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Protocol Guidelines

2.8 Introductory calls

2.8.1 Portfolio ministers and DFAT

After the HOM has presented credentials, the mission can contact the offices of portfolio ministers and the Secretary of DFAT to request introductory calls. The ministers and the Secretary may agree to introductory calls, but they do not do so as a matter of course. If a HOM has instructions to raise substantive issues with ministers or the Secretary, this should be noted in the request.

New HOMs should arrange to make introductory calls on other relevant senior staff of the department at an early opportunity. Such calls may be made prior to presenting credentials, but after meeting the Chief of Protocol.

2.8.2 Prime Minister

It is not customary for HOMs to make introductory or farewell calls on the Prime Minister (high commissioners who present letters of introduction are an exception - see section 2.7).

If a HOM receives instructions during their posting to raise a substantive matter with the Prime Minister, the mission should request an appointment through the International Division of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

2.8.3 Other government ministers, departments and office holders

HOMs should make their own arrangements to call on other ministers of the Australian Government with whom they expect to have dealings. They may do the same with senior officials of other government departments and agencies, subject to standard international practice that policy matters are conducted through, or with the knowledge of DFAT (Article 41(2) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations).

HOMs may also seek meetings directly with the following offices, if they wish:

  • the Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • the President of the Senate
  • the Leader of the Opposition.

2.8.4 States and Northern Territory

HOMs are encouraged to make official visits to state and territory capitals early in their tour of duty. They should arrange such visits directly, through the respective Premier's or Chief Minister's Department.

Last Updated: 2 November 2017
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