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A picturesque farewell present from a grateful nation


The farewell present

ON THE EVE of his departure as Australia's high commissioner in Papua New Guinea, Ian Kemish called on PNG prime minister Peter O'Neill this afternoon to be handed a rather large token of appreciation.

Mr Kemish is concluding was has been a tumultuous yet effective three-year stint in PNG.

His was an inspired appointment which has significantly consolidated Australia's relationship with our nearest neighbour.

It never ceases to surprise me just how much of the art of diplomacy is still personal, not national, in nature. And just how much of Australia's diplomacy falls down because it lacks the relational touch.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Pacific, where people understand the full value of relationships.

Go well, Ian Kemish, knowing that you have done well.


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