Launch of The Consul: Critical reflections on international crisis response

Launch of The Consul: Critical reflections on international crisis response

Thu, 21 July 2022

On 21 July 2022, the Lowy Institute hosted the launch of 'The Consul', written by Nonresident Fellow Ian Kemish. The book was launched by Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs Hon Tim Watts MP, with a conversation afterwards between Ian Kemish and Natasha Kassam, Director of the Institute's Public Opinion and Foreign Policy program.

How have world events shaped the way we travel now and what does future travel look like? What should we expect of our government when we are overseas? Where does personal responsibility begin and end? Is Australia’s consular service adequately resourced?

Since 2000, there has been extraordinary growth in the demands on the Australian consular service — the men and women who step forward to support their fellow Australians when they experience serious difficulty overseas. Australia’s consular officers are often on the frontline of major international crises — from natural disasters to terrorist attacks, evacuations from war zones, to a global pandemic.

Ian Kemish Tile

Ian Kemish AM served as Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Ambassador to Germany, led the Prime Minister’s International Division, and headed Australia’s consular service in a diplomatic career that spanned 25 years. He was awarded membership of the Order of Australia for his leadership of Australia’s response to the 2002 Bali bombings. He is a Nonresident Fellow with the Lowy Institute, an Adjunct Professor in history at the University of Queensland, a Director of the Australia–Indonesia Centre and an Honorary Fellow of Deakin University.

Hon Tim Watts MP, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs is the Federal Member for Gellibrand in Melbourne’s west. Before entering Parliament, he worked in the technology sector, as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Minister for Communications and a Senior Adviser to the Victorian Premier. Since being elected in 2013, Tim has served in a range of roles including as the Shadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security and Communications. During his time in Parliament, he has been an active participant in a range of youth and track 1.5 dialogues including with Indonesia, China, India and the United States.



Areas of expertise: Geopolitics in the Asia-Pacific; the Australia-PNG relationship; development partnerships
Areas of expertise: China’s domestic politics; public opinion polling; human rights; Australian foreign policy; Taiwan; Indo-Pacific strategy