[18]
Order of St John (UK) ribbon.png Commander of the Order of St John 17 November 2010. The Governor-General, as Prior of the Order of St John, conferred the Commander of the Order (CStJ) on Brady.[19]
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Commander BAR.png Commander of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands) 30 April 2009 by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands for his ambassadorial success in The Netherlands. He was later invested with the insignia at the Dutch Embassy in Canberra by Ambassador Willem Andreae.[20]
Order of the Crown of Tonga - ribbon bar.gif Commander of the Order of the Crown (Tonga) 22 October 2010 by King George Tupou V of Tonga during his visit to Australia.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Envoys of Change", The Weekend Australian Magazine, 19–20 December 2009
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Stephen Christopher Brady". Who's Who in Australia Online. Connect Web. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Weller, P. et al., From Postbox to Powerhouse: A Centenary History of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,Allen & Unwin, 2011, pp107, 133, 155
  5. ^ Who's Who 2012, Crown Content
  6. ^ Downer, Alexander (2 July 1998). "Diplomatic Appointment Ambassador to Sweden" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014. 
  7. ^ Who's Who 2012, (Australia), Crown Content
  8. ^ Dennett, Harley (3 September 2008), "Queen’s woman gets a new man", Sydney Star Observer, retrieved 11 October 2008 
  9. ^ Hein, John (1 February 1999), "Gay Ambassador and Hubby Meet Danish Queen", ScotsGay Magazine, retrieved 24 August 2010 
  10. ^ Middleton, K., An Unwinnable War, Melbourne University Press, 2011 pp 172 – 174, 177–78, 181,
  11. ^ Who's Who 2012,(Australia), Crown Content
  12. ^
  13. ^ Shanahan, Dennis (26 August 2008), "Diplomat with family ties gets $225,000 job", The Australian, retrieved 11 October 2008 
  14. ^ "Alexander Downer announced as Australia's high commissioner to the United Kingdom", ABC News, 31 March 2014. Retrieved 31 March 2014
  15. ^ Hartcher, Peter (5 May 2015). "Ambassador to France offers resignation after 'bizarre' Abbott airport incident". The Age. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia in the General Division" (pdf). Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia. 26 January 2015. p. 4. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Brady invested as Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
  19. ^ GGP, 17 November 2010
  20. ^ "Governor-General's Program – 5 June 2009". Governor-General website. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  21. ^ GGP, 22 October 2010
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Judith Pead
Australian Ambassador to Sweden
1999 – 2003
Succeeded by
Richard Rowe
Australian Ambassador to Denmark
1999 – 2000
Succeeded by
Malcolm Leader
Preceded by
Peter Hussin
Australian Ambassador to the Netherlands
Succeeded by
Lydia Morton
Preceded by
Ric Wells
Australian Ambassador to France
Australian Ambassador to Morocco
Succeeded by
Berenice Owen-Jones
Government offices
Preceded by
Malcolm Hazell
Official Secretary to the Governor-General of Australia
Succeeded by
Mark Fraser