Australian Embassy

Our people

Jan Adams AO PSM
Ambassador to Japan

Ms Adams is Australia’s Ambassador to Japan and took up her appointment in November 2020.

Ms Adams is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently the Australian Ambassador to China from 2016 to 2019.

Ms Adams was appointed Deputy Secretary in April 2013 with responsibility for trade and economic issues. In this role she was chief negotiator overseeing conclusion of Free Trade Agreements with China, Korea and Japan. Previously, Ms Adams was First Assistant Secretary, Free Trade Agreement Division.

Ms Adams served as Ambassador for the Environment and Ambassador for Climate Change between 2005 and 2008, and as Minister Counsellor (Trade) in Washington from 2000 to 2004.

From 1993 to 1996, Ms Adams worked as an Adviser to the Minister for Trade and Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. She also previously worked in the OECD secretariat in Paris (Trade and Environment Directorates).

Ms Adams joined the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 1999 as Assistant Secretary, APEC Branch.

In 2016, Ms Adams was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to international relations through the advancement of Australia's diplomatic and free trade relationships, particularly with the United States of America, South Korea, Japan and China.  In 2007, she was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) for outstanding public service in pursuing Australia's international objectives on trade and the environment.

Ms Adams holds Honors degrees in Economics and Law from Monash University and is a Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. She grew up in Wodonga, Victoria, and is married with one adult son.


Greg Ralph
Deputy Head of Mission

Mr Ralph commenced his posting in Tokyo in January 2019. 

Previously he served as Assistant Secretary Middle East Branch in Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and led DFAT’s G20 engagement team during Australia’s G20 Presidency. 

Before G20, he was Counsellor Political at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, and Director Indonesia Political and Strategic in DFAT Canberra.  

Mr Ralph has also worked overseas at the High Commission in London as Counsellor Political, and in the Embassy in Dublin as First Secretary. In Canberra, he has worked in Trade and Economic Policy Division, Southeast Asia Division, International Security Division, and a number of dedicated Task Forces. 

He joined the Commonwealth Public Service in 1988, initially working with the Department of Defence in Melbourne, Sydney then Canberra, before joining DFAT in 1999. He studied history and linguistics at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1983.


Elizabeth Cox
Minister (Commercial)
General Manager, North East Asia

Elizabeth is currently the General Manager, North East Asia for the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and Minister (Commercial) at the Australian Embassy Japan. At Austrade, she leads a team of 60 staff across four offices to deliver high quality trade and investment services to Australian, Japanese, Korean and Mongolian clients.

Elizabeth joined the Australian Trade and Investment Commission in March 2021, and commenced her posting in Tokyo in June 2021. Prior to joining Austrade, Elizabeth Cox was Head of Government Relations, Asia, and Head of Corporate Affairs, Japan at Macquarie Group, where she was responsible for connecting and building relationships with stakeholders and governments across the region.

Elizabeth held a number of senior government and corporate affairs roles at Macquarie Group, as Head of Media and External Communications for EMEA, and in Macquarie’s media and public affairs teams in Hong Kong and Australia. Prior to joining Macquarie in 2007, Elizabeth worked for investment and trading house Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and the Japan Local Government Centre, Sydney.

Elizabeth graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Asian Studies (Japanese), holds a Masters in Public Communication from the University of Technology, Sydney, and completed 1-year exchange programs at Gakushuin University and Nagoya University, Japan. 


David Lowe 
Minister-Counsellor (Economic)
Senior Treasury Representative

Mr Lowe commenced his posting to Tokyo in January 2019. He is an experienced policy economist from the Australian Treasury. In a public service career spanning more than 20 years, David has covered a diverse range of issues including business and personal tax policy, R&D policy, international economic analysis, inter-generational budget projections, foreign investment screening, trade policy, micro economic reform and competition policy. 

Before commencing at the Treasury in 2008 he was an economist at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for several years, where he worked in North Asia Division and the Economic Analytical Unit. He started his career as a research economist at the Australian Productivity Commission in 1998.  

David was born in Melbourne and is in Tokyo with his wife and two daughters. He received a Bachelor of International Economics from Yokohama National University in 1995 and a Master of Economics from the Australian National University in 1998. He is fluent in Japanese.


GPCAPT Sonja Halloran
Defence Attaché

Group Captain (GPCAPT) Halloran took up her position as Defence Attaché Tokyo in December 2019.

