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Hobart Launch of Jeremy Hearder’s ‘Jim Plim Ambassador Extraordinary: A Biography of Sir James Plimsoll

Published 29 May 2015

The Tasmania Branch of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and the University of Tasmania hosted the launch of a new biography of Sir James Plimsoll by historian Jeremy Hearder. The launch was presented by Secretary of the Department of Defence Mr Dennis Richardson AO. The book launch was followed by a Q & A session with Mr Richardson.

Sir James Plimsoll AC CBE was an eminent Australian diplomat for more than three decades (1945-82). He served as Secretary of the Department of Defence  in Canberra (1965-70), as well as serving at an ambassadorial level in: Korea, the UN, India, the United States, Russia, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Japan.

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 as Governor of Tasmania.

Jeremy Hearder graduated from Melbourne and Stanford Universities and worked at the Department of Defence for 38 years, with postings abroad in Vientiane, Dar es Salaam, Bangkok, Nairobi, and Brussels. He also served Australia as the High Commissioner for Australia in Harare and Suva, Consul-General in Chicago, Deputy High Commissioner in Wellington and served with Plimsoll in Brussels.