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First Torres Strait Islander to be appointed as an Ambassador

The Torres Strait Regional Authority has welcomed the appointment of Ms Julie-Ann Guivarra as the next Australian Ambassador to Spain.

Ms Guivarra, a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), was appointed to the role last week by The Hon. Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

She is the first Torres Strait Islander to serve as a Diplomat and only the second Indigenous Australian to do so, following Damien Miller’s appointment as Australian Ambassador to Denmark, Norway and Iceland in 2013.

TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said Ms Guivarra’s selection is an inspiration to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“We congratulate Ms Guivarra on her appointment to the role of Ambassador to Spain and as a diplomatic representative for the Torres Strait Island peoples in Australia,” he said.

“It is exciting for us to see more Indigenous representation in Australia’s diplomatic service.”

Australia and Spain are serving together on the UN Human Rights Council (2018-20 term) and are celebrating the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations (2017-18).

Around 120,000 Australians claim Spanish ancestry, and the people-to-people links between the two countries are expanding through business and tourism.

In 2015, Ms Guivarra became the first Indigenous Australian appointed to the Senior Executive Service, the highest managerial level of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Most recently, she was Assistant Secretary, South East Asia Investment & Services Branch with DFAT.

Ms Guivarra has previously served overseas as Counsellor (Agriculture), Australian Permanent Mission to the World Trade Organization, Geneva, and Second Secretary, Australian High Commission, New Delhi.

In Canberra, she has served as Assistant Secretary, South East Asia Analytical and Effectiveness Branch; Director, Services Trade & Negotiations Section; and Director, Trade and Environment Section.

Torres Strait Islanders and Aboriginal people are advised this website may contain names, images and recordings of people who have passed.