WCLF Speakers

Catherine Raper 2021
  • Ambassador
  • Australian Ambassador in the Republic of Korea
Welcome Speech
Catherine Raper is a senior career officer in Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) with over 27 years’ experience. Since January 2021, Catherine Raper has served as Australian Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (with responsibility for the DPRK). As First Assistant Secretary, COVID-19 Coordination Unit, DFAT from March to September 2020, Ms Raper was responsible for tracking developments on COVID-19 and contributing to the policy response. From February 2018 to March 2020, Ms Raper was First Assistant Secretary, Europe and Latin America Division, DFAT with responsibility for Australia’s engagement with partners in these regions. Previously, Ms Raper served as Australian Representative (Head of Post) in Taipei, Taiwan from 2014-2017. Her overseas experience has also included Minister-Counsellor (Trade) in the Australian Embassy in Washington DC (2010-2012), Counsellor to Australia’s Permanent Mission to the WTO in Geneva (2003-2006) and Third Secretary in the Australian Embassy in The Hague (1995-1998). In DFAT Canberra, Ms Raper’s previous positions have included Assistant Secretary, Trade Commitments Branch and Deputy Chief Negotiator for Australia at the commencement of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations and Director, Free Trade Agreements Section and Legal Counsel on the Australia-Chile FTA negotiations. Ms Raper holds Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (first class honours) degrees from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Diploma in Foreign Affairs and Trade from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University. She is admitted as a legal practitioner in the Australian Capital Territory. Ms Raper is married with two children.