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Phuket welcomes new Australian Consul-General

Phuket's new Consul General, Kirsten Fletcher, second from left

Australians in Phuket have a new Consul-General, with Kirsten Fletcher taking over from the departing Matt Barclay, who has held the role since 2019.

Ms Fletcher assumes the role of Consul-General for Phuket and nearby provinces. Her appointment was announced in a press release issued by Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, on Tuesday, April 23.

Even though Kirsten had been in an acting role for nearly six months, the official paperwork wasn’t signed off until recently.

“Australia and Thailand share a longstanding relationship based on trade and investment links and close people-to-people connections. As strategic partners, we collaborate across a wide range of areas, including defence, law enforcement, education, and the green economy.”

The Australian Consulate-General first opened in Phuket in August 2017. Ms Fletcher has a long-established career at Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where she most recently worked in the Consular Emergency Centre. She has also previously served in Bangkok.

In her statement, Minister Wong recognised the strength of the bilateral relationship between Thailand and Australia, the number of Australians living in, and travelling to, Phuket, as well as the thousands of Thai students in Australia.

“Thailand is Australia’s eleventh largest trading partner with two-way trade valued at approximately $30.8 billion in 2022-2023. Currently, there are 21,000 Thai students in Australia, making Thailand our seventh largest source of international students.”

SOURCE: Australian Ministry for Foreign Affairs

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