Friday 14 May 2021 | 05:15 | SYDNEY
What's happening on
  • 13 May 2021 12:00

    Indonesia responds to the cyber dark side

    Australia will also benefit from practical bilateral cooperation to enhance Indonesia’s cyber security.

  • 13 May 2021 09:30

    Myanmar and a new kind of civil war

    Urban dissidents trained by battle-hardened guerillas in the countryside could make things harder for the Tatmadaw.

  • 12 May 2021 13:00

    Australian aid: How low can it go?

    As the developing world suffers a crisis unlike any ever seen, the budget shows Australia at its least generous ever.

Ian Kemish's picture
People | experts Ian Kemish
Nonresident Fellow, Pacific Islands Program
Lowy Institute
Ian Kemish's picture
Areas of ExpertiseGeopolitics in the Asia-Pacific; the Australia-PNG relationship; development partnerships

Ian Kemish is a former senior Australian diplomat. His 25-year career with the Australian government included service as Australian High Commissioner to the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, as Australian Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, and as head of the International Division at the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

He was also head of the Australian Consular Service and chair of the International Emergency Response Task Force from 2000-2004. He was awarded membership of the Order of Australia (A.M.) for his leadership of Australia’s response to its worst offshore consular disaster, the 2002 Bali bombings.

His career with the Australian Foreign Ministry had a strong overall focus on the Asia-Pacific region. He was posted to several different embassies in this region as well as in Europe, and worked on Asia-Pacific policy issues in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, including as Head of Southeast Asia Division.

Mr. Kemish is an Honors graduate in modern Southeast Asian history from the University of Queensland. He also has a graduate diploma in education from Queensland University of Technology. He began his professional career as a secondary school teacher, working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders in the state of Queensland.

He is patron of the Kokoda Track Foundation and a member of the board of the Australia-Indonesia Centre. He is an Adjunct Research Professor in History at the University of Queensland, and an Honorary Fellow at Deakin University.

Mr Kemish grew up in Papua New Guinea and Australia.

He speaks PNG Tok Pisin, Indonesian and German.