Ian Kemish

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Ian Kemish
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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.

Bali 2002: When global terrorism first came close to home
Bali 2002: When global terrorism first came close to home
An extraordinary consular response followed the deadly attack – lessons of crisis that would become all too familiar.
Why Papua New Guinea urgently needs to elect more women to parliament
Commentary
Why Papua New Guinea urgently needs to elect more women to parliament
Originally published in The Conversation.
The half-hour that fundamentally split Germany from Russia
The half-hour that fundamentally split Germany from Russia
A massive boost to arms spending by Berlin, once unthinkable, is suddenly policy as the Ukraine crisis deepens.
Can the new German foreign minister make a difference?
Can the new German foreign minister make a difference?
Calls for a fresh approach from Berlin amid Russia-Ukraine tensions.
Dankeschön Frau Merkel
Dankeschön Frau Merkel
A former Australian ambassador to Germany reflects on the Chancellor’s significant impact in the Indo-Pacific.
Farewell, Grand Chief
Farewell, Grand Chief
A unifier, Michael Somare always had Papua New Guinea’s independence in mind in dealing with Australia, or any nation.
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