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US consul-general to Perth Siriana Nair makes first official visit to Bunbury and Busselton in three-day tour

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenBunbury Herald
US consul-general Siriana Nair in Bunbury on Thursday.
Camera IconUS consul-general Siriana Nair in Bunbury on Thursday. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Bunbury Herald

The US’ leading diplomat in WA has said she is sure to be back in the South West soon following her first official visit.

US consul-general Perth Siriana Nair spent three days in Bunbury and Busselton last week, in her first formal tour of the region since arriving in WA in August last year.

Ms Nair said she loved being in the South West.

“I’ve actually come down here for vacation, but this is my first official trip,” she said.

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US consul-general Siriana Nair outside of the Bunbury Farmers Market.
Camera IconUS consul-general Siriana Nair outside of the Bunbury Farmers Market. Credit: US Consulate Perth

Ms Nair met with some of the region’s movers and shakers, including Bunbury Mayor Jaysen Miguel, Busselton Mayor Grant Henley and Forrest MHR Nola Marino.

But it was not all meetings with politicians, with the consul-general touring the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery and Busselton Jetty, speaking with students in Busselton Senior High School’s Indigenous leadership program and even making a trip to the Bunbury Farmers Market.

Ms Nair said her top priority during her three-year posting in the State was to promote the US-Australia alliance.

“We want to work to grow US-Western Australia partnerships throughout the State, including in the South West,” she said.

She highlighted some of the ways US companies were contributing to the region’s quality of life, including Albemarle with its investment in the Kemerton lithium hydroxide processing plant and Tesla through a community power bank installed in Vasse.

US consul-general Siriana Nair and Busselton Mayor Grant Henley.
Camera IconUS consul-general Siriana Nair and Busselton Mayor Grant Henley. Credit: US Consulate Perth

Ms Nair listed some of the ways the US Consulate got involved in the WA community, including by sponsoring CinefestOZ to bring American producer Debbie Liebling to this year’s festival.

“Last year, we also had another filmmaker come to CinefestOZ as well,” she said.

Over her career in the US foreign service, Ms Nair has worked in embassies representing the country in India, Brazil, Indonesia, Morrocco and the Philippines.

She said it was a different experience working in the US consulate in Perth, where she is responsible for only covering WA.

“It’s just a bit of a different focus and so I found that here, I’m really able to do more of that people-to-people diplomacy, getting out and meeting people, talking to them about their views of the United States, sharing my views, learning about Australia and all of the values that we share together,” she said.

When asked whether the region can expect another visit soon, Ms Nair said she was sure she would be back.

“I definitely want to come back, and hopefully in the summer this time,” she said.

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