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Dr Lauren Bain

Dr Lauren Bain

First Assistant Secretary, Southeast Asia Maritime Division, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; External Contributor

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Dr Lauren Bain was appointed to the role of First Assistant Secretary, Southeast Asia Maritime Division, in March 2023.

Before that, she was Assistant Secretary, AUKUS International Engagement Branch, focusing on diplomatic engagement to support the trilateral AUKUS defence capability partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

From August 2019 until November 2021 Dr Bain was Assistant Secretary of the ASEAN and Regional Architecture Branch, where she led Australia’s engagement with ASEAN and the Quad.

Dr Bain has served overseas in Berlin (2016-19), Jakarta (2013-16) and Kuala Lumpur (2004-07).  In Canberra she has served in a range of roles including as Southeast Asia Adviser to the then Minister for Foreign Affairs (2012-13) and as Director of DFAT’s Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos Section (2010-12).

Before joining DFAT, she worked for Asialink and the Victorian State Government.  She has a doctorate in Indonesian Studies and taught Southeast Asian Politics at the University of Melbourne.

She speaks professional-level Indonesian and competent German, and lives in Canberra with her husband Andreas and three children.