On behalf of Ashton’s many serving and former colleagues
in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, I extend to his
wife Mikie, his children Felicity and Timothy and his father our
deepest sympathy on the news today of Ashton’s passing.
Ashton’s career in the Department was one of extraordinary
commitment and high achievement. Over his many years as an
officer of the Department, and as Secretary for over six years, he
brought to all his responsibilities a formidable intelligence, a
deep strategic understanding, a strength of leadership and a
clarity of focus on the promotion of Australian interests.
Ashton applied his great skills and attributes to a wide range
of foreign and trade policy challenges and he did so in a way that
was rigorous, creative and highly productive. He also
encouraged and motivated others in the pursuit of the highest
standards of public service.
Ashton’s achievements in the service of the Department
were many and enduring. In particular, his achievements in
the context of Australia’s relationship with Japan were
far-reaching and deeply significant. In all his work in the
Department, Ashton brought to bear an understanding of the past, a
vision for the future and a practical path to achieve progress
towards it. Australia’s international interests
benefited greatly from his insight, his wisdom and his
Above all, Ashton Calvert led by personal example and by the
high standards he set. This Department owes a very great deal
to his skills, his energy and his leadership. His influence
will continue to endure.
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