South Australia’s 36th Governor announced

Premier Steven Marshall has today announced that Her Majesty The Queen has approved the appointment of Ms Frances Adamson as the next Governor of South Australia.

Ms Adamson will succeed His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC who has served in the role since September 2014.

Premier Steven Marshall said Ms Adamson’s appointment represents a new era for the State.

“I am extremely honoured to announce that Frances Adamson will be South Australia’s 36th Governor,” Premier Marshall said.

“She is a very proud South Australian with a plethora of experience in international affairs – vitally important to South Australia as we recover from the once in a century COVID-19 pandemic.

“Her wealth of knowledge on the international stage will put South Australia in good stead as we continue to put South Australia on the global map,” Premier Marshall said.

“Frances Adamson has led the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Secretary since 2016 and was previously International Adviser to Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull.

“Ms Adamson served as Australia’s Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China from 2011 to 2015 and has had postings in Hong Kong and Taipei. She served twice in the Australian High Commission in London, including as Deputy High Commissioner from 2005 to 2008 ” Premier Marshall said.

Adding to her extensive experience, Ms Adamson was also Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and then the Minister for Defence from 2009 to 2010.

Ms Adamson has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide and recently received an Honourary Doctorate from that University. She is married to Rod Bunten and they have four adult children.

Ms Adamson said she was deeply honoured to be appointed to such a significant role in the State she grew up in.

“I am greatly looking forward to returning home to serve the people of South Australia and contribute to the State’s international engagement through the promotion of trade, investment and people-to-people links,” Ms Adamson said.

“I feel privileged to be succeeding His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, who has served with such distinction.”

Premier Steven Marshall thanked His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC for his outstanding service as Governor over the past seven years, and indeed as Lieutenant Governor from 2007 to 2014.

“His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC has demonstrated exceptional service to South Australia and to South Australians over the past seven years,” Premier Marshall said.

“I join with every South Australian in thanking His Excellency for his service, particularly with South Australia’s multicultural communities.

Ms Frances Adamson will be sworn in as Governor of South Australia in October this year.

Biography of Ms Frances Adamson

Frances Adamson has led the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as Secretary since 2016.

Prior to her appointment as Secretary, Ms Adamson was International Adviser to the Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP.

From 2011 to 2015, Ms Adamson was Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. She served in the Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong in the late 1980s during the early years of China’s reform and opening. From 2001 to 2005, she was seconded as Representative to the Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei.

Ms Adamson has twice served in the Australian High Commission in London, as Deputy High Commissioner from 2005 to 2008 and as Political Counsellor from 1993 to 1997.

She was Chief of Staff to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and then the Minister for Defence from 2009 to 2010.

Ms Adamson is a member of the Export Finance Australia Board, the Advisory Board of the Australian National University’s National Security College, the Asia Society Australia Advisory Council and the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations. Ms Adamson is a Special Adviser to the Male Champions of Change and a member of Chief Executive Women. She was awarded a Sir James Wolfensohn Public Service Scholarship in 2015 and was made a National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration (IPAA) in September 2019 on completion of her two-year term as President of IPAA ACT Division.

Ms Adamson has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide and was a recipient of a 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the University (honoris causa) in April 2021. She joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1985.

She is married with four children.

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