GPCAPT Halloran has had a broad career in the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) across a range of training systems roles, staff positions and personnel roles. The latter half of her career has been characterised by roles in international engagement, as Assistant Defence Attaché Tokyo, and as the Deputy Director in RAAF international engagement. She held Command as Commanding Officer of the RAAF Officers Training School, and has held several joint positions, including Executive Officer to Commander Current Operations at Headquarters Joint Operations Command. 

GPCAPT Halloran has been a qualified Australian Defence Force (ADF) Japanese linguist for most of her career, and has been regularly called upon to provide linguist support to a range of service chief level and other bilateral engagement activities with Japan. GPCAPT Halloran deployed to Japan with the ADF C-17 detachment for Operation Pacific Assist following the 2011 Fukushima earthquake and tsunami, working with the US and Japanese response elements.

She has an MBA with a major in International HRM, and is the only ADF Officer to have completed both the Japan Air Self Defence force Command and Air Command and Staff Course and the Japan National Institute of Defence Studies General Course in Tokyo.

GPCAPT Halloran is accompanied by her husband Brad and daughter Mika.


Janine Pitt
Counsellor (Education and Research)

Janine has extensive international experience representing Australia and the Department at senior levels at a wide range of International and multilateral fora.  Janine was previously based in Paris for three years as Minister-Counsellor with the Australian Delegation to the OECD where she focused on Employment, Education, Skills and Vocational Training. In addition, Janine has held the position of Australia’s Representative to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) - a United Nations agency based in Geneva where she was a key member of the Asia-Pacific Group. She has represented Australia at international G20 meetings and both led and hosted International delegations in Australia and abroad.

Janine has held a number of Senior Executive positions within the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and its predecessors including as NSW/ACT State Manager of the Department.  Most recently, she had responsibility for the development, management and delivery of key aspects of the national employment services program which aimed at improving the efficiency of the labour market and encouraging employment participation.


Tom Parnell
Counsellor (Agriculture)

Mr Tom Parnell commenced his posting at the Australian Embassy, Tokyo, in January 2021.

Tom primarily manages engagement with Japan on trade in plant products, including grains, horticulture and wine.

Tom has 30 years of government experience across biosecurity and agricultural policy, most recently as a Director in the Plant and Live Animal Exports Division, Canberra, from 2018-2020. During his career, he has covered a diverse range of issues including grain industry policy, agricultural chemical deregulation, horticultural market access, import risk analysis, fruit fly area freedom and animal welfare policy. Tom was previously posted to Tokyo (2003-06) and Brussels (2018) as Counsellor (Agriculture).

Tom was born into a farming family in southern New South Wales and studied Rural Science at the University of New England. Tom is accompanied by his wife Yvonne.


Tom Krijnen
Counsellor (Agriculture)

Mr Tom Krijnen commenced his posting at the Australian Embassy, Tokyo, in January 2019.

Tom primarily manages engagement with Japan on trade in animal products, including meat and meat products, seafood, dairy and wool.

Tom has 15 years of experience in agricultural policy, most recently as Director, Biosecurity Policy and Implementation Division, Canberra, from 2015-2018. During this time, he has covered a diverse range of issues including drought policy, agricultural deregulation, commercial fisheries policy, agricultural and forestry carbon offset market development, forestry policy and biosecurity reform.

Tom was born in rural New South Wales and studied Political Science and Geography (BA (Hons)) at the Australian National University, Graduating in 2004.


Charles Adamson
Counsellor (Industry, Science, Resources, Digital and Innovation)

Charles heads a small, dynamic local team that leads on Australia's trade with Japan in resources and energy. He also manages engagement with Japan on renewable energy, innovation and industry issues.  

Prior to joining the Embassy, Charles was a Director in the Office of Economic Analysis in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra.

Charles was previously posted to Seoul with a focus on resources and energy. At the same time he also managed Australia's bilateral relationship with Mongolia.

Charles worked for former Australian Trade Minister, Mr Andrew Robb AO, during the very exciting period of time when Australia and Japan agreed to a free trade agreement. Charles has also worked on a wide range of geographic desks covering trade and political issues related to the DPRK, Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Prior to joining the DFAT, Charles worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia for ten years as an economist.

Charles has a Master of Commerce (Economics) from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from the University of Western Australia.