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John McCarthy (Australian diplomat)

John Philip McCarthy AO, (born 29 November 1942) is a former Australian diplomat.

John McCarthy AO
John McCarthy, AO (2).jpg
Ambassador of Australia to Vietnam
In office
1981 (1981) – 1983 (1983)
Prime MinisterMalcolm Fraser
Bob Hawke
14th Ambassador of Australia to Japan
In office
June 2001 (2001-06) – June 17, 2004 (2004-06-17)
Prime MinisterJohn Howard
Preceded byPeter Grey
Succeeded byMurray McLean
Personal details
John Philip McCarthy

(1942-11-29) 29 November 1942 (age 76)
Washington, D.C., United States
NationalityAustralia Australian
ChildrenTwo daughters
ParentsEdwin McCarthy and
Marjorie Mary Graham
Alma materJesus College, Cambridge
OccupationDiplomat, Lawyer, Barrister


Born in Washington, D.C., McCarthy was educated at Downside School, Somerset, in England and studied at Jesus College, Cambridge. He received a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Cambridge University.[1] He was a barrister-at-law and practised in London from 1965 to 1967. He worked with the New York City Law Firm of Shearman & Sterling from 1966 to 1967 and joined the Department of External Affairs in Canberra in 1968.[2]

McCarthy was senior private secretary to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Andrew Peacock, between December 1978 and November 1980.

McCarthy served as Australia's representative in the following posts:

He also served in diplomatic posts in Damascus, Baghdad and Vientiane.

McCarthy was appointed an Officer of the Order for Australia in 1999 for service to the enhancement of Australia's international reputation and to the development of Australian regional policy while serving as Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia in Jakarta.[7]


McCarthy has two daughters.


  1. ^ The Cambridge University List of Members 1976
  2. ^ Wade, Matt (25 July 2009). "Forty years in the diplomatic engine room". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 3 July 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Appointment". The Canberra Times. 13 December 1984. p. 3.
  4. ^ Suryodiningrat, Meidyatama (8 December 2000). "Ambassador McCarthy ends 'satisfying' four years in RI". The Jakarta Post. Archived from the original on 22 December 2014.
  5. ^ Downer, Alexander. "Diplomatic Appointment: Ambassador to Japan" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014.
  6. ^ Downer, Alexander (9 August 2004). "Diplomatic Appointment - High Commissioner to India" (Press release). Australian Government. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014.
  7. ^ "MCCARTHY, John Philip: Officer of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Government of Australia. 26 January 1999. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John Starey
Australian Chargé d'affaires in Syria Succeeded by
Neil Truscott
as Ambassador
Preceded by
Philip Knight
Australian Ambassador to Vietnam
1981 – 1983
Succeeded by
Richard Broinowski
Preceded by
Cavan Hogue
Australian Ambassador to Mexico
1985 – 1987
Succeeded by
Bill Farmer
Preceded by
Richard Butler
Australian Ambassador to Thailand
1992 – 1994
Succeeded by
Cavan Hogue
Preceded by
Don Russell
Australian Ambassador to the United States
1995 – 1997
Succeeded by
Andrew Peacock
Preceded by
Allan Taylor
Australian Ambassador to Indonesia
1997 – 2001
Succeeded by
Ric Smith
Preceded by
Peter Grey
Australian Ambassador to Japan
2001 – 2004
Succeeded by
Murray McLean
Preceded by
Penny Wensley
Australian High Commissioner to India
2004 – 2009
Succeeded by
Peter Varghese