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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 3194

APPOINTMENT OF AUSTRALIA'S FIRST WOMAN AMBASSADOR

Photo of Whitlam, Gough

Whitlam, Gough

Period of Service: 05/12/1972 to 11/11/1975

More information about Whitlam, Gough on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 21/03/1974

Release Type: Media Release

Transcript ID: 3194

6
A At
NQ DATE 21 1arch 1974
APPOINTMENT OF AUSTRALIA'S FIRST WOMAN AMBASSADOR
The first appointment of a woman career diplomat as an
Australian Ambassador overseas was announced today by t} n
Prime Minister and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs
Mr Whitlam. She is Miss Ruth L. Dobson, at present Counsellor at the
Australian Embassy in Athens. She is to become Australia's
first resident Ambassador to Denmark, succeeding Dr LoD. Thomson,
who, until now, has been dually accredited from The Hague.
Miss Dobson is one of 35 women diplomats in the Australian
foreign service, most of whom have been recruited by the
Department of Foreign Affairs since 1970.
Twenty currently occupy positions overseas, including two
other senior posts, Deputy High Commissioner at the Australian
High Commission in Zuva and Counsellor at the Australian Embassy
in Rome. Mr Whitlam said that he regarded the first appointment of a
woman career diplomat to an ambassadorial position as an important
development in the growth and capacity of Australia's foreign
service. Her appointment, the Prime Minister added, also underlined
Australia's wish to strengthen its relations with Denmark
which had always been strong and cordial, and the importance
Australia attached to its relations with the enlarged European
Economic Community, of which Denmark had become a full member
in January 1973.
Miss Dobson, who was born in Sydney, was educated at
Frensham School, Mittagong, and the University of Sydney where
she obtained a rA degree. She joined the Department of Foreign
Affairs in 1943 and was attached to the then Division of Post
Hostilities and the United Branch as a research officer.

She was integrated into the diplomatic service in 1957
and from 1961 to 1963 served at the Australian High Commission
in Wellington. She was promoted to First Secretary in 1962
and was the Department's Conference Officer from 1964 to 1965.
Later, Miss Dobson was seconded to the Governor-General's
staff as private secretary to Lady Casey, and from 1967 to 1968
served as First Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Manila√ł
She was promoted to Counsellor in 1970 and during 1971 was in
charge of the Department's Western Europe Section in Canberra.

Transcript 3194