An arts and politics alumnus from The Australian National University (ANU) has been appointed Australia’s next top diplomat to west Africa.
Andrew Barnes (B Arts ’85) will from June become the High Commissioner in Accra, Ghana. The Australian High Commission, equivalent to an embassy, also has responsibility for eight other countries including Mali, Liberia and Ivory Coast.
“Mr Barnes is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is currently Director, Southern, Central and West Africa Section,” Australian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, said.
“He has previously served overseas as an Exchange Officer with the Canadian Foreign Ministry and First Secretary, Stockholm. Mr Barnes has also worked for the United Nations and non-governmental sector in South Sudan.”
While at the ANU, Andrew studied courses including political science, Australian, American and international politics, sociology, history and psychology.
College of Arts and Social Sciences Dean, Professor Paul Pickering, congratulated Mr Barnes, and said his appointment demonstrates what is possible after studying at Australia’s national university.
He also has a Graduate Diploma from Stockholm University, obtained while he served as First Secretary in the Australian embassy in the Swedish capital.
Andrew has also been DFAT’s exchange officer in the Canadian Foreign Ministry. In 1995-96, he worked for the UN World Food Program and Catholic Relief Services in southern Sudan (now South Sudan) on emergency food relief projects and managing internally displaced person (IDP) camps.