Australian Embassy

Our people

Hon. Richard Court AC
Ambassador to Japan

Mr Richard Court arrived in Japan in February 2017.

Mr Court is a former Western Australian politician who has held a number of senior positions and directorships in private and public companies, including Resource Investment Strategy Consultants, the Anglican Diocesan trustees and the Olympic Team Appeal for Western Australia. Mr Court was elected to the Western Australia Legislative Assembly in 1982. He served as Premier and Treasurer of Western Australia from 1993 to 2001.

In 2008, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan conferred honours bestowing the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star for exceptional contributions to the expansion of Australia-Japan relations, strengthening economic ties between Australia and Japan and also to the exchange between Hyogo Prefecture and Western Australia.

In 2003, Mr Court was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to Western Australia and the community, particularly the Indigenous community, and in the areas of child health research, cultural heritage and economic development through negotiating major resource projects.

Mr Court holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia.


Greg Ralph
Acting Minister and 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.


Brett Cooper 
Minister (Commercial)
General Manager, North East Asia

Austrade is the Australian Government’s trade and investment development agency, and Austrade’s offices in North-East Asia are responsible for advancing Australia's international trade, investment and education interests in Japan, Korea and Mongolia. 

Brett Cooper is General Manager, North-East Asia for Austrade, overseeing a team of over 60 Trade Commissioners and Business Development Managers, spanning a network of six offices in Tokyo, Seoul, Osaka, Fukuoka, Sapporo and Ulaanbaatar.  

Brett joined Austrade in 2011 and was appointed as Senior Trade Commissioner Korea from 2012 to 2016, after managing Austrade’s International Issues Branch in Canberra.   He transferred to Tokyo to take up his current position in August 2016. 

Prior to joining Austrade, Brett worked as a Senior Advisor, International Division at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in Canberra, where he was responsible for policy development and preparing advice to the Prime Minister.  Brett also has previous experience working in Japan, the United States and Australia as a management consultant, and has worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra and on posting to the Australian Embassy in the Netherlands. 

Brett was a recipient of the Korean Government scholarship program (1997-2000) and graduated from Seoul National University law faculty with a Masters of International Law, and was a recipient of the Japanese Government scholarship program (1992-1997), completing his Bachelor of Law at Kobe University in Japan. He speaks Japanese and Korean. 


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.


Simon Monterola
Defence Attaché

Colonel Simon Monterola commenced his posting as Defence Attaché at the Australian Embassy, Tokyo, in August 2018. 

He was previously the Director of Army International Engagement at Army Headquarters in Canberra, and prior to that was Defence Attaché at the Australian Embassy, Beijing, from 2014 to 2016. 

Since graduating from the Royal Military College Duntroon in June 1992, Colonel Monterola has held a diverse range of planning, operational, command and staff appointments, predominantly in the intelligence field. His early postings included roles in the 1st Commando Regiment, 1st Intelligence Battalion, and in strategic intelligence including an exchange posting to the US. He has deployed on operations to Afghanistan (2001) and Solomon Islands (2003), and again deployed to the Middle East region in 2009. In 2011 he was posted to Headquarters Joint Operations Command in Canberra as Director of Operational Intelligence Support. 

Colonel Monterola has studied Japanese and Chinese at the Australian Defence Force’s School of Languages, and studied Japanese at the US Foreign Service Institute in Yokohama, Japan, in 1996. He is a graduate of the Australian Command and Staff Course (2005), where he also completed a Master of Management in Defence Studies, and completed a Graduate Diploma in East Asian Studies at the Australian National University in 2002. He is married and has two daughters.


Nadia Bouhafs
Counsellor (Agriculture)

Ms Nadia Bouhafs was appointed Counsellor (Agriculture) in August 2016.

Nadia joined the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in 2008 and has worked on a range of agricultural, environmental and climate change policy issues.  She worked for several years in biosecurity on policy and legislative issues, in particular developing and managing extensive consultation programs on Australia’s import risk analysis process, export legislation and biosecurity legislation.

Before joining the Australian public service, Nadia worked in the private sector for approximately 10 years in media, advertising and public relations.

Nadia has a Diploma of Communication and Media (Public Relations), a Bachelor of Arts (International Relations) from the University of Canberra, and a Master of Environmental Law from the Australian National University.


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.


Trevor Holloway OAM
Counsellor, Resources and Industry Section

Trevor Holloway is the head of the Resources and Industry Section at the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, covering Australia’s trade with Japan in resources and energy.  He also manages engagement with Japan on innovation and industry issues.

Prior to joining the Embassy, Mr Holloway was the head of the Japan Section at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra, responsible for managing all aspects of the Australia-Japan bilateral relationship, including political, strategic and economic issues.

Mr Holloway spent nine years on postings to Beijing, including as the head of the Australian Embassy’s Economic and Trade Section where he also managed Australia’s resources and energy relationship with China.

Mr Holloway has worked for the Australian Minister for Trade covering North Asian trade and investment policy, and at the Business Council of Australia (on secondment from DFAT) managing trade and international policy issues. He first visited Japan as a student in 1990, and has since spent several years studying, working and traveling in Japan.

Mr Holloway has a Master of Arts, and is currently undertaking a Master of Economics. He is a NAATI-qualified Japanese translator. He was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2013 for services to the international community following the earthquake and tsunami which occurred in Japan in 2011.