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Book Launch: Australian Institute of International Affairs (Tasmania Branch) Event


The Australian Institute of International Affairs hosts the launch of a new biography of Sir James P

Start Date

29 May 2015 6:00 pm

End Date

29 May 2015 7:30 pm


Harvard Lecture Theatre 1, TSBE Building Sandy Bay campus

Hobart Launch of 'Jim Plim Ambassador Extraordinary

A Biography of Sir James Plimsoll by Jeremy Hearder

Dennis Richardson
launched by

Dennis Richardson AO

Secretary, Department of Defence

Sir James Plimsoll AC CBE was an eminent Australian diplomat during more than three decades after the War (1945-82). His CV is unlikely to be equalled. As well as being Secretary of the Department in Canberra (1965-70), he served at ambassadorial level eight times, all at important posts: in Korea during the war there, UN New York, New Delhi, Washington, Moscow, Brussels, London and Tokyo.

The book includes descriptions of how he adapted to this varied succession of assignments, and of his relations with Australian prime ministers notably Menzies, Gorton, Whitlam and Fraser, and foreign ministers Evatt, Casey, Barwick and Hasluck; and it covers his time in retirement as Governor of Tasmania.

About Dennis Richardson AO

Mr Richardson graduated from Sydney University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 1968. He served in a range of positions in the then Department of Foreign Affairs, with postings to Nairobi, Port Moresby and Jakarta 1969-1986, and Various senior public service roles in the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Immigration 1986-1990. From 1990-1991, he was Principal Adviser to the Prime Minister.

He headed the Review of the Intelligence Community post Cold War 1992, and served was Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs 1993-1996. He became Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in 1996, before departing to act as Ambassador of Australia to the United States, June 2005-December 2009.

He was Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade January 2010-October 2012. He has been Secretary of the Department of Defence since October 2012.

About Jeremy Hearder

After graduating from Melbourne and Stanford Universities, the author, Jeremy Hearder, was in the Department for 38 years, with postings abroad in Vientiane, Dar es Salaam, Bangkok, Nairobi, and Brussels; then in Harare and Suva respectively as High Commissioner, Chicago as Consul-General, and Wellington as Deputy High Commissioner. He served with Plimsoll in Brussels, where another member of staff was Alexander Downer, who later became Foreign Minister. Downer has written the Foreword to the book.

Refreshments from 5.30pm

RSVP: Register Now, or email

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