Today the Australian Embassy in Bangkok issued a media release announcing official appointment of Ronald J (Ron) Elliott as Honorary Consul of Australia, in Chiang Mai, for northern Thailand. I have been the Honorary Consul (designate) of Australia for a number of months.
After a 20 month recruitment and approval process I have been endorsed for the role by the Thai Government and my Exequatur issued. See the media release: en_honorary-consul-chiang-mai-17-01-17
Ron’s New Start – Honorary Consul of Australia for Northern Thailand
It has been said; “retirement is an ending, a closure, but also a new beginning”. Thomas Edison commented; “our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to always try just one more time.”
On the 20th October 2015 the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade appointed Ronald John Elliott as the Honorary Consul of Australia in Chiang Mai with jurisdiction through 11 Northern Provinces of Thailand. The Royal Thai Government endorsement this appointment and issued my Exequatur on 16 January 2017.
Retiring in December 2013, thinking it was my last career, I had not retired from life so when this opportunity presented in May 2015 I decided to give it a try – just one more time! It was a very involved & lengthy 20-month recruitment process. It consisted of an application, then interviews, security vetting and Government approval protocols across two Nations. I am very proud of, but humbled by, the honour to serve Australia in this capacity. Reporting to the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, I am involved in a significant Consular Corps in northern Thailand. The role allows me to give back to Australia and Thailand, my countries of residence, for opportunities they provided me. My Australian Consulate functions involve:
- Consular assistance to Australians in relation to their welfare, whereabouts, arrest, imprisonment, repatriation, hospitalization, evacuation or death
- Providing passport applications and supporting visiting Australian officials
- Maintaining good relations with the Thai government and local authorities relevant to Australia’s consular and other interests in Northern Thailand
- Assisting in increasing Australian commercial interests and in furthering Australia’s cultural, educational, scientific and technological interests in the consular district
- Building general public awareness of Australia through dissemination of information
- Engaging in ceremonial and public affairs activities as a representative for Australia
- Acting as a communication channel between the Embassy in Bangkok and Thai government in the consular district when requested
- Limitations of the role prevent me from performing Notarial services, accepting passport or visa applications. I provide information and referrals on these matters.
This role allows me to continue being productive, but on a more tranquil and part-time basis, while working from home; an ideal status for semi-retirement. My wonderful partner, Ace, will provide assistance to translate with Thai officials and the community. I have been the Australian designate (representative) since March 2016 when the previous appointee retired. Our home is the official residence for the Australian Consulate in Chiang Mai that proudly flies the flags of both countries and displays a plaque of the Australian Coat of Arms.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” according to CS Lewis. With a new network and connections to a vibrant community in northern Thailand I am excited about my role and obligations as Australia’s representative. You can check me out “living tranquil in Thailand” on my social media sites: