KUALA LUMPUR: Australia’s new High Commissioner designate to Malaysia, Penny Williams, is scheduled to arrive here soon to take up her position.
Williams is currently First Assistant Secretary, Corporate Management Division at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra.
She has served as counsellor in Santiago (1997-2000) and was First Secretary in Damascus (1992-94).
In Canberra, Williams has held a range of positions including First Assistant Secretary, Diplomatic Security Information Management and Services Division (2004-05); Assistant Secretary, Staffing Branch (2003-04) and Director, Staffing Operations Section (2001-02).
The holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian Studies (Hons) she is married with four children and speaks Arabic, Spanish and Indonesian.
She replaces James Wise, who is taking over her position in Canberra.
This is Williams’ first ambassadorial posting.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Australia and Malaysia.
Malaysia is Australia’s ninth largest trading partner of goods and services, and Australia’s second largest trading partner within Asean.
Two-way trade totalled A$11.35bil in 2005-06.