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Protocol Guidelines

3.1 Diplomatic missions

The establishment of a diplomatic mission in Canberra requires the prior approval of the Australian Government. The sending state should provide a note verbale detailing the reasons for opening a mission, its intended main functions and activities, proposed timing for opening and an indication of the number and level of staff to be assigned. The sending state may request agrément for a head of mission when seeking approval for the mission's establishment, or later. Once approval has been granted, Protocol Branch will liaise with the authorities of the sending state on the practical issues involved.

If a sending state wishes to send a reconnaissance team to Canberra for research and discussion before making a formal request to establish a mission, Protocol Branch can assist with advice and contacts.

The following designations are used for staff of diplomatic missions:

  • Ambassador/High Commissioner
  • Chargé d'Affaires
  • Chargé d'Affaires a.i./Acting High Commissioner
  • Minister/Minister-Counsellor/Counsellor
  • Deputy High Commissioner
  • First/Second/Third Secretary
  • Attaché
  • Defence Attaché (for non-Commonwealth countries)/Defence Adviser (Commonwealth countries).
Last Updated: 2 November 2017
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