Paul Madden » High Commissioner, Canberra

New Visa Applications Centre in Sydney opens

HE Paul Madden opens the new Visa Application Centre in Sydney

I formally opened the new Visa Applications Centre (VAC) in Sydney today. It’s actually been operating since 17 March 2014, along with new VACs in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. The change is part of a global project by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to outsource these arrangements. A million Australians visit the UK each year, but fewer than 20,000 of them need visas. Australians do not normally need a … Read more »New Visa Applications Centre in Sydney opens

British ships help in Australian-led search for MH370

HMS Echo

Anyone who has ever boarded an aeroplane must have felt a sense of personal engagement as the sad story of Malaysian Airlines MH370 has unfolded. Our hearts go out to the families of the passengers from many nations, and particularly China which had over 150 citizens on board. In the last couple of weeks the search has switched to waters off Australia. It has been impressive to see the way … Read more »British ships help in Australian-led search for MH370

Britain and Ireland: a shared future

Feature image for:  Britain and Ireland: a shared future

A joint blog with the Irish Ambassador to Australia, HE Noel White When the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, this week pays the first State Visit to Britain by an Irish Head of State, it will be an historic and joyous occasion, mirroring that by Her Majesty the Queen, to Ireland, in 2011.   The President’s visit will symbolise a relationship between Ireland and Britain which has never been … Read more »Britain and Ireland: a shared future

New Australian High Commissioner in London

HE Paul Madden and Hon Alexander Downer

The new Australian High Commissioner in London will be moving back into his teenage home when he takes up his position in May. Alexander Downer, whose appointment was announced yesterday, lived at the splendid official residence, Stoke Lodge near Hyde Park, when his father was High Commissioner in London from 1964-72. He went to school and university in the UK, so he knows us very well indeed. Alexander certainly has … Read more »New Australian High Commissioner in London

New Australian Governor General

HE Paul Madden with HE Dame Quentin Bryce, Governor General

I was in Parliament this morning for the swearing-in of the new Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, the much-decorated soldier and former Chief of the Defence Force. It was a solemn and symbolic occasion, but the speeches afterwards were warm and full of good humour. Sir Peter quoted Wellington, the famous British general turned statesman. He said that he would be a Governor General for all Australians, but that the … Read more »New Australian Governor General

Behind the scenes at the museum

Natural History Museum, London

One of the issues that sometimes crosses my desk is the return of indigenous remains from western museums. So I went along to London’s Natural History Museum to call on Director Michael Dixon and his experts to find out more. More than half NHM’s human collection consists of British remains. They enable scientific research which has helped to produce for example the excellent current exhibition “One million years of the … Read more »Behind the scenes at the museum

“A new era in Australia-UK relations”

William Hague, Julie Bishop, Philip Hammond and David Johnston

That’s how Foreign Minister Julie Bishop described this week’s Australia UK Ministerial (AUKMIN) meeting in London, between Foreign and Defence Ministers from the two countries. William Hague responded by describing a “unique relationship that makes Australia one of our most important partners.” Ms Bishop opened the London Stock Exchange on Monday morning, then together with Defence Minister David Johnston we flew down to GCHQ Cheltenham. There were great views of … Read more »“A new era in Australia-UK relations”

From software to pork pies – the Australian market beckons

HE Paul Madden at Thorntons Chocolate

I have just spent a busy three days in the UK’s North West and East Midlands, meeting some 40 companies to promote the opportunities in the Australian market. I gave group presentations in Warrington and Leicester and made a number of visits to individual companies who are beginning to tackle the Australian market. The range of sectors was very wide. In Altrincham I called on Informed Solutions , a software … Read more »From software to pork pies – the Australian market beckons

Chancellor of the Exchequer in Sydney for G20

Feature image for:  Chancellor of the Exchequer in Sydney for G20

Australia’s presidency of G20 this year means we’ll have lots of senior visitors. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney were in Sydney this weekend for the G20 Finance Ministers Meeting. It brought together ministers and central bankers responsible for 85% of the world’s economy. Mr Osborne outlined Britain’s strong support for Australia’s G20 programme, which is focused on promoting jobs and … Read more »Chancellor of the Exchequer in Sydney for G20

The new Parliamentary year in Canberra

HE Paul Madden with the Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop attended a reception I hosted last night to welcome new Members of Parliament to Canberra, at the start of the Parliamentary year following the long Christmas/Summer break. With huge British investments here (we’re the second largest foreign investor), 1.1 million Brits living in Australia, 600,000 visiting each year and a million Australians going to the UK, the chances are that many MPs will come across some … Read more »The new Parliamentary year in Canberra