Today I announce the appointment of Ms Heidi Venamore as Australia’s next Ambassador to United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Australia and the UAE have a warm and rapidly expanding bilateral relationship. The UAE is Australia’s largest trading partner in the Middle East. In 2018, foreign investment from the UAE was valued at more than $11 billion, and two-way goods and services trade totalled $10.5 billion. Australian exports to the UAE grew 10.2 per cent from the previous year to $4.6 billion.
People-to-people links have expanded rapidly as a result of direct flights. An estimated 17,000 Australians live and work in the UAE, and more than 300 Australian business operate there. Australia and the UAE are part of the 79-member Global Coalition to Defeat Da’esh and are both members of the US-led International Maritime Security Construct.
Ms Venamore is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Assistant Secretary, Counter Terrorism Branch. She has previously served overseas as Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Amman; Head of Political/Trade Branch, Australian High Commission, London; and Deputy Head of Mission, Australian Embassy, Baghdad. In Canberra Ms Venamore has served as Director, Sea Law Section, Legal Branch; and Director, Iraq Task Force.
Ms Venamore holds a Master of Laws from the University of Cambridge; a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from the Australian National University; and a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland.
I thank outgoing Ambassador Arthur Spyrou for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in the UAE since 2016.