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Richard Woolcott - On Diplomacy

Over a diplomatic career spanning five decades, Richard Woolcott was on the ground for some of the most significant international events of the twentieth century - from the death of Joseph Stalin, to the Indonesian invasion of East Timor and the foundation of APEC. Along the way he played a crucial role in shaping Australia's presence on the world stage.

For this Sunday Salon, Woolcott is joined by fellow diplomat and Executive Director of the ANU China Institute Richard Rigby for a free-ranging, free-wheeling conversation on his remarkable career and the development of Australian diplomacy.

Tickets: $12 (includes a complimentary glass of house wine or soft drink)


One of Australia’s most distinguished diplomats, Richard Woolcott AO is a former advisor to Prime Ministers Holt, MacMahon, Whitlam, Keating, Fraser and Howard. Woolcott served as both Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (1988-92) and Australia’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations (1982-1988). He is the author of The Hot Seat and Undiplomatic Activities and is currently closely involved with The Asia Society Australia.

After completing his PhD, Richard Rigby joined the Australian foreign service. He was a diplomat for some 26 years, with postings in Beijing (twice), Tokyo, London, Shanghai (as Consul-General) and Israel (as Ambassador). From 2002-2008 he served as Assistant Director-General in the Office of National Assessments, responsible for North and South Asia. Since then, he has been at the ANU and is currently Executive Director of the China Institute.

Earlier Event: August 19
Book launch - Night Music
Later Event: August 21
Book launch - The Way Back