Mr David Ritchie AO has been appointed as Australia's next Ambassador to Germany, with non-resident accreditation to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Mr Ritchie holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), 75 from the University of Queensland in German language and literature.
He is expected to take up his appointment in January 2014, replacing Mr Peter Tesch, who is also a UQ alumnus (Bachelor of Arts (Hons), 87).
Mr Ritchie is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and is currently Australia's Ambassador to Italy. He previously served as Ambassador to Indonesia (2002-2005) and has had extensive experience in Germany, having served at the Australian Embassies in both East Berlin (1981-1983) and Bonn (1975-1978). Mr Ritchie has been a Deputy Secretary at DFAT since 2001 and was Senior Adviser, International Relations, in the Prime Minister's Office (1999-2001).
Australia and Germany enjoy a strong, cooperative relationship underpinned by political, economic and social links. Germany ranks eleventh among Australia's trading partners and tenth among sources of foreign direct investment. People-to-people and cultural links are also strong, with high numbers of visitors travelling in both directions.