Australia appoints new ambassador to Indonesia

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Today I announce the appointment of Ms Penny Williams PSM as Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia.

Australia’s relationship with Indonesia is one of our most important partnerships. It is underpinned by the Morrison Government’s 2018 Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which frames our extensive cooperation spanning strategic, security, economic and people-to-people ties. Together we contribute to regional and global forums, manage one of the longest maritime boundaries in the world, and combat terrorism and transnational crime. We are working in partnership to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Australia’s total two-way goods and services trade with Indonesia was worth $17.7 billion in 2019, making Indonesia our 13th largest trade partner. The entry into force of IA-CEPA in 2020 was an important milestone in the partnership and will create stronger economic ties and provide greater certainty and improved access for our two countries’ exporters, service providers and investors.

Australia and Indonesia are working closely together to respond to the shared health, humanitarian and economic challenges posed by COVID-19. Indonesia is an important partner of our development program and Indo-Pacific Vaccines Initiative, through which we are supporting access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

Ms Williams is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was recently Deputy Secretary in the Department. She has previously served overseas as High Commissioner to Malaysia and was Australia’s first Ambassador for Women and Girls. Ms Williams is Australia’s first female Ambassador to Indonesia.

Ms Williams is fluent in Indonesian and holds a Bachelor of Asian Studies (Honours) focused on Indonesia; and a Masters of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development.

I thank outgoing Ambassador Gary Quinlan AO for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Indonesia since 2018.

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