Australian Embassy

Death of Ambassador Allan Taylor, AM

Media Release

21 June 2007

Death of Ambassador Allan Taylor, AM

From Mr Bill Farmer, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia

Our many friends in Indonesia will be greatly saddened to hear of the death in Canberra on Tuesday of Allan Taylor, AM, a predecessor of mine as Ambassador to Indonesia and one of Australia's most distinguished former diplomats and public servants.

Allan will be well remembered in both our countries for his significant contribution to Australia-Indonesia relations. He served as chairman of the Australia-Indonesia Institute (AII) and on two diplomatic postings to Jakarta, the most recent as Ambassador from 1993 to 1996. This was at a challenging time in the bilateral relationship, when Allan’s patience, resilience and commitment were crucial in helping to maintain close ties between our two governments.

Allan joined Australia’s then Department of External Affairs in 1966. His early diplomatic service was in Islamabad, Bangkok and Jakarta. He served as High Commissioner to Nigeria and High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, before returning to Jakarta as Ambassador in 1993. He also filled various senior positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Allan's final government appointment before his retirement was as Director-General of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service from 1998 to 2003.

He was appointed as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 1995 and was a recipient of the Centenary Medal in 2003. He was also a member of the National Archives of Australia Advisory Council.

Prime Minister Howard paid tribute to Allan in a statement issued yesterday, in which he said he came to know Allan well during his period as the head of the International Division in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

“I respected him enormously for his experience, his quiet assurance and above all his exceptionally sound judgment,” Mr Howard said. “I have no doubt that Allan's success as a diplomat owed much to the tact, understated style and unaffected charm that all who knew him will remember with great fondness. He brought these attributes to each of the many important roles he filled with such dedication and distinction.”

“On behalf of the government, I wish to put on record my warm appreciation for a life of service to Australia's national interests and to her people,” the Prime Minister said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Carol and Allan’s family.”

Further information:
John Williams (Australian Embassy) mob. 08121053989