List of high commissioners of the United Kingdom to Australia

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High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Australia
Coat of arms of the United Kingdom
Victoria Treadell
since March 2019
StyleHer Excellency
Inaugural holderSir Geoffrey Whiskard
WebsiteBritish High Commission Canberra

The High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to Australia is an officer of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the United Kingdom's foremost diplomatic representative to the Commonwealth of Australia. Despite Britain's close relationship with Australia, the first High Commissioner from London was not appointed until 1936, owing to the clarification of Britain's relations with the Imperial Dominions after the Statute of Westminster 1931.

Office history[edit]

From the beginning of the British colonisation in 1788 and after Australia's federation in 1901, the Governor-General of Australia and the various state governors had been the official representatives of the British government, as well as the Crown. Following the 1926 Imperial Conference and the subsequent Balfour Declaration an Australian, Sir Isaac Isaacs, became Governor-General in January 1931. Being an Australian, it was felt in London he couldn't properly represent the British Government. They thus appointed their Representative for Migration in Melbourne Ernest Tristram Crutchley as their first Representative of His Majesty's Government in Australia, pending the nomination of a High Commissioner, on the Canadian model.

That same year, the Statute of Westminster made easier the creation of such High Commissions in the Dominions but as the Australian Government delayed its ratification, the United Kingdom had to wait until 1936 to appoint a High Commissioner to regularise the role of the Governor-General in Australia, six years before Australia's actual ratification of the Statute.


The British high commission in Canberra
High commissioner Start of term End of term
Sir Geoffrey Whiskard, KCB, KCMG 1936 1941
Sir Ronald Cross, 1st Baronet, KCMG, KCVO, PC 1941 1945
Sir Ted Williams, KCMG, PC 1946 1952
Sir Stephen Holmes, KCMG, MC 1952 1956
The Lord Carrington, KG, GCMG, CH, MC, PC, DL 1956 1959
Lieutenant General Sir William Oliver, GBE, KCB, KCMG 1959 1965
Sir Charles Johnston, GCMG, KStJ 1965 1971
Sir Morrice James, GCMG, CVO, MBE, PC 1971 1976
Sir Donald Tebbit, GCMG 1976 1980
Sir John Mason, KCMG 1980 1984
Sir John Leahy, KCMG 1984 1988
Sir John Coles, GCMG 1988 1991
Sir Brian Barder, KCMG 1991 1994
Sir Roger Carrick, KCMG, LVO 1994 1997
Sir Alex Allan, KCB 1997 1999
The Lord Goodlad, KCMG, PC 1999 2005
The Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, PC 2005 2009
The Baroness Amos, LG, CH, PC 2009 2010
Paul Madden, CMG[1] 2011 2015
Menna Rawlings, DCMG[2] 2015 2019
Victoria Treadell, CMG, MVO[3] 2019


  1. ^ "British Australia Chamber of Commerce - New British High Commissioner appointed". Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  2. ^ "Her Excellency Menna Rawlings CMG".
  3. ^ "Change of British High Commissioner to Australia: March 2019". GOV.UK. Foreign & Commonwealth Office. 12 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.

External links[edit]