10 January 2013, Foreign Minister Bob Carr today announced Brett Aldam as Australia’s next High Commissioner to Tonga.
Mr Aldam is expected to take up his appointment in February 2013, replacing Mr Thomas Roth.
Mr Aldam is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was until June 2012 Australian High Commissioner to the Republic of Kiribati. He has previously served as Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian High Commission in Nairobi and as Third Secretary at the Australian High Commission in Suva.
Mr Aldam holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Adelaide, a Master of Arts from the Northern Territory University and a Master of Foreign Affairs and Trade from Monash University.
Australia has a close relationship with Tonga and will this year provide more than $33 million in development assistance to support local education and health, including safe drinking water. Tonga and Australia also work together as part of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) and in Afghanistan, and Tonga is an active participant in Australia’s Seasonal Worker Program.
An estimated 25,000 people of Tongan ancestry live in Australia.