David Lowe

David Lowe is Chair in Contemporary History in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University and author/editor of previous ANU Press books on Australia’s overseas diplomatic representation. He is currently researching the history of postwar foreign aid, including the Colombo Plan. He was Visiting Professor in Australian Studies at the Centre for Pacific and American Studies, University of Tokyo, in 2019–20.

orcid https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3332-483X

The Australian Embassy in Tokyo and Australia–Japan Relations »

Publication date: 2022
Australia–Japan relations have undergone both testing and celebrated times since 1952, when Australia’s ambassadorial representation in Tokyo commenced. Over time, interactions have deepened beyond mutual trade objectives to encompass economic, defence and strategic interests within the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. This ‘special relationship’ has been characterised by the high volume of people moving between Australia and Japan for education, tourism, business, science and research. Cultural ties, from creative artists-in-residence to sister-city agreements, have flourished. Australia has supported Japan in times of need, including the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. This book shows how the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, through its programs and people, has been central to these developments. The Embassy’s buildings, its gardens and grounds, and above all its occupants — from senior Australian diplomats to locally-engaged staff — are the focus of this multi-dimensional study by former diplomats and expert observers of Australia’s engagement with Japan. Drawing on oral histories, memoirs, and archives, this volume sheds new light on the complexity of Australia’s diplomatic work in Japan, and the place of the Embassy in driving high level negotiations as well as fostering soft power influences. ‘With a similar vision for the Indo-Pacific region and a like-minded approach to the challenges facing us, Australia and Japan have become more intimate and more strategic as partners. I am very pleased to see this slice of Australian diplomatic history so well accounted for in this book.’ — Jan Adams, AO, PSM, Secretary, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia’s Ambassador to Japan, November 2020–June 2022

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Rising Power and Changing People »

The Australian High Commission in India

Publication date: 2022
Beginning in 1943–44, Australia’s relationship with India is its oldest continuous formal diplomatic relationship with any Asian country. The early diplomatic exchanges between Australia and India have teased for their suggestions of potential unrealised, for opportunities missed, especially when compared with the very recent excitement about the future of Australia–India relations. How did Australia’s representatives and their staff in New Delhi negotiate the many dimensions of Australia–India relations? This book brings together expert analyses of the work of the Australian High Commission, its key people and the challenges they faced in New Delhi. The important India Economic Strategy to 2035 report handed to the Australian Government in mid-2018 begins with the comment: ‘Timing has always been a challenge in Australia’s relationship with India.’ As the Australian Government works to implement some of the ambitious recommendations in the report, this book adds to our understanding of why timing has been a challenge, and how those at the coalface of the relationship have grappled with it.

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Australia goes to Washington »

75 years of Australian representation in the United States, 1940–2015

Publication date: December 2016
Since 1940, when an Australian legation was established in Washington DC, Australian governments have expected much from their representatives in the American capital. This book brings together expert analyses of those who have served as heads of mission and of the challenges they have faced. Ranging beyond conventional studies of the Australian–United States relationship, it provides insights into the dynamics between Australian and US policymakers and into the culture of one of Australia’s oldest and most important overseas missions. It provides an appreciation of the importance of the embassy and the head of mission in Washington in mediating the relationship between Australia and the United States and of their role in managing expectations in Canberra and Washington. Australia Goes to Washington also sheds new light on personal trials and achievements at the coalface of Australian–United States relations.
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