Latin America - Brazil and Mexico

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Mathew Johnston
Mr Mathew Johnston

Counsellor (Education and Science) 


Contact details:
Phone: +55 61 3255-2958    ext. 508
Australian Embassy
SES Quadra 801
Conjunto K, Lote 7

Mathew Johnston is the Counsellor (Education and Science) at the Australian Embassy in Brazil. Working closely with his counterpart in Mexico City, Mathew has responsibility for Australia’s education, training and science relationships with Latin American countries outside of the Pacific Alliance, with a primary focus on Brazil and Argentina.

Mathew has worked in a number of Australian Government departments focusing on domestic-based international policy in intercountry adoption, international crime and innovative policy projects centred around improving outcomes for vulnerable families, children and communities with an emphasis on the role of quality early childhood education and schooling. Prior to taking up the position of Counsellor Mathew led significant Government policy reform agendas at the Department of Social Services, in particular the development of the Cashless Debit Card trials and design of the Commonwealth Redress Scheme in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses on Child Sexual Abuse.

Building on the work that has been undertaken by the department’s Education Office in Brasilia since its establishment in 2014, Mat will be focused on continuing to strengthen government-to-government engagement with Brazil on education, training and research cooperation. He will also work with emerging partners such as Argentina to identify opportunities for collaboration both bilaterally and multilaterally through fora such as the G20. As increasing numbers of students from Latin America choose Australia as a study destination, particularly from Brazil, Mat will continue the department’s work to enhance two-way mobility and collaboration in order to foster deeper connections between Australia and the region.  

Staff contact details:

Dr Cristina Elsner
Manager (Education and Science)
Phone: +55 61 3225-2965 

Ms Luisa Feldman Neves
Education Policy Officer
Phone: +55 61 3255-2966
Ms Fiona Morris
Counsellor (Education and Research)
Mexico City
Contact details:
Australian Embassy
Ruben Dario 55
Col. Bosque de Chapultepaec
Mexico City 11580
Phone: +52 55 1101 2210
Cel: +52 1 55 7455 2365
​Fiona Morris is Counsellor (Education and Research) at the Australian Embassy in Mexico City. This position commenced early in 2018, strengthens the Department of Education and Training’s representation in Latin America. Working closely with her counterpart in Brasilia, Fiona has responsibility for Australia’s bilateral education, training and research relationships in Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Peru and multilateral education engagement with the Pacific Alliance forum.

Fiona has had a diverse career in the government, education and corporate sectors, with a focus on marketing and branding, and higher education, research and science policy. Fiona previously served as the Consul – Education, Science and Training with the Australian Consulate-General in Los Angeles, responsible for the strategic positioning of Australia's education and research interests in the USA, Mexico and Canada. Prior to taking up this position, Fiona was the General Manager of the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney, working to transform Pharmacy’s research and education focus to better attract competitive research funding, world-class researchers and the best and brightest Australian and international students.

While there is great diversity amongst the member countries of the Pacific Alliance, there are also considerable shared interests ¬as demonstrated by Australia’s current Free Trade Agreement negotiations with this outward-facing bloc. As Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile continue to deepen their engagement with Australia and the Asia-Pacific region more broadly, Fiona will be focused on building mutual understanding of our respective education policies and systems, enhancing two-way mobility between Australia and the region and identifying new opportunities for collaboration to mutual benefit.