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Head of Mission Profile

H.E. Graeme Wilson Australian High Commissioner to South Africa

H.E. Graeme Wilson Australian High Commissioner to South Africa   No easy walk to freedom

 

DS: Last country where you were based before coming to South Africa.
HE:  I was in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia as Head of the Americas and Africa Division covering about 80 countries.  Before that, I was in charge of a 600-strong peacekeeping mission in the Solomon Islands called the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

DS: Most interesting place in South Africa.
HE:  I have many more to discover but so far I would say Cape Town for its stunning beauty, rich history and cultural dynamism.

DS: Your impression about South Africa in three words.
HE:  Diverse, challenging, captivating.

DS: One place you would like to be posted to or visit
HE:  Spain.

DS: Most memorable appointment thus far.
HE:  All great but probably Mexico where I was also accredited as Ambassador to Cuba and all of Central America.

DS: Most challenging situation that you had to handle thus far.
HE:   As head of RAMSI, contributing to peaceful elections in 2010 in Solomon Islands despite the logistical and security challenges, and in the context of the 2006 elections having resulted in parts of the capital, Honiara, being burnt to the ground, especially in Chinatown.

DS: Favourite part of your own country.
HE:  Melbourne, my home town

DS: Favourite place to visit elsewhere.
HE:  Paris, where I was married while on posting and where our first child was born.

DS: Favourite dish of your country
HE:  Roast lamb and vegetables, accompanied by an Australian shiraz.

DS: Favourite dish of another country.
HE:  Magret de canard et gratin dauphinois.

DS: Favourite book.
HE:  The Stranger by Albert Camus.

DSAt the moment I am reading…..
HE:  Nelson Mandela, No Easy Walk To  Freedom.

DS: I spend my leisure time…
HE:  Being with my family; playing and watching sport; reading; and listening to music.

DS: One sentence describing a lesson that you have learnt from being a diplomat.
HE:  That there is always so much to learn and that trust and friendship are built from being thoughtful, courteous and genuinely interested in others.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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January/February 2020

 
 
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