Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne has announced the appointment of Ms Harinder Sidhu as Australia’s next High Commissioner to New Zealand.
Harinder Sidhu (BEc ’85 LLB ’87), who was born in Singapore to parents of Indian heritage, came to Australia when she was 10. She later studied economics and law at the University of Sydney.
“Ms Sidhu is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and was most recently Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Secretary. She has previously served overseas as Australia’s High Commissioner to India and in Moscow and Damascus. In Canberra, she has served in DFAT in senior leadership roles, as well as in the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Office of National Assessments and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.”, the announcement of her appointment said.
Ms Sidhu holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney. She joined the Department of Foreign Affairs directly after graduating. She’s worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, the Office of National Assessments, and the Department of Climate Change.
She’s had postings to Cairo, Damascus, Moscow and New Delhi. Along with English, she speaks seven languages at varying levels of proficiency, including Hindi, Punjabi, Russian, Arabic, Bahasa Melayu and some French.
In 2016, she was appointed Australia’s High Commissioner to India and served in the position till 2020. Ms Sidhu will replace High Commissioner Patricia Forsythe, who has held the role since 2019.
Australia and New Zealand benefit from having one of the world’s most open and successful free-trade agreements. This means our businesses and exporters face less red tape and enjoy easier access to each other’s markets. Harmonised investment rules have opened opportunities for Australian investors in New Zealand and New Zealand is one of the top ten investors in Australia, with $66.3 billion in foreign investment from New Zealand to Australia in 2020. The integration of the Australian and New Zealand economies has contributed to our countries’ economic resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, with two-way trade valued at $23.7 billion in 2020.