Office of the Pacific
The Office of the Pacific was established in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in 2019 to support Australia's deepening engagement with the Pacific, to enhance whole-of-government coordination and to drive implementation of our regional activities, consistent with the priorities of Pacific countries.
The Office of the Pacific supports our efforts to strengthen our Pacific partnerships and build a stronger Pacific family.
The Office includes staff from DFAT, alongside secondees and transfers from a range of agencies including the Department of Defence, Home Affairs, Finance, Treasury, Australian Federal Police, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, National Indigenous Australians Agency, Attorney-General's and Health, as well as from the Infrastructure and Project Finance Agency and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
The Office acts as the custodian of Australia's already deep relationships across our region, and supports the delivery of the Government's package of innovative initiatives in the Pacific, including in labour mobility and infrastructure financing.
Head of the Office of the Pacific
"How we as a Government work can be as important as what we do. And an important element of the Office that I head is just that – how we work with the Pacific."
Ewen McDonald, Head of the Office of the Pacific
On 18 January 2019, DFAT Deputy Secretary Ewen McDonald was appointed Head of the Office of the Pacific. In support of Ministers, Mr McDonald coordinates our efforts to build stronger relationships with Pacific leaders, governments, and peoples, as well as with regional organisations and institutions. He engages actively, listens, and consults widely with our Pacific Island partners to ensure Australia's assistance is delivering on our shared priorities for a prosperous, sovereign, and stable region.
Mr McDonald works closely with our likeminded partners to collaborate and coordinate in the Pacific, aligned to Blue Pacific priorities.
Prior to his appointment, Mr McDonald was Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, with accreditation to the Cook Islands and Niue, working closely with New Zealand on collaboration and cooperation in the Pacific.
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