The 6 August 2015 marks a milestone in Australian diplomatic representation in Noumea. On 6 August 1940, Australia’s Minister for External Affairs, John McEwen, announced to the Parliament that the Australian Government had appointed Bertram Charles Ballard as Australia’s first official representative in Noumea.
Following his arrival in Noumea in late August 1940, Ballard was tasked by the Australian Government to report on economic and political affairs and, given the geopolitical environment of the day, to encourage wartime cooperation.
Australia’s diplomatic representation in Noumea was its fourth in the world, after London, Washington and Ottawa.
Shortly after Ballard’s arrival, the Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Adelaide supported New Caledonia’s Ralliement to Free France of 19 September 1940 by escorting Henri Sautot to Noumea aboard Norweigian ship Norden. Following Ballard’s departure in 1943, 27 more Australians have served as Consul-General in Noumea, all working to build bilateral and regional relations.
In marking this milestone, the Australian Consulate-General in Noumea also looks forward to furthering the important and historic relationship between Australia, New Caledonia and France in the Pacific in the years ahead.