Australian Embassy

NSW Governor Visits Jakarta

Media Release

24 August 2007

NSW Governor Visits Jakarta

Australia’s Ambassador to Indonesia, HE Mr Bill Farmer, welcomed the visit to Jakarta next week by New South Wales Governor Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO.

“The Governor is very much looking forward to renewing her acquaintance with Governor Sutiyoso and to her time in the vibrant city of Jakarta”, he said.

The Governor’s visit from 26-29 August 2007 reflects the longstanding and warm relationship between New South Wales and DKI Jakarta, which is formalised in the Memorandum of Understanding on Sister State-Province Cooperation signed in 1994.

Apart from meeting Governor Sutiyoso, Professor Bashir will also meet Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

Consistent with her interest in health issues, Professor Bashir will hold talks with health officials and visit a Central Jakarta community health centre to see an HIV prevention and care program funded by the Australian Government.

She will also visit the University of Indonesia’s Faculty of Medicine, Bintaro International Hospital, Cengkareng District Hospital and hold talks with senior Muhammadiyah officials.

The Ambassador said it was important to note the difference between the offices of the two respective Governors.

“These two positions are very different political entities. Jakarta’s Governor is, of course, elected, whereas Professor Bashir is not a politician but was appointed by the Queen of Australia based on the recommendation of the New South Wales Premier,” Mr Farmer said.

The Governor is the representative in New South Wales of the Queen of Australia. In accordance with the strict rules of protocol, she does not give media interviews.

Governor Bashir’s role includes constitutional activities, such as assenting to Bills passed by the NSW State Parliament, as well as a large number of ceremonial and community events.

Professor Bashir, of Lebanese descent and born in rural New South Wales, is the first woman to be appointed NSW Governor. She has degrees in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Sydney and taught at the Universities of Sydney and New South Wales.

Professor Bashir was Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Sydney when appointed Governor in March 2001, and served as the Central Sydney Director of Mental Health Services and a Senior Consultant to two inner-Sydney Aboriginal Medical Service offices.

Professor Bashir, who is a patron of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Opera Australia, was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1988 for her services to child and adolescent health, and received the award of Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) from the Queen in 2006.

Further information:
John Williams (Counsellor, Public Affairs) Tel. (021) 2550 5290 mob. 0812 1053 989